The Claws of Axos.

TV One of my insane rules has always been that I won't mix Doctor Who stories. What I mean is that if I've started watching, reading or listening to a story I won't dive into another one at the same time. It's confusing and something gets diffused along the way. My only exception is the strip in Doctor Who magazine, because waiting three months or whatever until I'd worked my way through fifteen pages of story is too long.

So here I was tonight with a dilemma. In the middle of a two part tv story, before me sat The Claws of Axos on shiny disc. Would watching the third betray the ninth? I watched the supplementary documentary about 'Reverse Standards Conversion' and saw all the clips of The Master and spaghetti monsters and caved. This was the classic show -- the new series is a different thing. Besides there might be a retro clue to what the whole Bad Wolf scenario was.

It's a great story, and actually a perfect choice to counterpoint the new series -- set on Earth with The Doctor fighting a universal threat to the globe. The pace is also extra-ordinarily fast with very little flab or room for pointless sitting around chatting about what to do next -- everyone just does it. And for all the people who say the new scripts have too many one-liner's witness the government's treatment of token official buffoon Chin and the final line of the story (which I won't spoil for anyone who hasn't seen it, but is a doozy).

But funnily enough it seemed to lack the spirit of occasion of the new series. Has time dissipated the need to find out if Jo Grant gets out of this or that scrape, or was it there before? Was it really like this in the old days? The week seems awfully long between new episodes and the anticipation is blinding. Perhaps because we're used to the ability to put the next episode on straight away after years of videos, dvds and Big Finish, this wait to see what happens is excruciating, even if partly its to see if the next part makes sense of the first. Or to find out why The Doctor would say, "I can save the world but I could lose you..." which is certain something you'd never hear from Pertwee. Well not out loud.

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