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Tom Baker
The Hand of Fear
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Synopsis


Eldrad
Eldrad
 The Doctor and Sarah return to Earth, but are plunged into danger as soon as they step from the TARDIS.

 They arrive in a quarry rigged with explosives, and the blast leaves Sarah unconscious in the rubble, a fossilised stone hand in her grip. What strange power does the hand have over Sarah Jane?

Source: BBC DVD


General Information

Season: Fourteen
Production Code: 4N
Story Number: 87
Episode Numbers:432 - 435
Number of Episodes: 4
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"The Hand of Time ", "The Hand of Death" and "Hand of Fear"
Production Dates: June - July 1976
Broadcast Started: 02 October 1976
Broadcast Finished: 23 October 1976
Colour Status: Colour
Studio: BBC Television Centre (TC8)
Location: ARC Quarry (Cromhall, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire), Oldbury-on-Severn (Gloucestershire), Oldbury Nuclear Power Station and Stokefield Close (Thornbury, Gloucestershire), Rickmansworth Road (Croxley Green, Hertfordshire).
Writers:Bob Baker and Dave Martin
Director:Lennie Mayne
Producer:Philip Hinchcliffe
Script Editor:Robert Holmes
Editor:Christopher Rowlands
Production Assistant:Marion McDougall
Production Unit Manager:Chris D'Oyly-John
Assistant Floor Manager:Terry Winders
Designer:Christine Ruscoe
Costume Designer:Barbara Lane
Make-Up Designer:Judy Neame
Cameraman:Max Samett
Incidental Music:Dudley Simpson
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Dick Mills
Studio Sounds:Brian Hiles
Lighting:Derek Slee
Visual Effects:Colin Mapson
Fights Arranged By:Max Faulkner
Title Sequence:Bernard Lodge
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Delia Derbyshire
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Tom Baker (The Fourth Doctor)
Number of Companions: 1The Companion: Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith) (Departs) Additional Cast: Judith Paris (Eldrad), Stephen Thorne (Kastrian Eldrad), Rex Robinson (Dr. Carter), Renu Setna (Intern), Roy Skelton (King Rokon), David Purcell (Abbott), Glyn Houston (Professor Watson), Roy Pattison (Zazzka), Robin Hargrave (Guard), Roy Boyd (Driscoll), Frances Pidgeon (Miss Jackson), John Cannon (Elgin)Setting: Earth (1970s) and Planet Kastria Villain: Eldrad

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
432Part 102 October 197624'50"10.5PAL 2" colour videotape
433Part 209 October 197624'48"10.2PAL 2" colour videotape
434Part 316 October 197624'22"11.1PAL 2" colour videotape
435Part 423 October 197625'00"12.0PAL 2" colour videotape

Total Duration 1 Hour 39 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 11.0
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (1998)70.44%  (Position = 67 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)70.86% Higher (Position = 96 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)72.15% Higher (Position = 101 out of 241)


Archives


 All four episodes exist as PAL 2" colour videotapes.



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Notes


This story is renowned containing the departure of companion Sarah Jane Smith, played by Elisabeth Sladen, when, at the end of this story, The Doctor is called back to Gallifrey so forcing him to leave Sarah behind.

When Elisabeth Sladen announced her intention to leave Doctor Who, Sarah was originally supposed to be killed off in a pseudo-historical story involving aliens and the Foreign Legion. However Douglas Camfield, who was supposed to write the scripts, was unable to do so, and so the "The Hand of Fear" replaced it, much to Elisabeth Sladen's relief, as she did not want Sarah to be killed or married off. Elisabeth Sladen also asked that Sarah's departure not to be the main focus of the story, as she felt the program was about The Doctor, not the companion.

