Sunday, 30 October 2016

436 The Deadly Assassin: Part One

EPISODE: The Deadly Assassin: Part One
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 30 October 1976
WRITER: Robert Holmes
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
RATINGS: 11.8 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Deadly Assassin

"Predictable as ever, Doctor!"

The Doctor returns to Galifrey, plagued by visions of himself assassinating the President of the High Council of the Time Lords. His Tardis is impounded when he arrives but he evades the guards, finding his way to the gallery of the Panoptican, the grand hall of the Time Lords. The Doctor finds the gun hidden in the public video camera & pointing at the President which then fires in his hands killing the President.

That ain't a bad episode. Yes, essentially it's a lot of running around, but it's given urgency by the Doctor's vision at the start of the episode which comes to pass at the end. OK that element is basically a "homage" to The Manchurian Candidate but ....

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The scrolling text & narration at the start are a nice touch, unique in Doctor Who so far as is the absence of any companion. Tom had been saying to the production team that he didn't think he needed one so they decided to try the idea here. And right through there's a shadowy black figure in the background....

The implementation of the text leaves a little to be desired though: instead of being run straight up the screen, like early Doctor Who end credits, it's mounted on a roller which makes the top and bottom of the text a little difficult to read.

Through the millennia,
the Time Lords of Galifrey
led a life of peace and ordered
calm, protected from all
threats from lesser civilisations
by their great power.

But this was to change. Suddenly
and terribly, the Time Lords
faced the most dangerous
crisis in their long history ...

The transduction effect also caught my eye, as it's quite different from what we've usually seen. BBC taken delivery of some new effects/vision mixing equipment perhaps?

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Tiny bit of Chekov's gun in that shot of The Tardis materialising. An object in view will become important later in the story.

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Now we know from his first comment "Predictable as ever Doctor" that the hooded figure knows the Doctor. To further confuse things it appears he has an accomplice.... who inadvertently drops a rather large hint as to the identity of the evil mastermind here:

FIGURE: So, he is within the Capitol.
MAN: All his actions are exactly as you predicted, Master.
FIGURE: I know him.
MAN: He is resourceful. He will gain the Panopticon without further help.
FIGURE: Of course, he knows he is entering a trap.
(The shadowy figure looks like a corpse, dug up after several weeks in the soil. Yuk, basically.)
FIGURE: But how can he resist such a bait?
MAN: The hope of preventing an assassination.
FIGURE: Quixotic fool. He will die quickly. Make certain he dies very quickly.
vlcsnap-2015-09-19-07h50m02s36There's a certain word there I'd have been tempted to change!

The make up used there is superb, if grotesque, and almost certainly caused a few letters at the time. More were to come later in the serial....

The episode sees a huge amount of information dumped on us: The Doctor's Tardis is a type 40 tt capsule (TT = Time Travel), there's a Galifreyan CIA (the Celestial Intervention Agency) which would seem to be the body that's used the Doctor before (Terror of the Autons, Colony in Space, Curse of Peladon, The Mutants, Genesis of the Daleks & The Brain of Morbius). Galifreyan society is governed by a President of the High Council & a Chancellor, both roles which we've seen before in the Three Doctors, with a Castelan responsible for security & policing. There's at least three Time Lord clans - the broadcaster Runcible interrupts his commentary after listing three. Each clan wears a different colour of robe: scarlet & orange for the Prydonians, green for Arcalians and heliotrope for the Atraxes. In addition the President wears white and a ceremonial figure called Gold Usher wears gold. We get to meet for the first time Cardinal Borusa, one of the Doctor's teachers at the academy and he'll be a central figure in future Time Lord tales.

The main Time Lord sets and clothing feature the seal of the High Council, a design element that designer Roger Murray-Leach reuses from the Vogans in Revenge of the Cybermen.

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This is our first visit to Galifrey in some while. It first appeared in the final episode of The War Games, then briefly at the start of the Colony in Space before appearing throughout the Three Doctors. It's Galifrey's first appearance since it was named in The Time Warrior and the Doctor's first visit to his home planet since his trial in the aforementioned War Games.

Michael Bilton, playing one of the Time Lords in the dressing room was previously Charles de Teligny in The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve and recently Collins in Pyramids of Mars. Bilton's most famous fantasy appearance is probably in The Prisoner as the M.C. Councillor in It's Your Funeral. He'll be familiar to sitcom viewers as Old Ned in To The Manor Born and as Basil in Waiting for God, a part he played till his death in 1993.

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His Time Lord friend is played by John Dawson who was Fred Mumford's father in the first few series of Rentaghost. Going a little further back he's got an Out of the Unknown appearance to his name as Digby in The Fosters, one of the missing series 3 episodes, and before that two appearances in the telefantasy classic Quatermass and the Pit as a Man in Crowd in the 4th episode, The Enchanted, and as a Sightseer in the fith episode, Hob.

