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Hand of Fear DVD commentary

ladyvivien suggested that as I've been watching The Hand of Fear DVD commentary, courtesy of amazon rentals, I should post something about it here. Which struck me as a really good idea. So, here are the highlights - where highlights is defined as the bits I remember. If anyone else has listened to it and I'm remembering wrong, feel free to correct me.

It was recorded last year, as they mention a couple of times that the episode was 29 years ago and the date at the end of the credits says 1976, in nice easy to read english numbers, rather than roman numerals :)

This ended up being quite long, so I've put it behind a cut.

Those doing the commentary were Tom Baker (all the way through), Elisabeth Sladen (eps 1-2, then second half of 4), Judith Paris - Eldrad (3 and the first half of 4), Bob Baker - one of the writers (all the way through, I think - he didn't say much) and the producer, Philip Hinchcliffe who got spliced into talk about how they achieved various technical things, like the hand moving.

Tom Baker started proceedings by introducing himself as Elisabeth Sladen, which are far as commentaries being entertaining is concerned, I thought was a good start. They then discussed how much they liked that Doctor Who always started off with plot, and we established that neither of them remembered the episode at all. Although Lis later said that as she watched it bits and pieces were coming back to her, but she still didn't know what was going to happen next most of the time. In contrast, Judith had been given a tape of the episode to watch the night before.

Unsurprisingly, Lis commented on Sarah's outfit the moment she appeared on screen :) She said that it showed how out of touch Sarah was with reality to wear something like that! And was slightly horrified by the red stripy socks when we got a good view of those. She later said, though, that she was glad she was brave enough to wear it, although I can't remember if she said why. Apparently she still gets letters about it, especially from Americans wanting to know who Andy Pandy is.

The Director, I think it was, asked Lis at the time if there was anything she wanted to do that she hadn't before and she asked for a 'look into camera', which she did when it's revealed that she's clutching the ring. It just looks a bit odd to me!

They filmed the power station stuff in a real power station. Lis didn't realise it was until they scanned her with a Geiger counter afterwards. They gave them all yellow hard hats and she took hers home and used it when she knocked down a wall in her house (then felt the need to qualify that she used it on her head, not to actually knock the wall down).

When the Doctor hypnotised her to get rid of Eldrad's influence neither Lis nor Tom could remember when he'd done that previously (and come to think of it, neither can I). Afterwards, they're walking through a corridor and Lis said she felt no-one was paying any attention to her. She wasn't supposed to have a line in there but she said 'Eldrad must live'. The Doctor's sudden 'What?' sounds a lot more like WTF? once you know that :)

Lis and Tom commented on various people who had been in it, cast and crew. Tom had a tendency to say 'he's dead' and mentioned that a lot of the people he's worked with are dead. The rest cross the road, or the river, to avoid him, including his wife :)

I wouldn't have Judith's job for all the money in the world. She had to be stitched into her costume and the rocks on her face meant that she couldn't eat, drink, go to the toilet or sit down. And she was wearing boots with ridiculous heels so she could barely walk.

Later on, when Eldrad's dying Judith noticed that her body language wasn't very consistent because sometimes she was stiff and sometimes she was bendy. A double entendre that kept Tom Baker going for a while. While he was helping her along they both spent some time pointing out where his hands were - the location of which got dodgier as the episode went on. As they were doing that scene, Tom and Lis got a fit of the giggles for no reason at all, and annoyed everyone by not being able to stop.

The filmed Lis's final scenes in the TARDIS at the beginning - Lis and Tom thought it was probably so everyone didn't get all upset about it. She asked for her final story to be an ordinary Doctor Who story, but with a bit at the end about how she's tired of it all and wants to go home. So they wrapped the story up slightly early so they could do those scenes. Then they rewrote the final scenes to get more of Tom & Lis in there, as well as being the Doctor & Sarah.

The owl is apparently called Owlie and is in Lis's loft. Afterwards, Tom had a party in his garden, with fairy lights, especially for her. They met sometime later in Regent Street, entirely by accident, and were so surprised to see each other somewhere ordinary they didn't know quite what to do!

When Sarah whistles at the end it's actually the director because Lis can't whistle. She asked for it to be ended on a freeze frame, but she didn't get to see the episode at the time (she never quite managed to tell us why because she got cut off and they went onto another subject), so she was pleased to see that she got her wish.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 3rd, 2006 07:29 pm (UTC)
Awwwwww!!! At some point, I need to do a poll about which Who dvd to buy...I love that she knocks walls down. She's so butch!

And HEY Lis Sladen, I have socks just like that! In fact, I would totally wear her outfit in this epsiode... Thanks hon!
Aug. 3rd, 2006 07:45 pm (UTC)
She's so good in the DVD commentaries I've seen, talking about lots of interesting things.