In terms of seasons, Elisabeth Sladen was the longest serving companion with any Doctor, appearing for over three seasons and surpassing Katy Manning's record as Jo Grant. Elisabeth Sladen held the record until Janet Fielding played Tegan Jovanka for three years and one month. Frazer Hines as companion Jamie McCrimmon holds the record for the longest serving companion in terms of the number of Doctor Who episodes he appeared in, although Elisabeth Sladen's total episodes, when her spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures is included, exceeds Frazer Hines' episode count. These records do not take their audio adventures into account.

After her departure, Elisabeth Sladen would reprise the role of Sarah Jane Smith in the 1981 spin-off story "K9 and Company: A Girl's Best Friend". She returned to the show in the Twentieth Anniversary Special "The Five Doctors", in 1983, and the Thirtieth-Anniversary Children In Need special "Dimensions in Time", in 1993. She also continued to appear as Sarah in various Doctor Who-related spin-off media, including two radio dramas with Jon Pertwee ("The Paradise of Death" and "The Ghosts of N-Space"), and a series of Sarah Jane Smith Audio stories for Big Finish Productions. Elisabeth Sladen has also returned, playing the part of Sarah Jane Smith, in the revived show. In the Tenth Doctor stories: "School Reunion", in 2006, and "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End" in 2008. She has also starred in her own spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures as well as a cameo at the conclusion of the Tenth Doctor's last story "The End of Time" in 2009/2010.

This story is also renowned for Sarah’s outfit making her look like Andy Pandy.

Stephen Thorne, who played the strong Kastrian Eldrad, originally played the part of Omega in the 1973 Tenth Anniversary Special "The Three Doctors" along with various other roles in the show.

This story was directed by Lennie Mayne, whose most recent work had been on "The Monster of Peladon". This however, would be his final contribution to the show.

Working titles claimed for this story were "The Hand of Death" and "The Hand of Time". However, the production notes on the DVD release state that there were no working titles for this story.

In the original script, Miss Jackson was a nameless male. Director Lennie Mayne built up the part, changed the role to a female part, and cast his wife, Frances Pidgeon.

This story has the rare instance of a quarry actually appearing in Doctor Who as a quarry, rather than posing as an alien landscape.

A real-life quarry explosion was filmed for this story. Unfortunately the crew badly underestimated the power of the explosion, and one of the cameras recording material from ground level was destroyed. Luckily the film in the case was salvaged and footage was used in the completed programme. A rumour persisted for many years that the camera was totally destroyed in the blast. However, in the DVD commentary it is made clear that this is just a fan myth.

The nuclear power station was originally supposed to be the Nuton Power Complex that appeared in "The Claws of Axos" but it was renamed the Nunton Experimental Complex instead. The real-life location used was the Oldbury nuclear power station in Gloucestershire.

The Doctor's hypnosis of Sarah by putting his hands on the sides of her head is similar to what he does in the Tenth Doctor stories "Fear Her", "The Shakespeare Code" and "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End". However, unlike these three more recent stories, in "The Hand of Fear", he does not lay Sarah down after commencing the hypnosis, and in fact, Sarah walks around and makes facial expressions for part of the conversation.

When The Doctor hypnotises Sarah she says ‘That's not fair. Not again’ in reference to "Terror of the Zygons" and "The Masque of Mandragora".

Eldrad's home was originally supposed to be the black hole of Omega 4.6. When Robert Holmes pointed out to Bob Baker and Dave Martin that the name Omega had already appeared in Doctor Who (in "The Three Doctors"; ironically this story was also written by Bob Baker and Dave Martin), they changed the name to Kastria.

Kastria is depicted as a cold and inhospitable planet, ravaged by the solar winds. Eldrad says he built barriers to keep out the winds, machines to replenish the soil and atmosphere and devised a crystalline, silicon based form for the Kastrians. It is indicated that silicon based life forms rarely occur naturally (see "The Stones of Blood").

Eldrad says he built barriers to keep out the winds, machines to replenish the soil and atmosphere and devised a crystalline, silicon based form for the Kastrians.

