BBC Four is to air The Hand of Fear, the final episode of classic Doctor Who to feature Sarah Jane Smith as companion, as a tribute to Elisabeth Sladen who died last week.
The Hand of Fear sees the Doctor (Tom Baker) and Sarah landing in a quarry, and after avoiding certain death they discover a fossilised hand that is able to move. After taking control of Sarah and using her to cause a nuclear meltdown, the hand regenerates itself, absorbing all of the radiation thus avoiding meltdown.
Now regenerated, the hand belongs to a Kastrian, Eldrad, who wishes to return to her own planet and rebuild her lost civilization. However she isn’t being entirely honest with the Doctor and Sarah…
After leaving Kastria, Sarah decides that she’s had enough of being taken for a ride by aliens, kidnapped, hypnotised and teleported, and decides that she wants a bath. Collecting her belongings together, and hoping for the Doctor to talk her round, it seems that her timing has been perfect.
The Doctor, for so long tied to Earth, has been summoned to Gallifrey, and must leave Sarah Jane behind. The Hand of Fear features an understated departure that is referred to on many levels in 2006’s School Reunion. It’s an optimistic one, and one that will leave a lump in your throat.
Reported on Twitter by the Radio Times the four-part serial (originally broadcast October 2nd – October 23rd 1976) by Bob Baker and Dave Martin will air on Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th May, with two episodes broadcast on each evening. We’ll let you know the scheduled times when they’re revealed.
(With thanks to Gareth)