Saturday 4 February 2023

The Axis Of Fear Part Three



9th Doctor, Rose (series 1), Captain Jack (Empty Child). 
With Claudia Brown (Celia), Stephen Hart (Des), James Lester (Nightshade).
The Daleks are from the Battlepack.

This story had been kicking around for years and was only made possible in the end when Character Options released their Primeval figures. 
Keen-eyed action figure fans will notice that the dalek scenes feature the battle pack "disco dancing" 9th Doctor. There's a reason for that. See SHOOTING below.


When Doctor Who returned in 2005, I was planning a series of 9th Doctor adventures. Two were made using my custom 4" figures (The Unearthed Enemy and Tin Soldiers), one became a tenth Doctor story (Backwards). And then there was this one, The Axis Of Fear, although it started life as a Fifth Doctor adventure.
The script went through many changes and originally didn't include Jack. There were three men on the train plus Celia. Two of them were dispatched by Nightshade and his minions while the third man Adam realises he had an accident on his bike and ended up in a coma. Where, in the finished story Celia has flashbacks of being hit by a train, Adam's flashbacks involved a lorry.
The TARDIS originally appeared in the story with Rose finding it in the station corridors but when she opens it, it's just a shell. I took that scene out when a similar one happened on TV in FATHER'S DAY.
The Daleks weren't originally meant to appear. Chasing Nightshade into the tube tunnel, the Doctor encounters what claims to be a future incarnation of himself - brow-beaten and defeated. By this time in his life, Rose has been killed. "You can't save them all" this future Doctor claims. Of course the REAL Doctor realises this is an illusion created by the ghosts. Had the scene survived, I would have used a tenth Doctor figure to give the illusion credibility.
The character of Celia survives the event but remains cynical and hardnosed to the end. in her last scene she appears to wake up, having fallen asleep eating her lunch in the park. She sees a mother with her baby and laments how her career has forced her to sacrifice a home life. She holds the baby but it has the same monstrous face as Nighshade's creatures.


The TARDIS brings the 5th Doctor and Nyssa to a forest in the rain. They head for a spooky mansion at the edge of the forest only to discover they are expected for dinner along with several other bemused time and space travellers.

Their host is revealed to be the Master who challenges his guests to escape. Simply that- escape.

Frightened and despairing the guests scatter, some through the house, some into the woods where they are hunted by strange creatures.

The Doctor discovers that the TARDIS is now just a shell and cannot offer any sanctuary.

Running further through the forest he reaches a kind of glass barrier and beyond it is deep space...

Dabbling in a new dastardly scheme, the Master has become trapped in his own mind. He has summoned others including the Doctor to help him escape.


The story nearly went into production in late 2006 when I shot the Dalek ship scenes. At the time, the 'disco' 9th Doctor was the only one available. But without a supporting cast, the story was shelved until early 2008.
On 15th March 2008, I filmed the hospital scenes back to back with pick-ups for a tenth Doctor/Martha story NEW ACQUISITIONS.
On the 5th/6th April, the story entered production proper with the scenes on the train, platform, adjacent corridors and the ticket office.
The last day was 3rd May with the escalator, some additional corridor scenes and the TARDIS interior.


Originally Rose was meant to trap her top in the escalator but as I shot the scene, it made more sense for her to catch her jeans.
Aside from that, the story remained largely unchanged during the edit apart from one final twist cut at the last moment.
The dream creatures have chosen the Doctor to take over in Nightshade's place but the Doctor asks "what if I refuse?"
The frame (right) was cut, mainly because I was unhappy with the ageing on Rose. The Doctor counters, highlighting Nightsade's own fear of being trapped here forever before Celia interrupts, offering herself.
The ghosts' faces are photos of real clowns doctored in photoshop.
On its original publication, as with all AFT stories at the time, each frame was an individual image. For it's new appearance, I've put them all together in pages with borders.


The appearance of Captain Jack (especially in his RAF uniform) places this story somewhere between THE DOCTOR DANCES and BOOMTOWN but no other continuity is referenced.


The story was originally published on May, June and July 2008. It had been brought forward to fill a gap created when the classic action figures were delayed.
It was re-presented on 21st, 28th January and 4th February 2023.