Maurice Quick plays the Gold Usher, the man seen assisting the President. He'd previously appeared in Spearhead from Space: Episode 4 as an Auton VIP and recently in The Masque of Mandragora: Part One as a Priest.

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Hugh Walters, Commentator Runcible, was William Shakespeare in The Chase and will return as Vogel in Revelation of the Daleks. He's got a couple of appearances in Survivors on his CV as Vic Thatcher in the first season episodes Revenge & A Beginning.

Unseen but heard in this episode is Helen Blatch, the computer Voice, who will return as Fabian in The Twin Dilemma. She'll appear in Blake's 7 as the Receptionist in Powerplay.

Yes that does look like it's TWO of our favourite supporting artists in the guards: Pat Gorman is the guard that gets shot and his mate Harry 'Aitch Fielder is playing one of the others! See blog entries passim for lists of their credits.

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Playing one of the other guards is Aitch's mate Steve Ismay. He'd previously been a BBC3 TV Crewmember in The Dæmons episode two, a Guerilla in Day of the Daleks episode three, a Stills Cameraman in Day of the Daleks episode four, a Presidential Guard in Frontier in Space episode two, a UNIT Soldier in The Time Warrior part one, an Exxilon in Death to the Daleks parts one to three, a Zombie in Death to the Daleks part four and a Guard in The Monster of Peladon part one. This is his last Doctor Who appearance but he goes onto appear in Blake's 7 as a Scavenger in Deliverance, a Guard in Dawn of the Gods, a Convict in Moloch and a Hommik in Power. He's got two Porridge appearances to his name in A Night In as a Prison Warden and Happy Release as a Gardener.

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The TV Cameraman is Brian Nolan. He was previously an IE Guard in The Invasion episode 1, a Resistance Man in The War Games episodes six to eight, a UNIT Soldier in Spearhead from Space episode 1 then again in Doctor Who and the Silurians episodes 2 & 6, a Sea Devil in The Sea Devils episodes four to six, an Earth Guard in Frontier in Space episodes two & three, a UNIT Soldier in Invasion of the Dinosaurs part one and a Guard in The Seeds of Doom parts three to five. I spot two appearances in the Grange Hill spin-off Tucker's Luck, in one of which he played Tucker Jenkins' Dad!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

435 The Hand of Fear: Part Four

EPISODE: The Hand of Fear: Part Four
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 23 October 1976
WRITER: Bob Baker & Dave Martin
DIRECTOR: Lennie Mayne
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
RATINGS: 12 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Hand Of Fear

"So now you are King, as was your wish. I salute you from the dead. Hail, Eldrad, King of nothing!"

The deteriorating Eldrad is taken by the Doctor to a regeneration chamber where she is crushed by a stone block, another trap left by King Rokkon. However Eldrad then emerges from a chamber restored to his true form. They find their way to the Kastrian race banks where Eldrad is confronted by a message from King Rokkon who tells him that the Kastrians destroyed themselves and their race bank. The Doctor & Sarah attempt to escape, tripping Eldrad over the Doctor's scarf who falls to his doom down a crevasse. Returning to the TARDIS the Doctor receives a summons to Galifrey forcing him to return Sarah to Earth where he bids goodbye to her.

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A game of thirds.

The first 9 minutes of the episode give us yet another airing, thankfully briefly, of the "get past the traps to get to your destination" storyline! I didn't like it in Death to the Daleks, I didn't like it in Pyramids of Mars and I don't like it here! No need to keep rehashing the same idea!

Onto the Next 9 minutes....

Ah we love Stephen Thorne, previously Azal in The Dæmons and Omega in The Three Doctors, but his final Doctor Who appearance as the Kastrian Eldrad isn't a touch on Judith Paris' Female Eldrad and I'm afraid the scenes on Kastria all get a bit silly once he shows up.

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The rock Eldrad is a decent enough design but the female Eldrad just looked so much better in comparison.

Which brings us onto an important question we need to sort out, which thankfully Sarah asks for us.

