on 25 July 2003
For a generation of people, Tom Baker is the only 'real' Doctor Who. The box set, Shada, is a chance to see sections of a Doctor Who series that was sadly never finished due to industrial action at the BBC. Consequently this video contains unaired footage. The missing pieces are replaced by Tom Baker narration explaining the ongoing plotline. Unfortunately, this does little more than whet the appetite...the series would clearly have been brilliant.
Any Doctor Who fan who spent their childhood, like me, peeping from behind a cushion at Daleks and Cybermen would love this.
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy fans should also note that the box contains the Douglas Adams original Shada script, a poignant inclusion since his death.
on 30 May 2003
The horns of nimon was orginally intended to be followed on transmission by another story -a concluding 6 parter entitled shada-but a recurrence of aindustrail dispute that had previosly caused difficulties during production of Invasion Of Time and The Armageddon Factor eventuallly led to its cancellation,even though extenive location filming in the Cambridge area and the first of its three planned stuido sessions had already been completed.
Written by Douglas Adams as his final contribution to Doctor who, Shada was envisaged as a time lord story without a Gallifreyan setting. It sees the Doctor bringing Romana to present day Earth to visit Professor Chronotis, an elderly time lord who absconded from Gallifrey and now lives a quiet acadenic life at St Cedd's Collegein Cambridge. Also seeking Chronotis is a sceintist called Skagra who has a device, in the form of a floating slhere, with which he intends to steal the professor's mind and thereby learn the location of a book entitled The Worshipful and Anceint Law of Gallifrey. Skagra eventually succeeds in obtaining the book, which had been borrowed from the Professor's study by a student named Chris Parsons. He then kidnaps Romana and hijacts the TARDIS, the book turns out to be the key to Shada, the ancient prison planet of the time lords. Skagra objective is to use his sphere on one of the inmates, Salyavin, whose unique mental powers he can then exploit to project his own mind into every other creature in the universe.
When the TADIS reaches Shada, however ,he discovers that Salyavin's cell is emtpy. After a number of close encounters the Krargs-Skagra's monstrous crystalline servents-the Doctor ,Chronotis and K9, along with Parsons and his friend Claire Keightley, arrive on Shada in Chronotis's TADIS, which has been disguised as his study. Chronotis admits that he is in fact Salyavin;he escaped from Shadacenturies ago and has been living on earth ever since. The doctor thwarts Skagra's plans by winning a mind battle against him.
Shada was formally droped from the seventeenth season in December 1979, it having become apparent that due to the backlog of chritmas specials waiting to be recorded there was no prospect of studio time being found for its completion. A number of attemps were subsequently made to remount it but these ultimately came to nothing ,and in june 1980 it was officially cancelled. A version of the story was eventually released on video in 1992 with Tom Baker providing a narration to cover the missing scenes