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Doctor Who - Scream of the Shalka [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Richard E. Grant, Derek Jacobi, David Tennant, Sophie Okonedo
  • Directors: Wilson Milam
  • Writers: Paul Cornell
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Sep 2013
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00DP26RPM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,528 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Richard E. Grant is the voice of the Doctor in this six-part animated storyline produced to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the TV sci-fi series in 2003. After materialising in the village of Lannet in Lancashire, the Doctor, along with local barmaid Alison (voice of Sophie Okonedo) and her boyfriend Joe (Craig Kelly), find themselves up against an underground alien force called the Shalka, who, as part of their preparation for an all-out invasion of Earth, are stripping away the ozone layer from the planet.

Customer Reviews

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Seamus on 20 Sep 2013
First broadcast on the BBC Website in 2003, Scream of the Shalka gives us a glimpse of what could have been.

The Tardis materialises in a small Lancashire town where the Doctor soon discovers that all is far from well. An invasion force of Shalka, subterranean worm-like creatures, have taken over the town using sonic control, cutting it off from the outside world. Across the globe, groups of Shalka have landed and intend to make the world into another breeding colony by changing the atmosphere and making the surface uninhabitable.

It has a fantastic vocal cast, with Richard E. Grant as the Doctor, Derek Jacobi as the Master, Jim Norton (Father Ted, Babylon 5), Sophie Okonedo and even David Tennant in a minor role. Although no longer considered "canonical", it parallels many of the themes developed in the new series, with the Doctor still recovering from taking some terrible action and being responsible for untold deaths.

Packed with the kind of extras associated with one of the usual Doctor Who DVD releases, Scream of the Shalka shouldn't be ignored by any fan of the series.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Oct 2013
To cut a long story short:

Just over ten years ago, with the fortieth anniversary of Doctor Who approaching, and the show long since off the air with no sign of returning, the BBC staff who ran the Doctor Who portion of their website set out to make a cartoon version of the show. Which would be broadcast on line. Tell an all new story. And feature a new Doctor.

Richard E. Grant was eventually cast in the lead. The road to production was a long and tricky one. But it went head. Would this be the launch of a new future for the show?

No. Because another part of the BBC then announced it was bringing the show back to television. Thus Scream of the Shalka, which had yet to air online when that announcement was made, ended up being nothing more than a one off curio.

It was denied a DVD release back at the time because the BBC felt it might confuse casual purchasers who had just gotten into the programme via the new series to have a totally different version of the Ninth Doctor. But since we're long past that now, here it is at last.

The story runs for six parts, and is complete on a single disc dvd. Most of the episodes run for fifteen minutes, but some are shorter.

It sees the TARDIS arrive in a small town in Lancashire. Where the Doctor is forced against his will to investigate why the townsfolk are living in fear of something hidden from sight. One resident, a barmaid called Alison, shows more resistance to what is going on than others. Can she and the Doctor deal with the deadly threat to the planet Earth that lies beneath the town? And will the Doctor, a man who is clearly recovering from trauma, rediscover himself in the process?

The animation here is basic but servicable, and reasonably eye catching at points.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Benlroberts on 18 Sep 2013
"Scream of the Shalka" was produced to celebrate the show's 40th anniversary in 2003, and would serve as the first story in a brand new series of animated webcasts (three stories across twelve episodes). However, due to the announcement that Doctor Who was to return, production was cut down to just one serial.

The question is - why? Would it really have effected continuity that much. There are two ninth Doctors - so? This may have been intended as canon at the time, but that could have easily been worked around. I wish there could have been more...

The story itself is by no means perfect, but still extremely enjoyable. Written by Paul Cornell, who penned the episodes "Father's Day" and "Human Nature/The Family of Blood", it's also quite dark too - in fact, I'd say some of it is too dark to be shown live action.

Richard E. Grant makes an excellent Doctor. He's dark, and eccentric and looks the part, even in flash animation. He performs much better here than he does as The Great Intelligence in the recent finale of the revived series.

Derek Jacobi plays the Master, a full four years before he would again play him in the revived series, and is excellent. There's a very good twist to his Master too, which makes for a rather amusing one-liner in Episode 5. Again, I'd have loved to see how he would have evolved, had the web series continued.

Sophie Okonedo (I hope I've spelt that correctly), plays Alison, and is another actress who would appear in the revived series as well, as Liz 10 in "The Beast Below". Personally, I found Alison - not unlikable - just a little...hard-going, but that might just be me.
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By MattB on 6 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase
I have to admit I was very skeptical of buying this DVD. I'd heard small bits about it from big 'who' fans but it always seemed to get swept under the carpet and was never mentioned for long. But, I took the plunge and bought it, not really knowing what to expect.

Quite honestly, the story is brilliant and has a pretty good concept. I mainly judge things on how interesting they are on if I look at my phone or check my emails when I watch them and the first two or three episodes really made me want to watch. Grant's portrayal of the Doctor really caught me in these first few episodes, kind of like a scaled down but slightly more eccentric Hartnell. The animation is very good and very stylised, albeit because of the very small budget of the show. However, I did feel it dragging and I felt myself slipping away from it during parts four and five, they seemed full of babble that took way too long to figure out for only a short show. The sixth and final episode did bring the story home and keep the faith alive but with an all too familiar ending, you know, the pretty girl jumps on board the TARDIS and although she's only known him for 5 minutes is the Doctor's best friend.

Jacobi, who portrays an android version of the Master (I feel this needed to be explained more, I just kept thinking... why is this happening) is a delight. Of course he was the Master in the reboot but I feel this really showed him off perfectly. With a dark side always searching for a way through but with just the right amount of camp a Who episode really needs he is the perfect addition, I only wish he was utilised more.

As I mentioned before Grant is a superb Doctor, he develops as the story progresses, possibly a little too quickly but the scale of the show was cut down an awful lot.
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