Doctor Who (1963)

Season 14 Episode 8

The Hand of Fear, Part Four

Aired Saturday 5:15 PM Oct 23, 1976 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary

The Hand of Fear, Part Four
The Doctor and Sarah race to save the mortally wounded Eldrad. But they find that everything is not quite as she told them.

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  • Sarah leaves in the best companion departure ever, the story is pretty good too.

    Another great installment from the Hinchcliffe/Holmes team this time borrowing from The Hands of Orlac & any other creeping hand story. For once they are supposed to be in a quarry at the beginning. And for the first time since the Troughton era, a story set on "current" Earth not involving UNIT. Lis Sladen did a great job especially when under Eldrad's influence. "Eldrad must live": the best Baker & Martin catchphrase. Parts 1 to 3 move along excellently, part 4 is a bit of a letdown with the male Eldrad coming off like any other would be galatic dictator and being defeated by a scarf!! The departure of Sarah makes up for it. No marrying her off or killing her off. The Doctor/Sarah interplay is wonderful through out (love the hypnosis scene) and the ending of part 4, written by them, is very moving but also quite restrained. I guess thats the English for you, not even a hug on the way out but yet we see both are sad to lose the other. No other companion departure has toped it.moreless
  • And so we say goodbye to Sarah Jane Smith.

    This was a truly memorable story, with some superb interplay between the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith, a different kind of villain, and that heartbreaking ending. Sladen gets a much better leaving story than she had on arrival, a fitting tribute after her stint as the Doctor's longest serving companion. Who knew that it would be another 30 years before the Doctor and Sarah crossed paths again? That's 50 words... why do I need to write 100 these days? It's an injustice, I tell you! Oh well, needs must, and the Devil makes work for idle hands, I suppose.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Equipment Visible: When Eldrad is telling the Doctor about the race banks, the shadow of boom mike moves over the wall behind Sarah (and its reflection in the wall to her left).

    • Continuity: When the Doctor places Eldrad in the regeneration chamber, the slab is flat-surfaced. One shot later, there is a convenient hump to prop Eldrad up.

    • In both this episode and School Reunion, Sarah Jane's exit scene features her talking to a dog. In The Hand of Fear it is an anonymous golden retriever found sitting on the sidewalk. In School Reunion it is K-9.

    • The song Sarah Jane whistles in her last scene is Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow-Wow, undoubtedly inspired by the golden retriever she meets kerbside. Incidentally Elisabeth Sladen can't whistle, so the tune was actually performed by director Lennie Mayne while she mimed.

    • The Doctor planned to drop Sarah Jane off at her home in Hillview Road in South Croydon. In School Reunion she reveals that she was actually left behind in Aberdeen.

    • Continuity: In this episode, Eldrad says he deliberately took on a female form to reassure the Earthlings. But in part 3 when "he" emerged from the reactor with no one else present, he was surprised to see he had a female form.

    • Revealing Mistakes: When the Doctor and Sarah are setting the trap for Eldrad, the Doctor bumps a large rock to his left (audience right), which wobbles badly.

    • Camera visible: After Rokon's message, Eldrad starts stomping around, ranting and raving. As he moves to the left, a BBC camera can be seen the dark doorway behind Sarah.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Sarah Jane [ regarding Kastria ]: Is it dead? You'd think we'd have seen some bodies by now.
      The Doctor: You have.
      Sarah Jane: Eh?
      The Doctor: Well, you're made of stone, you crumble to sand. We're walking on them.
      Sarah Jane: Oh! Eurgh!

    • The Doctor: Easy old girl, easy. These temperatures must have affected the thermo-couples.
      Sarah Jane: Yes, I know how she feels. I think Kastria must be the coldest planet in the galaxy.
      The Doctor: Oh rubbish! I've been to much colder places.
      Sarah Jane: Oh, big deal. It's all right for you, I'm human. We're not so thick-skinned
      The Doctor: Where's that astro-rectifier? What did you say?
      Sarah Jane: Thick-skinned.
      The Doctor: Oh good, good.
      Sarah Jane: Here.
      The Doctor: Multi-quadroscope!
      Sarah Jane: You know, I might as well be talking to the moon. You don't even listen to me.
      The Doctor: Mergi-nut.
      Sarah Jane: What?
      The Doctor: No, no, forget the mergi-nut, I'll have the ganymede driver.
      Sarah Jane: There.
      The Doctor: Thank you.
      Sarah Jane: Oooh, I must be mad. I'm sick of being cold and wet, and hypnotized left, right and center. I'm sick of being shot at, savaged by bug-eyed monsters, never knowing if I'm coming or going, or being.
      The Doctor: Zeus plug!
      Sarah Jane: Oh, I want a bath. And I want my hair washed… I just want to feel human again.
      The Doctor: Forget the zeus plug, I'll have the sonic screwdriver
      Sarah Jane: And boy am I sick of that sonic screwdriver! I'm going to pack my goodies and I'm going home. I said, "I'm going to pack my goodies and I am going home! Hmmm! Excuse me. [storms off]
      The Doctor: What was that…? I don't know why she goes on like this. There's really nothing the matter at all.

    • Sarah Jane: Ummm. Hmmm.
      The Doctor: You're a good girl, Sarah.
      Sarah Jane: Oh, look, it's too late apologizing now. Everything's packed, I've got to go.
      The Doctor: How did you know?
      Sarah Jane: What?
      The Doctor: Well, I've had the call from Gallifrey.
      Sarah Jane: So?
      The Doctor: So I can't take you with me. You've got to go.
      Sarah Jane: Oh come on. I can't miss Gallifrey. Look, I was only joking, I didn't mean it… Hey, hey, you're not going to regenerate again, are you?
      The Doctor: Not this time. I don't know what's going to happen.
      Sarah Jane: You're playing one of your tricks on me, you're trying to make me stay.
      The Doctor: No. I've received the call, and as a Time Lord I must obey.
      Sarah Jane: Alone?
      The Doctor: Yes.
      Sarah Jane: And I'll give your love to Harry, and the Brigadier. Oh, and I can tell Professor Watson you're all right.
      The Doctor: We've landed.
      Sarah Jane: What?
      The Doctor: We've landed.
      Sarah Jane: Where?
      The Doctor: South Croydon. Hillview Road, to be exact.
      Sarah Jane: That's my home. Well, I'll be off then. Here.
      The Doctor: Thanks.
      Sarah Jane: Don't forget me.
      The Doctor: Ohh, Sarah. Don't you forget me.
      Sarah Jane: Bye, Doctor.
      The Doctor: Bye.
      Sarah Jane:You know, travel does broaden the mind.
      The Doctor: Yes. Till we meet again, Sarah.
      Sarah Jane: Umm-hmm.

    • [her last lines of the regular series]
      Sarah Jane: This isn't Hillview Road. I bet it isn't even South Croydon. Ohh, he blew it. [to a dog] Hey, hey you, he blew it!

    • The Doctor: Stop making a fuss, Sarah--you're from South Croydon!

    • King Rokon: So now you are king, as was your wish. I salute you from the dead. Hail Eldrad, King… of Nothing.

    • The Doctor: [as Eldrad falls into the abyss] The gravity of the law finally caught up to him.

    • Sarah Jane [of Eldrad]: Well I quite liked her. But I couldn't stand him.

    • The Doctor: It's an abyss.
      Sarah Jane: And a long way down, too.

  • NOTES (3)