Eldrad has heard of the Time Lords, saying that they are pledged to uphold the laws of time and to prevent alien aggression.

The Obliteration Module was based on the design of the Martian War Machines in George Pal's 1952 film The War of the Worlds.

The Doctor explains that the TARDIS is in a state of ‘temporal grace’ meaning that no weapons are able to be used inside it. However, later in the show this function appears not to work. In the 1982 Fifth Doctor story "Earthshock", the 1985 Sixth Doctor story "Attack of the Cybermen" and the 2005 Tenth Doctor story "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways" as weapons are seen to be fired inside the Console Room in each of these later story. The Fifth Doctor evades a question about this function no longer working in the 1983 story "Arc of Infinity".

The extreme cold of Kastria might have affected the TARDIS' thermocouplings, which The Doctor tries to repair with an astro-rectifier, a multi-quantiscope and a Ganymede driver. He decides that he doesn't need the mergin nut or the Zeus plugs. Zeus plugs are also mentioned in the 2006 Tenth Doctor story "The Girl in the Fireplace" and again in the 2007 special Children in Need story "Time Crash".

The original script for this story also featured an ageing Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart, who had been moved from UNIT to the Extraterrestrial Xenological Intelligence Taskforce to study UFO activities. He was to be killed when he steered his spaceship into an Omegan kamikaze ship to prevent that ship from crashing into Earth. This plan did not go through due to Nicholas Courtney being unavailable for filming. The original script also featured Harry Sullivan. Both The Brigadier and Harry Sullivan are though mentioned at the end of the broadcasted version of this story when Sarah states that she will pass on The Doctor's love to both of them.

The summons to Gallifrey, which The Doctor received, is finally revealed in the following story, "The Deadly Assassin", to have been sent by The Master.

Listen out for The Doctor's stating that Gallifrey could be in Ireland. This quip is repeated in the 2007 Tenth Doctor story "Human Nature/The Family of Blood".

Bob Baker and Dave Martin intentionally did not write Sarah's departure scene. The script for that scene was rewritten by Elisabeth Sladen and Tom Baker from Robert Holmes' original version.

Despite expressing a desire to see Gallifrey at the end of the story Sarah’s wish will be granted (after a fashion) in the Twentieth Anniversary Special "The Five Doctors".

Sarah Jane Smith and The Doctor each tell the other not to forget them. The Tenth Doctor says the same words to Sarah thirty-three years later when they part at the end of The Sarah Jane Adventures story "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith".

After the TARDIS departs, Sarah Jane realises that The Doctor's navigation was wrong and he has not left her on Hillview Road as planned, and probably not even in South Croydon. She reveals in the 2006 Tenth Doctor story "School Reunion" that he left her in Aberdeen, more than nine hundred kilometres away.

In the final scene, Sarah is heard whistling the tune ‘Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow-Wow’. It has been reported that since Elisabeth Sladen is unable to whistle, director Lennie Mayne provided the whistling while she mimed to this tune.

A novelisation of this story, written by Terrance Dicks, was published by Target Books in January 1979. The cover art, by Roy Knipe, however, does not feature Sarah's infamous ‘Andy Pandy’ costume but is in fact inspired by a photo from "Planet of Evil".

This story was released on VHS in February 1996. It was the final video tape to include the diamond logo on the cover artwork and was deleted along with much of the rest of the Doctor Who video range only a few weeks after its initial release, making the original tape something of a collectors' item.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first time someone makes the mistake of thinking Gallifrey to be in Ireland.


The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 Elisabeth Sladen's last story as regular companion Sarah Jane Smith.

 The last Doctor Who story written by Lennie Mayne.