SARAH: Why is she a he?
ELDRAD: I had to assume a form that would be will be acceptable to the primitives of your planet.
DOCTOR: Ah. And so you modelled yourself on the first primitive you came in contact. He modelled himself on you.
SARAH: Oh, thanks.
It's a nice idea but then proper Eldrad turns into a loud shouty megalomaniac, some distance from the earlier portrayol.
ELDRAD: They are fools. I gave them this. I designed it, programmed it to recognise my cell pattern, and they thought they could use it to destroy me. Bwahhahaha. It is incapable of destroying me, no matter what you or they or anyone else might do. I controlled it. And now I shall control all Kastria, my creation!
DOCTOR: What about your enemies?
ELDRAD: I shall brush them aside, weak and miserable creatures. What can they do in their decrepitude against the might of Eldrad!
And the truth emerges about the lies Eldrad has been weavingP
DOCTOR: Who is Rokon?
ELDRAD: The so-called King of Kastria. It was he who ordered my obliteration. Me, Eldrad, architect of the barriers! They thought they could destroy me, so I destroyed the barriers.
DOCTOR: You destroyed the barriers?
DOCTOR: So all that business of alien invaders was a lie?
ELDRAD: A necessary lie. A means to an end.
DOCTOR: Why should Rokon want to destroy you in the first place?
ELDRAD: Because he knew I would take his place. I was young and strong, he was weak and old. He wasn't fit to rule Kastria. And he had no appetite for conquest.
DOCTOR: Ah. But you do.
ELDRAD: Yes. I wanted Kastrians to be masters of the galaxy. And now, with me at their head, nothing shall stop us! Every planet within range of our starships shall fall to the power of Eldrad. And now, Doctor, I have an audience with my king. King? Hahahaha!
Full on mad villain laugh to end with there!

Fortunately King Rokkon has more presence of mind that Eldrad has given him credit for:

ROKON: Eldrad! After the premature detonation of the module we knew there was a remote possibility that one day you would return.
ELDRAD: Yes, I'm here.
ROKON: But let me tell you. After you destroyed the barriers, after we knew for certain that life on the surface was finished, and the alternative was a miserable subterranean existence, the Kastrian race chose final oblivion. And, because they feared you might return to wage eternal war throughout the galaxy, they elected also to destroy the race banks.
ELDRAD: Traitor! I gave them life!
ROKON: So now you are King, as was your wish. I salute you from the dead. Hail, Eldrad, King of nothing.
We heard him briefly in episode one but now making his last appearance in front of the camera in Doctor Who is Roy Skelton, heavily made up as Kastrian King Rokon, effectively a golden version of Eldrad. You've seen Skelton previously in Colony in Space as Norton, Planet of the Daleks as Wester, The Green Death as James and The Android Invasion as Chedaki. Meanwhile he's been heard in The Ark doing Monoid voices, The Tenth Planet & The Wheel in Space as Cybermen voices, The Ice Warriors as the Computer voice & The Krotons as the Kroton voices. He's been the voice of the Daleks in The Evil of the Daleks, Planet of the Daleks & Genesis of the Daleks and will return to this role in Destiny of the Daleks, The Five Doctors, Revelation of the Daleks & Remembrance of the Daleks missing only Resurrection of the Daleks.

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It's a pretty drastic solution to their problem from Rokkon and the Kastrians. Eldrad, naturally doesn't take it well.

SARAH: I wouldn't want to live down here, and I wouldn't want him as a leader.
ELDRAD: Yes, I shall be King. The Earth people. Very backward and primitive, but they have the necessary aggression. I shall rule them! I shall be their god! And you will take me back!
DOCTOR: Oh, no. That's not in the contract. A one-way ticket only. My obligation to you is over. You're in your own world now.
He's not happy about that either, pursuing the Doctor and Sarah as they make their escape. Unfortunately that then leads to he demise and the less said about the stepping over the Doctor's scarf and *then* tripping over and falling down the crevasse the better!

We've mention the last appearance of Stephen Thorne and the last in camera appearance of Roy Skelton already but this episode is also a last Doctor Who directing job for Lennie Mayne. A keen sailor, he died the following year at the age of 50 in a boating accident.

But what people really remember about this episode is departure of Sarah Jane Smith/Elizabeth Sladen. As send off's go hers is a particularly good one with a protracted scene between her & the Doctor in the Tardis making up most of the last seven minutes of the episode.

SARAH: I'll never be warm again. Never, ever, ever.
DOCTOR: No, we're well out of that. Goodbye, Kastria.
SARAH: Do you think that Eldrad, well, do you think that he really is dead?
DOCTOR: Oh, I doubt it. Very difficult to kill.
SARAH: Well, I quite liked her, but I couldn't stand him.
DOCTOR: Whoa, easy, old girl, easy. These temperatures must have affected the thermo-couplings.
SARAH: Yes, I know how she feels. I think Kastria must be the coldest planet in the galaxy.
DOCTOR: Oh, rubbish. I've been to much colder places.
SARAH: Oh, big deal. It's all right for you. I'm human. We're not so thick-skinned.
DOCTOR: Where's that astro-rectifier? What did you say?
SARAH: Thick-skinned.
DOCTOR: Oh, good, good.
SARAH: Here.
DOCTOR: Multi-quantiscope.
SARAH: You know, I might as well be talking to the moon. You don't even listen to me.
DOCTOR: Mergin nut.
SARAH: What?
DOCTOR: No, no, forget the mergin nut. I'll have the ganymede driver.
SARAH: There.
DOCTOR: Thank you.
SARAH: Oh, 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.
DOCTOR: Zeus plug.
SARAH: Oh, I want a bath. I want my hair washed. I just want to feel human again.
DOCTOR: Forget the zeus plug. I'll have the sonic screwdriver.
SARAH: Oh, 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! Right! Excuse me!
DOCTOR: What was that you? I don't know why she goes on like this. There's really nothing the matter at all.

