Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The Hand of Fear is an unusual story in that the main setting and its characters keep changing from episode to episode. When watching Episode One, you get the impression that the hospital that Sarah is staying at and Dr. Carter will feature prominently throughout the story, especially with noted guest actor Rex Robinson (a common casting choice of director Lennie Mayne's) playing the role of Carter. But no - the hospital is dispensed with, and Carter tumbles over the side of a staircase in an impressive stunt sequence in Episode Two.
Episode Two introduces us properly to Professor Watson and the Nunton Power Complex that he's in charge of (what a shame they couldn't use Nuton as a name again, as it would have tied in nicely with the same power plant in The Claws of Axos). Watson is made a much bigger and better character than he ever could have been thanks to the talents of Glyn Houston. Watson's phone call to his wife at home, calmly letting her know that he'll be a little late coming home tonight, while in reality the power plant is likely to explode, is a scene that is completely unnecessary to the plot, but is essentially in making us care about Watson as a character.
It's a good thing that this approach was taken, as the cliffhanger to this episode is not of The Doctor or Sarah in peril, or of Eldrad being revealed in her true form, but it's of the control room in which Watson is working in exploding, sending the Professor flying across the room to land unconscious on the floor. Seldom before has the plight of a supporting character been given so much attention, but such is the sympathy we feel for Watson, thanks to Glyn Houston's performance, that this attention is justified.
Posted by Steven at 12:12 PM