I have a feeling I used to wear outfits like that. It was seeing this episode that reminded me of being accused of dressing like Andy Pandy as a child. Which was a compliment at the time, being as I'd been reading it, therefore, by child logic, it must be cool :)
Aug. 3rd, 2006 08:02 pm (UTC)
I can't even tell you how much I want her dungarees.
Aug. 3rd, 2006 08:18 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad it's not just me. Although in my case it's mostly because I like red, and that I used to live in dungarees as a child. I'm sad now that I can't wear them any more because you really need to be fairly flat-chested to get away with it, and that definitely doesn't describe me.
Aug. 3rd, 2006 08:32 pm (UTC)
yeah, same here actually. I haven't worn dungarees for about five years now. A pretty boy stole them from me in fresher's week and never gave them back. But the stripy socks rule, oh yes.
Aug. 3rd, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC)
You are buying THIS ONE so that we can WATCH IT. YES YOU ARE. Because if I have to wait till November I might weep a little.


And in return I bring Battlestars, and Pyramids of Mars, and Leisure Hive... *looks cute*
Aug. 3rd, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC)
...maybe ;) leyenn is bringing BSG in exchange for rainbow cupcakes and Brighton Pride tomorrow. So I guess I'll get Hand of Fear...I mean, I COULD get two. They're cheaper on play.com....
Aug. 3rd, 2006 09:48 pm (UTC)
You'll have to let me know if you want me to bring any more BSG, then, because if I don't have to pack it I won't. ;) (If you get two, you could get Ark in Space and then we can watch for Lis's knickers...)
Aug. 3rd, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!!

This was a delight. I've GOT to listen to a bunch of these. I LOVE her. *happysigh*
Aug. 3rd, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC)
That's ok. She's great in the commentaries - I'm really hoping they get her to do the School Reunion one for the DVD. Except then I won't be able to resist buying it, which is not such a good thing for my bank balance.
Aug. 3rd, 2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
Someone was telling me about the commentary on "Pyramids of Mars" (which I've not yet listened to) having a bit where she says something along the lines of, "And there's me being Sarah Jane with no warm underwear...."
Aug. 3rd, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
lol. I didn't like Pyramids of Mars that much, so although I watched the DVD, I didn't bother with the commentary, because I couldn't quite bring myself to sit through it again.
Aug. 3rd, 2006 09:46 pm (UTC)
Isn't it interesting what we do and don't like? I LOVE "Pyramids of Mars"...for the glimpse of the tampered-with-future-1980, for Sarah in the gorgeous dress, for Sarah with the rifle, for the "Wouldn't want to get blamed for starting a fire; had enough that in 1666..." especially when then with DAVISON they started the Great Fire of London of 1666 in "The Visitation" and....OMG...that's listed at Wikipedia!

At any rate, I quite like the episode. I think the only Four/Sarah Jane ep I don't really care for is "Planet of Evil."
Aug. 3rd, 2006 09:55 pm (UTC)
A lot of people seem to like Pyramids of Mars. That dress is gorgeous, and Sarah with a rifle is very cool. But the story just bored me. Although it wasn't helped by me getting entirely confused by just who everyone was in it, and blokes I previously thought dead popping back up again, perfectly fine.

This is very cool that's listed at Wikipedia!

It's definitely interesting what we do and don't like because I quite liked Planet of Evil.
Aug. 3rd, 2006 09:41 pm (UTC)
See, THIS is why I have an obsession with Sarah Jane's knickers.

(what? it IS. it isn't because I'm a perv)

(ok, maybe it is, but LIS SLADEN STARTED IT)
Aug. 3rd, 2006 09:48 pm (UTC)
She definitely started it. Yep. Definitely Lis's fault.



Aug. 3rd, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
OMG, Lis is so adorkable, hee. And Tom is such a perv. I want to see this now, dammit *sulks* Thanks for writing this up!
Aug. 3rd, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
Lis is so adorkable, hee. And Tom is such a perv

This is so true. Once they pointed it out it was so clear his hand was right on Judith's breast at one point.
Aug. 3rd, 2006 11:04 pm (UTC)
"Which struck me as a really good idea."

Yep -- thanks!

Aug. 14th, 2006 12:07 pm (UTC)
Hehe, that's awesomeness. I want to get that DVD now. And lots of other DVDs.
Aug. 14th, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)
I have that problem too. Sadly, the people who make them seem to require money in exchange...
Aug. 16th, 2006 07:07 am (UTC)
Yeah, there is that problem. Can't see why they'd want it though, i mean, what do you do with money?
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )


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