DOCTOR: The call. The call from Gallifrey. Gallifrey. After all this time, Gallifrey. I can't take Sarah to Gallifrey. Must get her back home. Must reset the coordinates. South Croydon.

SARAH: Ahem!
DOCTOR: You're a good girl, Sarah.
SARAH: Oh, look, it's too late apologising now. Everything's packed. I've got to go.
DOCTOR: What? How did you know?
SARAH: What?
DOCTOR: I've had the call from Gallifrey.
DOCTOR: So I can't take you with me. You've got to go.
SARAH: 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?
DOCTOR: Not this time. I don't know what's going to happen.
SARAH: You're playing one of your jokes on me, just trying to make me stay.
DOCTOR: No. I've received the call, and as a Time Lord I must obey.
SARAH: Alone?
(The Tardis materialises.)
SARAH: And I'll give your love to Harry and the Brigadier. Oh, and I can tell Professor Watson that you're all right.
DOCTOR: We've landed, Sarah.
SARAH: What?
DOCTOR: We've landed.
SARAH: Where?
DOCTOR: South Croydon. Hillview Road, to be exact.
SARAH: That's my home. Well, I'll be off then. Here.
(She gives him his coat back.)
DOCTOR: Thanks.
SARAH: Don't forget me.
DOCTOR: Oh, Sarah. Don't you forget me.
SARAH: Bye, Doctor. You know, travel does broaden the mind.
DOCTOR: Yes. Till we meet again, Sarah.

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This is followed by Sarah standing in the street as the Tardis materialises and realising that, yet again, the Doctor has failed to bring her home.

SARAH: This isn't Hillview Road. I bet it isn't even South Croydon. Oh. He blew it.
SARAH: Hey, hey. You. He blew it.

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He was aiming for South Croydon but years later, in the new series episode School Reunion, it would be claimed that the Tardis had actually landed in Aberdeen! The filming took place at neither location, instead being recorded at Stokefield Close in Thornbury, Gloucestershire near the other locations used in the story.

As Sarah leaves she's whistling the tune to Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow Wow..... well I say she is, but Elizabeth Sladen couldn't whistle the tune and the noise is instead provided by director Lennie Mayne in the closing moments of his final episode. The tune is used in response to the dog that Sarah's met on the street but it's actually a little prophetic: in 1981 Elizabeth Sladen would return as Sarah Jane Smith in K-9 and Company, twinned with the Doctor's robot dog. She would return again in 1983's celebration story, the Five Doctors, reunited with Jon Pertwee whom she'd later star opposite in two Doctor Who radio series. During the 80s and 90s Elizabeth Sladen mainly concentrated on the upbringing of her daughter but in 2006 she was lured back to play Sarah Jane Smith in the new series episode School Reunion, which led to several more appearances and a spin off series The Sarah Jane Adventures which only ended when Elizabeth Sladen was taken ill with cancer, the actress passing away on 19th April 2011 leaving her husband, actor Brian Miller and daughter Sadie Miller who has followed both parents into the acting profession.

On the 9 & 10 May 2011 The Hand of Fear was repeated on BBC4 as a tribute to Elizabeth Sladen.

Hand of Fear was novelised by Terrance Dicks. It's the start of a run of 11 stories all novelised by Terrance Dicks, the most consecutive stories produced by the same author.

Hand of Fear's video release is a matter of some controversy to Doctor Who fans. It had an extremely limited video release in 1996 but just two weeks after it was issued all existing Doctor Who videos were withdrawn from sale ahead of the forthcoming Paul McGann TV Movie and Hand of Fear never returned for sale at one point getting a staggering price on the second hand market.

Fortunately it was released on DVD early in 2006, and later sent out by 2 Entertain as compensation to those who had to return their Invisible Enemy DVDs due to an authoring fault on that set.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

434 The Hand of Fear: Part Three

EPISODE: The Hand of Fear: Part Three
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 16 October 1976
WRITER: Bob Baker & Dave Martin
DIRECTOR: Lennie Mayne
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
RATINGS: 11.1 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Hand Of Fear

"Eldrad LIVES!"