 The last Doctor Who story released on VHS to include the diamond logo on the cover artwork.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
Arriving in the Quarry
Arriving in the Quarry

The TARDIS returns The Doctor, and his companion Sarah Jane Smith, back to present-day Earth. On exiting the TARDIS the time travellers find that the TARDIS has materialised in what appears to be a deserted quarry, silent except for the howl of a warning klaxon. Too late they realise that a nearby rock-face, in the quarry, has been set with explosives. Both The Doctor and Sarah find themselves buried under tons of rubble from the massive explosion.

The Doctor is thrown clear and he soon recovers as the quarry workers arrive on the scene. With their help The Doctor frantically searches for Sarah. Nearby Sarah regains consciousness to find herself entombed under the rocks. Seeing a hand in a gap in the rocks Sarah reaches for it thinking it is The Doctor’s But as she grasps it she is shocked to discover that is cold and hand. This makes her scream. As she does so some sort of energy moves from the fossilised hand into her mind, knocking her unconscious once more.

Sarah’s scream is heard by The Doctor. With help the rocks covering her are quickly pulled aside and the unconscious Sarah is taken to hospital where it is discovered that luckily nothing appears to be physically wrong with her. She eventually comes round and starts to act strangely. Sarah has come into contact with the last surviving fragment of a convicted criminal from the planet Kastrian, who was blown up in space as a punishment for attempting to wipe out his own people.

Assisting Sarah
Assisting Sarah

Under the Kastrian’s control Sarah uses a blue-stoned ring from the fossil hand to stun Doctor Carter. In a trance Sarah then leaves the hospital taking the fossil hand with her and heads for the nearby Nunton Complex for Research and Development, where she enters the core of the nuclear reactor – setting off all the alarms.

But instead of killing her the fossilised hand soaks up all the deadly radiation and starts to rejuvenate. The Doctor arrives and manages to persuade the authorities to allow him to rescue Sarah. This he manages to do but as he carries the unconscious Sarah out of the reactor room he does not spot the Kastrian’s ring lying on the floor.

The Doctor Is Worried
The Doctor Is Worried

Soon afterwards Sarah regains conscious again. But she is completely unaware of the recent events and all the trouble she has caused. The Doctor hypnotises Sarah and learns about the Kastrian’s influence over her – so proving that Sarah’s actions were not her own and were the result of an alien influence. The Doctor also learns of the Kastrian’s ring and the danger it poses to whoever comes into contact with it.

Meanwhile in the reactor room a technician discovers the ring. But before he receives The Doctor’s warning he comes under the Kastrian’s control. He places the fossilised hand into a highly radioactive storage compartment where it starts to come alive once more. The hand is discovered and a technician named Driscoll takes the hand back to the reactor core once more where unchecked the hand regenerates into a complete being – an alien female humanoid known as Eldrad.

Eldrad is a criminal who plotted to destroy Kastria when he was denied power. Eldrad disabled the spatial barriers which held back the solar winds, so that life on the surface became impossible. Caught and sentenced to death, Eldrad was placed in a Syllenic Obliteration Module - a space capsule - which was sent out into deep space. Before the last surviving Kastrians lost contact, the capsule was blown up. However Eldrad's hand was not totally destroyed and this part of the silicone-based body drifted to Earth where it lay for centuries – until Sarah discovered it when she was trapped in the quarry.

Breaking Into The Nunton Complex
Breaking Into The Nunton Complex

Eldrad, who appears to all intents and purposes female - he patterned his regenerated body on Sarah's - persuades The Doctor to take him back to Kastria so he can reclaim his heritage. Unaware that Eldrad is a criminal The Doctor agrees to help the Kastrian and so The Doctor, Sarah and Eldrad depart in the TARDIS.

When they arrive on the planet Kastria they discovers that Eldrad’s heritage is a dead planet: the Kastrian race is long gone and the race banks of his people were destroyed by the last King, Rokon, and the Kastrian people in a final act of defiance in case Eldrad should ever return. He has his wish - he is King... But of nothing.

