Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



Doctor Who and the Hand of Fear was a novelisation based on the 1976 television serial The Hand of Fear.

Publisher's summary[]

The Tardis lands in England, and Sarah, the Fourth Doctor's companion, looks forward to going home.

A freak accident in a quarry leaves the unconscious Sarah clutching an enormous stone Hand.

The Hand is the only surviving remnant of Eldrad, an alien super-being expelled from his planet, Kastria – and it has the power to control the human mind. Using Sarah as its instrument, the Hand goes in search of the atomic energy it needs to regenerate Eldrad's body.

Eldrad is determined to return to Kastria and punish his enemies. The Doctor and Sarah are caught up in the terrifying conclusion of a drama of betrayal and revenge that began millions of years ago.

Chapter titles[]

  • Prologue
  1. The Fossil
  2. The Ring of Power
  3. Power Source
  4. The Will of Eldrad
  5. Eldrad Must Live
  6. Countdown
  7. Blow-up
  8. Counterstrike
  9. The Return of Eldrad
  10. Return to Kastria
  11. The Caves of Kastria
  12. Eldrad Reborn
  13. Eldrad's Destiny
  14. Sarah's Farewell

Deviations from televised story[]

  • Abbott, the foreman, is given the first name of Tom.
  • Professor Watson is given the first name of Owen.
  • Technic Obarl is renamed Oban.
  • Rokon instructs Zazzka to give control of the capsule to him rather than detonate and reads Eldrad's sentence before obliteration.
  • Sarah surviving the blast in the quarry is explained as her finding shelter under an overhang.
  • The Doctor gains Abbott's co-operation on his return to the quarry by showing his UNIT credentials.
  • Carter describes Sarah as wearing a striped overall dress, rather than pink striped overalls "like Andy Pandy".
  • Carter does not show signs of being possessed when the Doctor returns to the lab, the first hint being when he hears Sarah speaking over the intercom.
  • Rather than attacking the Doctor on the stairs and overbalancing, Carter tries to pull him off a horizontal ladder and ends up falling off it himself when his lunge carries him over.
  • Driscoll is present while Sarah is being decontaminated.
  • Sarah forgets about Eldrad after the Doctor has deprogrammed her.
  • Elgin is not named.
  • The Doctor, Sarah and Watson leave Nunton in Watson's Jaguar rather than a Land Rover.
  • Carter is a classic car enthusiast who drives an old-fashioned Bentley rather than the television version's Austin Allegro.
  • It is explained that Watson keeps a gun in case of a terrorist attack.
  • Watson speaks to a minister on the phone about an enquiry after the incident.
  • Abbott greets the Doctor, Sarah and Eldrad at the quarry and points out the TARDIS to them.
  • The Doctor lures Sarah across the chasm by pretending to be in trouble.

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

First publication:

  • Hardback
W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. UK
  • Paperback


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 7 January 2021 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Pamela Salem.

The cover blurb and thumbnail illustrations were retained in the accompanying booklet with sleevenotes by David J. Howe. Music and sound effects by Simon Power.

External links[]