Three episodes in, and this story is starting to feel like a guilty pleasure for me. Should it? Sure, it's so colourful that it's bordering on tacky (okay, it is tacky), but then, it was made 1971. But it's holding my attention reasonably well and is winning me over with its charms and its novel set design.
I've already mentioned Michael Ferguson's direction, but he's responsible for another very cool effect when The Doctor and Jo are talking to (for lack of a name) Axon Man. Ferguson dissolves between two camera shots on Axon Man, both shooting actor Bernard Holley as his head turns to face each camera at regular intervals. It's a magnificently offputting effect, and the fact that it is done so cheaply also gives the technique points for the win.
There's another great effect later on as an Axon tentacle flies through the air and zaps a UNIT squadie, causing him instantly to explode. Excellent! Then there's the amusing negotiation of an alliance between The Master and a reluctant Brigadier - honestly, why does this story rate so poorly with some people? I think it's a hoot! Does it all fall apart in Episode Four? Is that why?