Furious, Eldrad, whose body has now been reconfigured into its proper form, tries to get The Doctor to return him to Earth so that he might rule there instead. Realising that Earth is now in danger The Doctor and Sarah manage to escape. But Eldrad storms after them. However, The Doctor and Sarah set a trap, using The Doctor's scarf, to trip him into a deep crevasse.

The Doctor and Sarah return to the TARDIS where, without warning, The Doctor receives a summons from Gallifrey. Realising that he cannot take Sarah there, as humans are not permitted on his home world, The Doctor redirects the TARDIS to Hillview Road, South Croydon, so Sarah can return to her home. However, after the TARDIS has gone, Sarah realises that she is not in Hillview Road and may not even be in South Croydon at all. She realises that she could be a long way from her home. She picks up her things and walks off, pausing only to glance up at the sky…

 
Sarah is Possessed
Sarah is Possessed
The Hand
The Hand
Inside the Reactor Room
Inside the Reactor Room
The Doctor and Sarah
The Doctor and Sarah
 
Eldrad Regenerated
Eldrad Regenerated
Eldrad's True Form
Eldrad's True Form
Sarah Saying Good-bye
Sarah Saying Good-bye
This Is Not South Croydon!
This Is Not South Croydon!




Quote of the Story


 'I must be mad. I'm sick of being cold and wet and hypnotised left, right and centre. I'm sick of being shot at, savaged by bug eyed monsters, never knowing if I'm coming or going... or been... I want a bath, I want my hair washed, I just want to feel human again... and, boy, am I sick of that sonic screwdriver. I'm going to pack my goodies and I'm going home…'

Sarah Jane Smith



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Audio
LP
Science-Fiction Sound Effects No. 191978REC 316Sound Effects
Audio
Tape
Science-Fiction Sound Effects No. 191978Sound Effects
Video
VHS
The Tom Baker YearsSeptember 1992BBCV 4839PhotoClip only Introduced and commented on by Tom Baker Double cassette release
Video
VHS
The Hand of FearFebruary 1996BBCV 5789Colin Howard
Video
DVD
The Hand of FearJuly 2006BBCDVD 1833
Video
DVD
The Hand of FearJuly 2007BBCDVD 2474Re-released with a special "O-ring" slipcover
Video
Blu-Ray
Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 14 (Limited Edition)May 2020BBCBD 0478Photo-montageBlu-Ray Limited Edition boxed set containing 6 specially restored stories


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
Doctor Who and the Hand of FearJanuary 1979Target No. 30Terrance DicksRoy KnipeISBN: 0-426-20033-0
CD
CD
The Hand of FearJanuary 2021Target No. 30Terrance DicksRoy KnipeAudio version of the Target Novel read by Pamela Salem.
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision)Issue 16 (Released: May 1989)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 352 (Released: February 2005)
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of FictionIssue 440 (Released: November 2011)
Doctor Who Magazine Special - Archive1992 Summer Special (Released: 1992)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 43 (Released: August 2010)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companion

 
Tom Baker
The Fourth Doctor

   

 
Elisabeth Sladen
Sarah Jane Smith
 
   




On Release

Audio LP - Sound Effects No. 19
Audio LP - Sound Effects No. 19

BBC
AUDIO
Tom Baker Years VHS Video Cover
Tom Baker Years VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
VHS Video Cover
VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   
DVD Cover
DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
DVD
DVD "O-ring" Cover

BBC
VIDEO
The Collection Season 14 Limited Edition Blu-Ray Cover
The Collection Season 14 Limited Edition Blu-Ray Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   


In Print

Target Book Cover
Target Book Cover

Target
NOVEL
 
Target Audio CD Cover
Target Audio CD Cover

BBC
CD
   


Magazines

Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision): Issue 16
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision): Issue 16

CMS
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 352
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 352

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 440
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 440

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine Special - Archive: 1992 Summer Special
Doctor Who Magazine Special - Archive: 1992 Summer Special

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 43
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 43

GE Fabbri


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