The anticipated explosion fails to occur. The Doctor works out that the hand is in the reactor absorbing all the energy. Professor Watson has the RAF conduct a nuclear strike on the plant but the missiles have no effect, dealt with by whatever is in the reactor. The Doctor and Sarah re-enter the building and meet Eldrad, a woman made from rock & gem stones. she negotiates with the Doctor who agrees to take her to Kastria. However on their arrival Eldrad is shot by an automatic defence mechanism.

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Decent episode here. We get some fab interaction between the Doctor and Sarah as Watson's plan to blow up the power complex fails to come off:

WATSON: They fired the missiles. What happened?
SARAH: Yeah, what happened? We saw them fired.
DOCTOR: They've been neutralised in some way.
DOCTOR: Professor Watson, any being that can live, let alone thrive, inside a nuclear pile, is hardly likely to be deterred by a few primitive missiles.
WATSON: But they're the most powerful missiles we have.
DOCTOR: On your standards, perhaps. I think we should try much older weapons.
SARAH: Like?
DOCTOR: Speech. Diplomacy?
DOCTOR: Conversation? Come on, driver, let's go.

DOCTOR: Right, you stay here. I'll go on. Shouldn't take long, one way or the other.
SARAH: Good. Let's go then.
DOCTOR: Not you. You stay with Professor Watson.
(Watson grabs Sarah as she starts to follow the Doctor.)
WATSON: I think you'd better do as he says this time.
SARAH: Yeah. Yeah, you're right. I should. But I'm not going to!

SARAH: I worry about you. Look, anyway, who found that thing?
DOCTOR: You did.
(They walk on.)
SARAH: Right. So, I'm involved. It could have been me, not Driscoll, and besides, I'm from Earth and you're not.
DOCTOR: That's true.
SARAH: Exactly.
DOCTOR: Yes, but
SARAH: Oh, but what?
DOCTOR: I worry about you.
SARAH: So, be careful.
DOCTOR: We'll both be careful.
SARAH: Fine.

Good thing too: the consequence of a Nuclear missile striking a nuclear power plant are too horrible to think of. You do wonder about them cowering behind a jeep about a mile or so away: like that's going to offer any protection!

Then there's the superb Eldrad, finally putting in an appearance, played by Judith Paris who puts in a top performance here. She's helped by a fabulous costume/make up design. This is the first glimpse of what a Kastrian might look like: the ones we saw in episode one were all shrouded in thermal gear. However there is a hint that this isn't what all Kastrians look like when Eldrad catches sight of herself in the mirrored walls of the reactor room:

ELDRAD: What is this place? Where have I come to? Can this be the form of the creatures who have found me and who now seek to destroy me? No matter. They shall fail, as the obliteration has failed. Strange form or not, Eldrad lives, and shall again rule Kastria!
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Female villains are rare in Doctor Who. Liz, who loves this story, and I had a think and we could only come up with the Drahvians (Galaxy Four), Kaftan (Tomb of the Cybermen), Queen Galia (Time Monster) Miss Winters (Robot) and the Zygon Sister Lamont (Terror of the Zygons) that appeared on screen but noted that there should have been one in Colony in Space.

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The Power Complex here is named Nunton but that's pretty close to the name Nuton used for the power complex Bob Baker & Dave Martin's earlier Doctor Who story the Claws of Axos. Indeed it seems as if during this story's troubled development it was meant to be the location seen in the earlier story. Hand of Fear was originally intended as the six part story which would close the 13th season and kill off the Brigadier. All along it featured Hands wandering about by themselves inspired by the films The Hands of Orlac and The Beast with Five Fingers. Problems with the story led to it being shelved and replaced by the Seeds of Doom. When Douglas Camfield's French Foreign Legion story fell through, which was meant to kill of Sarah, Hand of Fear was brought back into service, slimmed down to four parts and heavily modified by the authors.

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The location for the Nunton complex is Oldbury Power Station near Thornbury, close to where Bob Baker & Dave Martin lived.

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This is it's only Doctor who appearance but it's been used three times in Blake's 7: in Time Squad as the Federation complex, in Redemption as the Spaceworld interiors and in Killer as the Q-base exterior and tunnel - see The Blake's 7 Location Guide for more on it's appearances there.

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Oldbury is just four miles down the road from Berkeley Power Station, which we'll shortly see used in Pirate Planet. We get to see the quarry in which the Tardis arrived in this episode too, albeit briefly, and that's not too far away either, filmed at Slickstone Quarry in Gloucestershire.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

433 The Hand of Fear: Part Two

EPISODE: The Hand of Fear: Part Two
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 09 October 1976
WRITER: Bob Baker & Dave Martin
DIRECTOR: Lennie Mayne
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
RATINGS: 10.2 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Hand Of Fear

"Eldrad MUST live!"

