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TARDIS Index File

Changing Time

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Changing Time
Changing Time
Subject: The making of The Hand of Fear and the relationship between the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith
Original to the DVD: The Hand of Fear
Runtime: 50'
Key crew
Interviewees: Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, Bob Baker, Terrance Dicks, Philip Hinchcliffe, Glyn Houston, Barry Letts, Colin Mapson, Rex Robinson, Stephen Thorne
Producer: Steve Broster
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Changing Time was a 2|entertain DVD documentary about the making of the Doctor Who serial The Hand of Fear. As it was Sarah Jane Smith's final classic story, it also looked at her relationship with the Doctor. It was divided into chapters. Each covered a subject.

Prologue - Beginnings Edit

Glyn Houston and Rex Robinson explained how they became actors. After leaving the army, Houston took up acting and got leading roles because famous actors did not want to do television.

Bob Baker told of how he was approached by Dave Martin, who requested they write a story together. Elisabeth Sladen recounted her pre-Doctor Who career. Colin Mapson was on an attachment to Doctor Who as a visual effects designer for nine months before he was contracted to begin work.

Casting Sarah Jane Edit

An interview was required for candidates auditioning for the part of Sarah Jane. Barry Letts conducted the interviews and asked anyone back who he thought would be a good contender for the part. Auditions for the part took place in Threshold House, Shepherds Bush. Elisabeth Sladen attended after being called back. They were required to perform a scene specially written by Letts.

Stephen Thorne performer opposite each candidate. Letts was impressed by Sladen's ability to portray both fear and bravery at the same time. After Sladen's aution, Jon Pertwee greeted her and signalled his approval to Letts' decision to give her the part.

Changing Doctors Edit

Pertwee was open to Sladen about his decision to leave. During the filming of Planet of the Spiders, Pertwee distanced himself from the other. Sladen suggested he didn't want to not be the Doctor any more. Letts announced that he was looking for a new Doctor. Bill Slater suggested Tom Baker as the two had worked together before Who. At the time, Baker was finding it hard to get work and so was deeply worried. It was at this time that he got the part of the Fourth Doctor. Sladen explained the awkwardness of the regeneration scene and Baker also voiced his thoughts on the transition. Baker recalled how he would tease Pertwee by pretending he had turned down large sums of money.

Playing the Doctor Edit

Terrance Dicks explained how he emphasised the Doctor's eccentricity. Philip Hinchcliffe told of how his role as a Doctor Who producer was instantly recognisable due to the show being very well known.

A Special Relationship Edit

Baker and Sladen were friendly in studio but only met once outside during their time on Who. After leaving the show they remained friends. Sladen commented on how little Baker had changed since working on the show.

The Hand of Fear Edit

Douglas Camfield approached Hinchcliffe with a story in which the Doctor met the Foreign Legion. Sarah Jane was to die at the end but Hinchcliffe was not happy with the story and so it was not commissioned. Sladen left at a time she believed her character to be popular. She wanted to leave people wanting more, rather than boring them. The Hand of Fear, a script already in existence, was chosen for Sladen's swansong. Sladen did not want to be married or killed off.

On Location Edit

A look at the setting of The Hand of Fear. Oldbury Nuclear Power Station was used for location filming. The cast recall their experiences and filming on set.

In Studio Edit

Baker and Sladen commented on the performance of Glyn Houston, in particular how he made his character (Watson) interesting. Mapson explained his worries as to making the hand move. He told of how colour separation overlay was used to create the effect.

Breaking Apart Edit

Sladen gave her thoughts on Sarah's final scene. She wasn't happy with it and guessed the writers did not want it to be too sloppy. Baker explained how he portrayed the Doctor in the same scene.

Epilogue - Endings Edit

Lennie Mayne did the whistling for Sarah Jane as she walks away at the end. Sladen herself could not whistle.

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