Screencraft’s review of screenplay based on the novel “Other Hands” by Thomas James


“The story is a fresh take on classic ideas like invasion of the Body Snatchers, the first Alien feature, and more recent ones like Divergent. There is some potential for a franchise and with a bit of tweaking, even more of a chance of a sequel and perhaps more beyond. The idea that peace and harmony can only be achieved by mind control is clever and deserves every chance to make it to the screen.” Screencraft, March 17, 2017

Everything is Everywhere

Other Hands is a science fiction psychological thriller filled with intrigue, interpersonal conflict, and scientific wonder. Astronauts “travel” to another planet by actualizing the tiny probability that they are already there – and everywhere else. Before … or should I say at the start of … the Big Bang, all the matter in the universe was confined to an infinitely dense speck of pure energy. Now, nearly 14 billion years later, everything is everywhere. With the help of a quantum teleportation device know as a “watergate,” the astronauts’ “wave functions” simply collapse 92 light years away.

Image of Cosmic Background Radiation: the “Afterglow” of the Big Bang
Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team

Other scientific and ethical questions posed in the book are: Could thought and behavior be controlled by nanotechnology? Will nanomachines become the “drug of choice” of authoritarian governments wishing to control the population? At what cost do we rid the world of crime, war, substance abuse and other abominations? As one reviewer on Amazon said, “This is not your typical humans-vs-aliens tale. It explores both the high cost of freedom and the false promise offered by an utopian society with neither hate nor love. A quick page-turner that is definitely worth the read.”



Inspiration for the Plot of Other Hands


In the story of Other Hands, key government officials and their co-conspirators secretly attempt to cure the world of crime, terrorism, substance abuse, and all forms of interpersonal conflict by implementing a mind control system stolen from the planet New California. They believe this alien technology is the only hope for humankind. An important influence for this element of the plot is the following quote from Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World:

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.” Aldous Huxley, Tavistock Group, California Medical School, 1961

In Other Hands, the pharmacological analogue is nanomachines that are injected into unsuspecting subjects, starting with maximum-security prisoners. In the manner of Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele, one of the returning astronauts performs experiments on the prisoners to analyze potential side effects and to prevent possible system malfunctions. Once tested on prisoners and drug addicts, implementation can proceed to the population at large.