The alarm sounds allowing The Doctor & Dr Carter to evade the guards holding them. Reactor head Professor Watson orders the reactor shut down. Watson, and then the Doctor, tries to speak to Sarah but all she says is "Eldrad must live", which echoes round the mind of the controlled Dr Carter. The Doctor is attacked by Dr Carter on his way to the reactor, with Carter claiming "Eldrad must Live" but he slips and falls to his death. The Doctor repeats the phrase to gain the possessed Sarah's confidence then overpowers her removing he from the reactor room. In the process she drops the ring she's been holding. Sarah is tested and found to be free of radiation. In the reactor the hand crawls towards the source of the radiation. A technician, Driscoll, is sent to retrieve it and places it in a container. He also finds the ring and becomes possessed like Sarah was. The Doctor asks for the ring but Driscoll denies having seen it. The Doctor hypnotises Sarah and asks her to tell him what was happening. In the decontamination area the hand tries to escape from where it has been stored. Driscoll retrieves the hand and returns it to the reactor, pursued by the Doctor & Sarah. Driscoll sets the reactor to overload causing Watson to evacuate the complex. Driscoll opens the reactor up and carries the hand in.....

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Lots of running around and shouting "Eldrad must live!" but it's a decent fast moving episode.

DOCTOR: Sarah.
SARAH: Hmm? What?
DOCTOR: Sit down.
SARAH: What?
DOCTOR: Now listen. I want you to concentrate.
SARAH: Oh no, that's not fair. Not again.
(Sarah goes straight into a trance.)
DOCTOR: Now, Sarah. Eldrad. Tell me about Eldrad.

DOCTOR: But why, Sarah? Come on, why? Tell me why.
SARAH: Eldrad must live. We must obey.
DOCTOR: Who are we, Sarah?
SARAH: We who've seen the light of Kastria.
DOCTOR: Who saw the light? Did Carter see the light?
(Sarah nods.)
SARAH: Eldrad must live.

DOCTOR: Tell me more, Sarah.
SARAH: No more.
DOCTOR: Tell me more.
SARAH: No more. Eldrad must live.
DOCTOR: Sarah. There's no need to obey the will of Eldrad. Put him out of your mind. You're free of him.
SARAH: I'm free of him.

Oddly just one character from the first episode, Doctor Carter, appears in this one and he gets bumped off half way through! So we get introduced to a whole bunch of new characters and actors. Glyn Houston plays Professor Watson: he'll be back as Colonel Ben Wolsey in The Awakening.
WATSON: Hello, Susie? Hello, darling. Is mummy there? Oh, did you? Well, your headmistress must have been very pleased. No, no, super. Super. Get mummy for me, would you? Hello, love. Well, it's just to let you know I've got to stay on at the Complex for a while. Yes, it looks like it. No, no, there isn't anything wrong, it's just that, well, I thought I'd let you know where I was.

WATSON: Goodbye. And kiss the children for me, would you? Yes. Yes, goodbye.

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Frances Pidgeon is Miss Jackson. She was previously in The Monster of Peladon as an uncredited handmaiden. She was the wife of Lennie Mayne, the director of both this story and Monster of Peladon.

Technician Elgin is played by John Cannon. He'd been in Monster of Peladon too as a Miner in part two & three. He returns as a Passer by in The Talons of Weng-Chiang part two, a Trog in Underworld parts two to four, a Technican in The Pirate Planet parts one to three, a Guard in The Armageddon Factor part one, his only other credited role, a Guard in The Creature from the Pit part one, the executioner in Shada, an Extra in Time-Flight part one, Striker's Helmsman in Enlightenment part one & two and Sir Raulf Fitzwilliam's 1st Servant in The King's Demons part one. Blake's 7 include a Federation Trooper in Project Avalon, Cevedic's Heavy in Gambit, a Labourer in The Harvest of Kairos and a Federation Trooper in Children of Auron while he's got a Moonbase 3 appearance as a Technician in Castor and Pollux. He's got a Porridge to his name as a Prison Inmate in the superb A Night In as well as an appearance in The Empire Strikes Back as a Holographic Imperial Officer.

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Playing the curly haired Driscoll is Roy Boyd. Science fiction fans probably won't recognise him from his other BBC science fiction appearance as the bald Zukan in Warlord, the penultimate episode of Blake's 7.

As you recall the IMDB entry for the first episode episode listed David Cleeve supposedly as an uncredited Radation Suit Man. The production paperwork didn't back this up and indicated that he is in fact in this episode which would make sense. He'd previously been a UNIT Soldier in The Time Warrior part one, an Ice Warrior in The Monster of Peladon part five, and a Thal Soldier/Guard in Genesis of the Daleks parts one, two and four. He'll return as An Other in The Sun Makers part one and a Deon Guard in Meglos part one.

The production paperwork and IMDB are in agreement that Barry Summerford is in this episode, IMDB thinks he's a security guard. He'd already been a Golden Age Man in Invasion of the Dinosaurs part six, an Elite Guard in Genesis of the Daleks, a Vogan in Revenge of the Cybermen part one, Private Thurston in Terror of the Zygons part two and a UNIT Communications Soldier in The Seeds of Doom part six, He'll be back as a Steaming Audience Member in The Sun Makers part four, a Shrieve in The Ribos Operation part four, a Guard in The Armageddon Factor part one, another Guard in The Creature from the Pit part one and a Foster in The Keeper of Traken part one. His Blake's 7 include a Federation Trooper in The Way Back, a Rebel in Pressure Point, a Rebel in Voice from the Past, a Customer / Gambler in Gambit, a Federation Commando in Volcano, a Monster in Dawn of the Gods and Tando in Blake making him one of the four actors to appear in both the first and last episodes. He was also in the Castor and Pollux episode of Moonbase 3 as a Technician and played the same role in a later episode, View of a Dead Planet.

The phrase "Eldrad must live!" is used repeatedly throughout the story and starts a run of catchphrases in Bob Baker & Dave Martin stories. We'll hear that "Contact has been made!" in Invisible Enemy and then in Underworld we'll repeatedly hear that "The Quest is the Quest!"

Liz walked in while I was watching part 1, took one look a the screen and said "Eldrad must live!" If I know my readership "Eldrad Must Live" comments will be covering episode 1 here, on Facebook and on the TMUK Forum already.......

Curiously you won't hear the phrase again after this episode! I checked the script, hoping to use it as the quote at the top of the episode for all four parts and was devastated to discover it's only in the first two!

The word Fear doesn't show up that many times in the title of Doctor Who stories. It's got two appearances as a First Doctor episode title: An Unearthly Child 3: The Forest of Fear and The Reign of Terror 1: A Land of Fear. After that it's used just twice in an overall story title in The Web of Fear then finally here in The Hand of Fear.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

432 The Hand of Fear: Part One

EPISODE: The Hand of Fear: Part One
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 02 October 1976
WRITER: Bob Baker & Dave Martin
DIRECTOR: Lennie Mayne
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Philip Hinchcliffe
RATINGS: 10.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Hand Of Fear

"Eldrad must live!"

On the dying planet Kastria the traitor Eldrad is sentenced to death and fired into space in a ship which is destroyed. Materialising in a quarry on Earth, the Doctor & Sarah are caught in an explosion and Sarah is trapped under rubble where she finds a stone hand with a ring and a missing finger which she won't let go of. She & the Doctor are taken to a local hospital. The recovered Doctor sees how Sarah is then visits Doctor Carter in the path lab who is analysing the hand. Meanwhile the ring glows and revives Sarah. The Doctor borrows virology's electron microscope to further examine the hand. He dates it by the strata of rock that it was buried in and returns to the quarry. Sarah finds her way to the pathology lab, shooting Dr Carter with an energy bolt and proclaiming that "Eldrad must live!" She places the hand in a container and absconds with it. Examining the scene the Doctor thinks the hand may have come from a prehistoric spaceship crash. When Carter revives he tells the Doctor what has happened and, under the same influence as Sarah, enquires if the Doctor has found anything. They find a sample from the machine has changed, absorbing radiation from the machine analysing it. Sarah goes to the nearby Nunton nuclear power complex, blasting a guard with energy from the ring. She walks straight into the main nuclear reactor carrying the hand which feeds on the radiation, regrowing it's missing finger and starting to move.

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Ah a companion possessed by an evil entity. Have we done this before? Didn't Susan get sort of possessed a few times in Edge of Destruction & The Sensorites? Mind you Sarah was obviously possessed by something before this story started, nobody in their right mind would wear an outfit as silly as hers. It's even referred to in the dialogue as "pink striped overalls just like Andy Pandy" Or it could just be stupidity, after all why didn't her and the Doctor do a runner straight back to the Tardis as soon as they heard the siren?

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Slickstones Quarry as a location does have the advantage of being an actual quarry I suppose rather than masquerading as an alien planet. It's happened before, in both Terror of the Autons and Seeds of Doom but there the locations were incidental and could have been anywhere: here it's central to the plot. I don't know quite what director Lennie Mayne has been up to since we last saw him for Monster of Peladon but there's some really nice camera work going on here:

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Lots of close ups of the possessed Sarah's face.

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That mirror shot, as she walks towards the security gates, is lovely.

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And the low angles used to shoot Dr Carter & the Doctor in the car.

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The inside of the Power Station looks fabulous, lots of long and high shots emphasising it's size.

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We welcome back Rex Robinson in this episode as Dr. Carter. He's previously been Dr. Tyler in The Three Doctors and Gebek in The Monster of Peladon. All three of his appearances were directed by Lennie Mayne. You can here him interviewed in Toby Hadoke's Who's Round 45 alongside his wife, actress Patricia Prior who was also in The Three Doctors as Mrs. Ollis.

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Also returning is Roy Pattison, as Zazzka, the Kastrian technician. He was previously a Draconian Space Pilot in Frontier in Space.

Peter Roy is Technic Obarl, the dead Kastrian in the introduction. He was a Greek Soldier in Temple of Secrets & Death of a Spy, the 1st and third episodes of The Myth Makers, an Extra in The Highlanders episode 1, an Airport Police Sergeant in The Faceless Ones episode 1, a UNIT / Bunker Man in The Invasion episode 1, a Guard in The Seeds of Death episode one, a Space Guard in The Space Pirates episode 1 and an uncredited extra in Doctor Who and the Silurians episode 6. He'll be back as a Guard in The Face of Evil part one, an Extra in The Sun Makers part one, a Gallifreyan Guard in The Invasion of Time part one, a Gracht Guard in The Androids of Tara part one, a Guard in The Armageddon Factor part one, a Policeman in Logopolis part one, an Ambulance Man in Castrovalva part one, a Man in Market in Snakedance part one and a Walk on in Resurrection of the Daleks part one. Like many extras at this time he has Blake's 7 form too appearing as a Citizen / Prisoner in The Way Back & Space Fall, an Alta Guard in Redemption, an Albian Rebel in Countdown and a Federation Trooper / Rebel in Rumours of Death. In the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy he plays the Limousine Chauffeur in episode 2. He's got a notable role in the James Bond film Thunderball where he played British Secret Agent 006. He has a less obvious appearance in Return of the Jedi as Major Olander Brit but that hasn't stopped the character from getting a Wookipedia page!

The Doctor at the hospital, credited as an Intern, is played by Renu Setna. This is a very rare role for an Asian actor of Indian/Pakistani extraction in Doctor Who and I'm struggling to think of any others before this.

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Playing Abbott, the quarry foreman, is David Purcell. I know nothing about him but doesn't he look like the comedian Steve Coogan!

It's here that the IMDB entry for this episode starts running into trouble.

David Cleeve is supposedly an uncredited Radiation Suit Man in this episode. I can't recall seeing ANYONE wearing a radiation suit in this episode but if I recall correctly there is at least one in the next episode. The production paperwork would back this up listing Cleeve as not appearing in this episode but being present in the second one.

Then Derek Suthern is listed as the Path Lab Technician. This time the production paperwork does back up there being Derek Suthern working on this episode. I've watched the hospital scenes through a few times and can't spot a Path Lab technician anywhere. In fact apart from Doctor Carter and the Intern we see a total of one other staff member in the hospital and she definitely is played by a man! So where he is is a mystery. It's Suthern's first Who credit and IMDB thinks he returns as a Mentiad in The Pirate Planet parts one, three & four, a Gracht Guard in The Androids of Tara part one, a Mute in The Armageddon Factor part one, a Guard in The Creature from the Pit part one, a Mandrel in Nightmare of Eden part one, a Guard in The Horns of Nimon part one, a Krarg in Shada, an Argolin Guide in The Leisure Hive part one, the ill fated PC Davis in Logopolis part one, a Cricketer in Black Orchid part one and a Man in Market in Snakedance part one. He can also be found in Blake's 7 as a Federation Trooper in The Way Back, a Scavenger in Deliverance, a Federation Trooper in Trial & Countdown, a Customer / Gambler in Gambit, a Hommik Warrior in Power and a Space Princess Guard / Passenger in Gold. I also spot not one but two episodes of Fawlty Towers on his CV playing a Hotel Guest in The Germans & The Psychiatrist..... Having consulted with m'learned colleagues we think he IS a Path Lab technician, alongside John Deleiu who was a Muto in Genesis of the Daleks, but their part delivering the electron microscope is mostly excised from the final version.

Then there's the power plant worker that Sarah blasts with her ring. He even gets a line in before he's blasted so should be credited! M'learned colleagues again look at the paperwork and suggest it's either Bob Peters or Alan Evans neither of whom I can find an IMDB page for!

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Which just leaves the nurse..... who IMDB offers no credit for at all! The Production paperwork however does list a female walk on for the studio sequences: Libby Ritchie who hasn't got an IMDB page!