Doctor Who: Shada Hardcover – 15 Mar 2012
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"A delight" (SFX Magazine)
"There are moments of glorious Adamsian whimsy here" (Sunday Times)
"Surprising, page-turning, fulfilling, satisfying and faithful to the spirit of that wonderfully gifted author who left us far too young" (Doctor Who Magazine)
"Tom Baker’s fourth Doctor is brought fabulously to life, scarf flapping, eyes and teeth flashing as he clowns around making flippant remarks while saving the universe" (Sun)
"Something of a Holy Grail for a Doctor Who fan" (Belfast Telegraph)
From the unique mind of Douglas Adams, the legendary 'lost' Doctor Who story completed at last!See all Product description
Top customer reviews
It is of course based on the scripts and some of the filmed material for Shada by Douglas Adams, and the dialogue is therefore as funny and quirky as you would expect, while the story is suitably mad and slightly ridiculous. But it would be foolish to ignore Gareth Robert's contribution to the story. He makes the descriptions (that are his obviously own and not Adams') sing and sparkle and entertain, while still writing with great respect for Adams and mirroring his (almost) unique storytelling style.
On top of this great story, there are also nice little continuity references for the fans, including a delightfully surprising mention of fellow rogue Time Lord the Corsair, only created by Neil Gaiman in his 2011 TV episode. While I expect that many people will come to this book with knowledge of its troubled history and production problems, I urge you to out all that to one side, and see it simply as a brilliant and brand new adventure for the Fourth Doctor, Romana and K-9.
Shada was the third of three stories to be penned by the late, great Douglas Adams for the original Doctor Who TV series. This novelisation by Gareth Roberts does the near-impossible job of satisfying three different audiences: fans of the original (classic) Doctor Who Series; fans of the new TV series and of course Douglas Adams fans.
As someone who grew up with Tom Baker as 'my Doctor' ; Lalla Ward and K9 as 'my companions' this novelisation was a real treat. My first recollections of Doctor Who are the 1979-1980 season - of which Shada was intended to be the finale. Gareth keeps true to the spirit of the original series, so much so you can hear Tom's rich baritone voice in his dialogue booming out from the pages; along with Lalla's haughty observations and K9's nasal pedantry. Along with that you have the wit and dry humour for which Douglas Adams is legendary, and the grafting on of issues that would have been taboo back in 1979 - such as the sexuality of one of the incidental characters. All 3 are done with such aplomb by Gareth that you never doubt for one moment that all 3 sets of readers will be happy with this book.
Some of you may recall the sparkling dialogue between Romana and the Doctor, whilst punting on the Cam,in the 20th anniversary story - The Five Doctors. To date, this is the only part of Shada to make it onto the small screen. The book continues in a similar vein, along with observations about 1970's fashions, early pub closing times, wry observations about the (lack of) a gay scene in Cambridge, polluting 1970's motor cars and simply the narrative of a gentler, simpler time when the sun shone in October and the world moved at a simpler and slower rate. Reading this book is like being transported back in time to 1979 Cambridge, along with its gentle sights and sounds.
Reading this book also made you realise that Douglas had an imagination far bigger than the TV series could have hoped to realise successfully- at the time. Perhaps the irony of not making it to the TV screen is that we can imagine the Kraags, Shada, Skagra in all their evil abomination without the limitations of the BBC Doctor Who budget of the late 1970s. The concepts in the story are of course ones which Adams fans will recognise - a talking computer, galatic criminals held in suspension, and of course an evil meglomaniac out to cause mischief- the staple diet of Doctor Who adventures. The story is ahead of its time too, as the villain Skagra, wants to take over the universe not by conventional means, but by absorbing the thoughts and minds of all sentinent beings in the universe. It seems odd we are seriously contemplating this as (an earthy) reality now in 2012!
In the hands of Gareth Roberts, he takes both the scripts and the actors' ad-libs from the TV rehearsals, and gives a novelisation worthy of the imagination that went into the original story by Douglas in the first place. The result is a masterpiece, like Douglas' other major contribution - City of Death - greater than the sum of its parts.
Is there a negative about this story? None, other than it is a shame it has never made it to the TV screen. At what price - a TV remake for the 50th anniversary in 2013? Now that the new series production team has a budget and talent to match the huge imagination that was Douglas Adams.
It is an amalgamation of Douglas Adams’ original scripts and notes and the inventiveness of Gareth Roberts, renowned for writing some of the most popular Fourth Doctor and Romana novels (some of which are to be made into audio plays later in 2014). As a product of two authors it works very well. Roberts clearly knows and understands Adams’ unique style and humour and there is little indication of who wrote what. Having Roberts, writer of several televised scripts since the programme’s return, write the novelisation has the advantage of making the story feel that it is influenced by both the original run of Doctor Who and its return since 2005. Hence there are references to such things as Carrionites and the Corsair. It makes the story feel less routed in 1979. In a way it becomes more historical than modern.
The writing style is basically what you might expect if you’re a Hitchhikers fan or of any other works of Adams. Effortlessly whimsical and tongue in cheek but rarely frivolous to the plot and never pointless. The balance of humour is perfectly pitched. The novelisation is a fully fleshed out version of the TV story. This provides much more depth for the small cast of characters making them stronger and more dimensional, providing greater incentives and motivations for their actions and behaviour. Thus, however despicable, Shagra also manages to become a figure of sympathy. The love story angle between Chris and Claire is covered more satisfactorily and Salyavin becomes a far more understandable and explained character (something that felt a little absent in the TV version).
It’s great after all these years that ‘Shada’ finally gets a novelisation. It’s a good example of Douglas Adams’ marvellous contribution to Doctor Who and cements Gareth Roberts’ mastery over the Fourth Doctor/Second Romana era. I look forward to novelisation of ‘City of Death’.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category