Production Code: 4N
1 - 02/10/1976 18:10
2 - 09/10/1976 17:50
3 - 16/10/1976 18:05
4 - 23/10/1976 18:00
The TARDIS arrives on contemporary Earth, where Sarah comes into contact with what appears to be a fossilised human hand. This is in fact the last surviving fragment of a Kastrian called Eldrad, who was blown up in space as a punishment for attempting to wipe out his own people.
Eldrad's essence lives on in a blue-stoned ring, which the possessed Sarah removes from the hand and places on her own. She then takes the hand to the nearby Nunton nuclear research and development complex where it soaks up the radiation from the reactor core and regenerates into a complete being.
Eldrad - who, having patterned his new body on Sarah's, appears to all intents and purposes female - persuades the Doctor to take him back to Kastria where he might reclaim his heritage. There he discovers only a dead planet: the Kastrians are extinct and their race banks were destroyed by their last King, Rokon, in case Eldrad should ever return.
Furious, Eldrad, whose body has now been reconfigured into its proper form, tries to get the Doctor to return him to Earth so that he might rule there instead. The two time travellers use the Doctor's scarf to trip him into a deep crevasse.
Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor receives a summons to return to Gallifrey and, as he cannot take Sarah there, endeavours to drop her off at her home.
Sarah places a box containing the fossilised hand on the floor of a lead-lined room in the Nunton complex. She watches as it first regenerates a missing finger and then starts to move.
A technician named Driscoll takes the hand to the reactor core. The complex is evacuated as he pulls open the door and enters. In the control room, Nunton's director Professor Watson is thrown to the floor as the computers start exploding.
The Doctor and Sarah take Eldrad back to Kastria. Eldrad uses his ring to summon a lift to take them to the thermal chambers on the lower levels, but when the lift doors open a spear-like syringe thuds into his chest.
The Doctor receives a summons from Gallifrey and, realising that he cannot take Sarah there, redirects the TARDIS to Hillview Road, South Croydon, so as to return her home. Sarah reluctantly disembarks with the assertion that travel does broaden the mind. After the TARDIS has gone, she realises that she is not in Hillview Road and may not even be in South Croydon. Whistling a tune, she picks up her things and walks off, pausing only to glance up at the sky.
The Beast with Five Fingers.
The Mummy's Hand.
Carry on Screaming.
Dr Terror's House of Horrors.
Blood From The Mummy's Tomb.
The obliteration module echoes the Martians' craft in George Pal's version of War of the Worlds.
Sarah whistles 'Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Bow Wow' at the end.
Eldrad : "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!"
King Rokon : "So now you are king, as was your wish. I salute you from the dead. Hail Eldrad. King... of nothing."
Sarah Jane Smith : "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... I want a bath, I want my hair washed, I just want to feel human again... and, boy, am I sick of that sonic screwdriver. I'm going to pack my goodies and I'm going home..."
Sarah Jane Smith : "Don't forget me."
The Doctor : "Oh, Sarah... don't you forget me."
"You reckon this fella just copped it in a crash, like?"
Sarah Jane Smith : [Has a line in bad hand puns, including] "That's not as 'armless as it looks."
Kastria was a cold and inhospitable planet, ravaged by the solar winds. Eldrad says he built barriers to keep out the winds, machines to replenish the soil and atmosphere and devised a crystalline, silicon based form for the Kastrians.
It is indicated that silicon based life forms rarely occur naturally (cf. The Stones of Blood). [The origin of the proto-Kastrians is not expanded upon. Despite the fact that their culture predates the Earth, they use Latin terminology: either a translation convention, or they too had an influence on Earth history. See The Image of the Fendahl.]
When the Kastrians refused to follow Eldrad into war across the galaxy, Eldrad destroyed the protective barriers. King Rokon sentenced Eldrad to death in an Obliteration Module. The idea was to explode the module beyond the edge of the galaxy, but it was triggered early before control was lost.
On Kastria the north barrier had already ceased functioning; the south soon followed. Faced with eking out an existence in the thermal caves deep underground the Kastrians chose death and, fearing Eldrad's return, destroyed the race banks. There was a one in three million chance of Eldrad surviving.
Eldrad has heard of the Time Lords, saying that they are pledged to uphold the laws of time and to prevent alien aggression. The Doctor clarifies the latter point by saying that this only applies in cases where the indigenous population is threatened. [Rather a rose-tinted view of Time Lord activity.]
The Doctor carries an expanding cane in his pocket. The Doctor is called back to Gallifrey at the end of the story, and says he has to leave Sarah behind. Sarah seems to live in Hillview Road, South Croydon.
Outer Dome Six on the planet Kastria.
the Nunton experimental nuclear complex.
Somewhere that isn't Croydon, [a schoolday in early 1974].
For once, the TARDIS arrives in a quarry that is exactly what it appears to be: a quarry.
There is a highly effective freeze frame ending to the final episode as Sarah glances up into the sky.
If the coordinates for Kastria are mis-set the Doctor says that symbolic resonance will occur in the trachoid time crystal, and that no further landings will be possible. The extreme cold of Kastria might have affected the TARDIS' thermo couplings, which the Doctor tries to repair with an astro rectifier, a multi quantiscope and a Ganymede driver. He decides that he doesn't need the mergin nut or the Zeus plugs.
The Doctor and Sarah seem unable to comprehend clear signs of danger in the first episode (sirens, man waving, etc.)
The fly that Elisabeth Sladen swallowed in an out take can be seen walking across Glyn Houston's brow.
There's lots of bad nuclear physics on show, including the air strike against the complex and hiding behind a jeep from an exploding reactor.
Sarah's clothes make her look 'just like Andy Pandy'.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Tom Baker
Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
Abbott - David Purcell
Dr. Carter - Rex Robinson
Driscoll - Roy Boyd Also in Part Three, in the reprise from part two, but uncredited
Eldrad - Judith Paris
Elgin - John Cannon
Guard - Robin Hargrave
Intern - Renu Setna
Kastrian Eldrad - Stephen Thorne
King Rokon - Roy Skelton
Miss Jackson - Frances Pidgeon Also in Part Three, in the reprise from part two, but uncredited
Professor Watson - Glyn Houston
Zazzka - Roy Pattison
Director - Lennie Mayne