The Feast of Axos
September 2010 Big Finish Productions announced that
Doctor is going to face the classic
foe - The Axons - in the release due for February
In addition Bernard Holley, who played both the voice
of Axos and the male Axon in the 1971 Third
Doctor television story "The
Claws of Axos" in
1971, is back after 40 years to reprise the role!
Feast of Axos", by Mike Maddox, finds a group
of British explorers heading off into space to break
into the Axos time loop, in which it was trapped by
the Third Doctor, in order to plunder the energy of
the alien entity. But the scheme goes awry...
is directed by Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs who
has stated that ‘we got very excited at the
prospect of bringing Axos back. It was the Axonite
on the cake
when we learned that Bernard was interested in reprising
the role-and he plays it as if not a single day has
story comes second in a trilogy that reunites
the Sixth Doctor with his hugely popular audio
Smythe (played by Maggie Stables)
and Victorian orphan Thomas Brewster (played
by John Pickard) in three new stories. Also starring
are: John Banks, Andree Bernard, Chook Sibtain,
Peter Forbes and Duncan Wisbey.
Doctor has faced many familiar monsters and villains
in the Big Finish Productions audio stories over the
years. Daleks, Cybermen and Ice
Warriors. All formidable
aliens that came back for another go on screen, again
and again, making a significant impact on the minds
of even casual Doctor Who viewers. It is of
course not surprising that they have been used many
by Big Finish Productions, nor that their appearances
have been so well-received.
though from the list above though are the Axons - creatures
from the 1971 Third Doctor story "The Claws of
Axos". Possibly not such an obvious choice of
monster to make a return? But after an absence of Forty
years returning they are, facing the Sixth Doctor and
Evelyn Smythe in this audio story "The Feast of
campaigned to bring Axos back mainly based
on the fact that they were such a brilliant
and exciting idea, but also one that would
work so well on audio’, line producer
David Richardson has revealed.
you are one of the many that Doctor Who fans, who
back in the 1970s before there were VHS tapes or
DVDs could only experience older Doctor Who by
listening to audio recordings of the television stories,
you have to surely agree. As David Richardson has
stated ‘If you listen to "The
Claws of Axos",
the soundscape is stunning. It's just so evocative
and atmospheric. It was something that I certainly
felt very strongly we could recreate’.
Axons though do not really have an audio hook. Daleks
rasp and their spaceships thrum, Ice Warriors hiss,
Cybermen have all manner of recognisable voices,
whereas the Axons' impact was arguably more visual.
But in this audio story Big Finish Productions have
recreated the organic swooshing sounds. David Richardson
has also revealed that ‘all around the
ship there's a unique sense of place. It's a monster
comes with its own soundscape’.
making this release even more special is amongst
the cast list is Bernard Holley who returns playing
Axos - a role he originally played in 1971. David
Richardson has revealed that Big Finsish Productions
were very happy that he wanted to return. ‘It's
one of the unique things about Doctor Who -
that you can play a role and return to it 40 years
He had very clear recollections of recording it,
and in terms of finding the voice again - he just
got that from the very first page’.
you are expecting just a remake of "The Claws
of Axos" then you might be disappointed as Big
Finish Productions have gone for a very different
take on Axos this time round. Axos may still be trapped
in the time loop that the Third Doctor put it into
in "The Claws of Axos", but a group of
humans have set off to plunder it for its energy
reserves, so it's an inversion of what happened in
the original story...
- Featuring the Sixth
Smythe and Thomas Brewster.
- Serial Number: 7C/NB
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 120 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 28'24", 2 =
27'17", 3 = 30'05", 4 = 31'28"
- Total Length: 117'14"
- Also features 26 minutes of trailers, music
and special behind-the-scenes interviews with the
- This story takes place after "The
Crimes of Thomas Brewster" and the television
Claws of Axos"
- Cover Illustration: Anthony Lamb
- Recorded: TBA
- Recording Location: Moat Studios
- Released: February 2011
- ISBN: 978-1-84435-544-0
On the Back Cover:
calling Earth. Fuel system exhausted. Request immediate
ago, the vast space parasite Axos attempted
to suck the planet Earth of its energy. Now it’s
all but forgotten – a dried-up husk, marooned
in orbit, still stuck in the time loop it was placed
in by Earth’s defender, the Doctor.
that is, except by space tourism billionaire Campbell
Irons – who’s hatched a plan to solve
the world’s energy crisis by reviving Axos,
and transmitting its power back to Earth. But the
crew of the spaceship Windermere aren’t alone
aboard the parasite. The Doctor has returned, to
correct an error of decades past…
Axos is waiting.
|On the Inside Cover:
clearly remember the first time I had spaghetti.
Mum had to give us lessons. She said it came from
Italy and it probably became popular in England
after the war. Perhaps soldiers had tried it out
there and brought some home with them, we wondered.
romanticising here, naturally, but I'm sure that
Mum also let me spend that week on the sofa, watching
an Apollo launch. From countdown to splashdown,
I watched the whole thing. Blurry figures with
implausible first names playing golf live on the
seems impossible that Britain could ever afford
a space programme now. But men with brown lab coats
and slide rules once tested space capable rocket
engines on the Isle of Wight. And in Doctor
British astronauts conquered the entire solar system
for Queen and Country. The only trouble was that
every now and then they'd bring something back
sometimes... sometimes it would be something a
bit like spaghetti. Only bright orange. And murderous.
And very, very hungry...
Holley is back. You can sometimes forget the effect
a voice can have on you. A lot of Doctor Who fans
Claws of Axos a bit of a hard time, don't
they? But I've always loved it, so the moment Bernard
stepped into the studio and uttered those words,
'Axos calling Earth', I was... I dunno... transported
back to an earlier, innocent time. Almost as if
Axos had taken control of my mind. Steady, Briggs,
resist the nostalgia overload!
seriously, working with Bernard was a joy. He's
a proper gentleman actor, immaculately turned out,
totally professional, charming and absolutely bursting
with irresistible anecdotes.
for the rest of the cast, it was lovely to get to work
with Peter Forbes again. I hadn't directed him since
we were fighting the Daleks in Dalek
Empire III. And
let's not forget the amazingly vocally versatile Duncan
Wisbey... I think he could have probably played all the
parts on his own.
| Full Cast List:
| Campbell Irons
| Svenni Nilson
|Mission Control (Devesham)
|Mission Control (Geneva)
The Production Team:
||Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery