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Reviews for The Hand of Fear

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By:The Master NM, London
Date:Tuesday 6 May 2008
Rating:   9

It was a shame to see her go, it truely was. It was a great way to end her time on the show and though it may seem that to me her departure was a sad one and a very sorry one for the show, she soon reappeared in the new series alongside the 10th doctor. I was glad to see her return and this story is a must for any Dr Who fan around. You must get this if yopu have not already, it truly stands out as one of the very best alongside Robot and the Massacre of Mandragora.

Ah, what an unemotional goodbye...

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Friday 6 May 2011
Rating:   9

The final scene of this story was the story's only weak point. In that the Doctor, who in previous stories had jumped through roofs for his best friend Sarah Jane, here just doesnt seem all that bothered that Sarah has to head back home because at this time earthling werent alllowed on Gallifrey. Rather the weakest premise to the goodbye of any of the Doctor's companions. This was a bad final story ending for such a great character as Lis as Sarah Jane Smith. She deserved a lot better. But this is my only gripe for this story.

The rest of the story is excellent. It has Lis brilliantly take over again by another malevolant alien, this time one who is crafty and pretends to be only thinking of good but is really just another villain. Judith as the first incarnation of Eldrad is exquisite. She is one of the best characters the series ever produced, her performance is engaging and sympathetic and one does feel very sad for her when shes shot with that acid spear at the climax of episode three. And then to add insult to injury shes crushed to nothing by that block before changing into her natural male form, played strongly, but maybe not quite as memorably, by Stephen Thorne. One recognises his tone straightaway. But Judith is by far the most likeable of the two. I dont know why she couldnt have been the villain at the end. Not that Im saying Steve is no good.

Tom Baker is really good in this, and his camraderie with Lis is at its hieght, aside from the woeful last scene. Glyn Houston is just perfect as the boss of the nuclear powerplant, and breathes vivid life into what could so easily have been a totally run of the mill and forgettable character. He is sharp but reasonable, and his performance bounces off the other cast members wonderfully. Even good old reliable Rex Robinson is back for the first half of this story, and again turns in another good performance which reminds me yet again of why I think hes a great actor.

The scenes shot in the nuclear power station are excellently done. This is a very good backdrop for the main part of the story. And the effect of that had growing and moving in that tupperware box are excellently achieved. If it had not of been for the sadly lacking goodbye to Sarah, then this would have certainly been one of the finest of Tom's stories. At last for the most part Lis got a decent role within a story again, like she did in her first season with Jon, and in Robot.

So altogether, this is another brillaint story, that definitely belongs in the line of classics aside from one tiny thing thats letting it down section! Very good stuff indeed.

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