A fabulous sense of Englishness permeates this era of the series, with pretentious bureaucrats, overzealous army officers, and comic poachers among others reacting to aliens in their own backyard. And despite being the Doctor's main adversary at the time, the Master gets all the best lines, including his comment about the repairs to the TARDIS being a "botch up," and suggesting to the nervous Englishmen that "putting sticky tape on the windows" might be a good defense against a nuclear explosion. Watch for an early appearance by Tim Piggot-Smith (The Jewel in the Crown) as an army officer, as well as a sudden snowstorm during filming that is explained away as "freak weather conditions" caused by the aliens! Episodes 2 and 3 appear a bit murky due to the original British copies having to be remastered. With lots of monsters, action, and high-tech sets, stories like this were the backbone that Doctor Who's reputation in the 1970s rests on. --Ryan K. Johnson
Beware of Greeks bearing Gifts is the old saying, but in this case it is the Autons, with a material called Axonite which brings with it the promise of solving all the earth's problems of food shortages.
Before you know it of course, there is more to it than that and soon the Axon plot is uncovered. The Master too, has a role to play as the two-faced, double-crossing, Timelord wriggles from his situation as a captive of the Axons and ultimately makes good his escape.
The Axons, similar to the Autons as part of a single entity are looking for an energy source and earth just fits the bill. The story highlights the fact that appearances can be deceptive as the Axons adopt a beautiful gold form which transfixes their human hosts and undermines their natural hostility and suspicion. The other human trait of greed, particularly when confronted with getting something for nothing, is also highlighted by this story as well as the ruthlessness which humans adopt when trying to get what they want.
However, the adage of all that being glitters is not gold holds up when eventually the humans find that they have been sold a pup. Almost too late, they fight to defeat the Axons who have reverted to their natural form with more than a little bit of help from the Doctor.
The moral of the story clearly is that we can get by without a little bit of help from our friends (or otherwise).
My only complaint about this story is the way in which this, and other third doctor stories, is another one of those 'the biggest threat to the human race than the world has ever seen'. Other than that it is a preety good well worth watching adventure.
Ok, so it is flawed, but that does not stop this story being enjoyable. Read more