Shada

For the Arabic emphasis sign, see Shadda.
109 - Shada
DoctorTom Baker (Fourth Doctor)
WriterDouglas Adams
DirectorPennant Roberts (original)
Script EditorDouglas Adams
ProducerGraham Williams (original)
John Nathan-Turner (video)
Executive producer(s)none
Production code5M
SeriesSeason 17
LengthNever completed (original)
6 episodes, 25 mins each (intended)
Transmission dateOctober 2007
Preceded byThe Horns of Nimon
Followed byThe Leisure Hive
Shada is an unaired serial of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was intended to be the final serial of the 1979-80 season (Season 17), but was never completed due to a strike at the BBC during filming. In 1992, its recorded footage was released on video using linking narration by Tom Baker to complete the story.

Shada is also the title of the remake, an audio play produced by Big Finish Productions and webcast on BBCi. The audio play was also broadcast on digital radio station BBC 7, on 10 December 2005 (as a 2½-hour omnibus), and was repeated in six parts as the opening story to the Eighth Doctor's summer season which began on 16 July 2006.

Synopsis

Enlarge picture
Shada, the prison planetoid of the Time Lords.
The story revolves around the lost planet Shada, on which the Time Lords built a prison for defeated would-be conquerors of the universe. Skagra, an up-and-coming would-be conqueror of the universe, needs the assistance of one of the prison's inmates, but finds that nobody knows where Shada is anymore except one aged Time Lord who has retired to Earth, where he is masquerading as a professor at St. Cedd's College, Cambridge (the story features some on-location filming in Cambridge, all of which was completed before the strike). Luckily for the fate of the universe, Skagra's attempt to force the information out of Professor Chronotis coincides with a visit by the professor's old friend the Doctor (and this is where the story really begins).

Cast

Big Finish Productions audio play
Enlarge picture
Album cover
Shada
SeriesDoctor Who
Release numberII
FeaturingEighth Doctor
Romana
K-9
WriterDouglas Adams
DirectorNicholas Pegg
Producer(s)Gary Russell
Jason Haigh-Ellery
Executive producer(s)Martin Trickey
Production codeBBCi02
Set betweenThe Eight Doctors and
Storm Warning
Release dateMay 2003

Television version

Big Finish version

Continuity

  • In an unfilmed scene in Episode Five, a listing of prisoners kept on Shada was to have included a Dalek, a Cyberman and a Zygon.
  • In 1983, clips from Shada were used in The Five Doctors, the 20th anniversary special. Tom Baker, the fourth actor to play the Doctor, had declined to appear in the special, and the plot was reworked to explain the events in the clips.
  • For the Big Finish version, Tom Baker was originally approached to reprise the role of the Doctor, but declined. The Eighth Doctor was then substituted and the story reworked accordingly.
  • Although working from the original Adams script, portions of the Big Finish version were reworked by Gary Russell to make the story fit into Doctor Who continuity. This included a new introduction, and a new explanation for the Fourth Doctor and Romana being "taken out of time" during the events of The Five Doctors.
  • When the character of Skagra is investigating the Doctor, clips from three other Big Finish productions can be heard, exclusively on the CD version: The Fires of Vulcan, The Marian Conspiracy and Phantasmagoria. The original television version would have featured clips from The Pirate Planet, The Power of Kroll, Creature from the Pit, The Androids of Tara, Destiny of the Daleks and City of Death. The webcast features outlines of the first eight Doctors' faces.

Production

Television version

  • Location filming in Cambridge and the first of three studio sessions at BBC Television Centre were recorded as scheduled. The second studio block was affected by a long-running technician's dispute. The strike was over by the time rehearsals began for the third recording session, but this was lost to higher priority Christmas programming.
  • Attempts were made by new producer John Nathan-Turner to remount the story, but for various reasons it never happened; the production was formally dropped in June 1980.

Big Finish version

  • In 2003, the BBC commissioned Big Finish Productions to remake Shada as an audio play which was then webcast in six episodic segments, accompanied by limited Flash animation, on the BBC website using illustrations provided by comic strip artist Lee Sullivan.

Outside references

In Episode Two of the webcast version, when Chris is in his lab showing Clare the book, a vending machine-like object in the background is labelled "Nutrimat", a reference to a similar device in Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Two other references are a sequence where Skagra steals a Ford Prefect and when images of Hitchhiker's Guide characters appear as inmates on Shada itself.

The battered space helmet which the Doctor adapts in Episode Six of the webcast bears the serial number NCC-1701D - the registration ident of the Starship Enterprise in .

In print

Enlarge picture
The unofficial novelisation by Paul Scoones
Elements of the story were reused by Adams for his novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, in particular the character of Professor Chronotis who possesses a time machine. Adams did not allow Shada, or any of his other Doctor Who stories, to be novelised by Target Books. It is, therefore, one of only five serials from the 1963-89 series not to be novelised. A fan group in New Zealand, however, did publish an unofficial adaptation. [1]

Broadcast and VHS release

  • Shada's video release featured linking narration by Tom Baker and was accompanied by a facsimile of a version of Douglas Adams's script (except in North America). The release was discontinued in the UK in 1996, although it remained in print in the United States until 2004.
  • The webcast version remains available from the BBC Doctor Who "classic series" website, and an expanded audio-only version is available for purchase on CD from Big Finish. This expanded version was the one broadcast on BBC7.

References

  1. Howe, Stammer, Walker (1994). Doctor Who: The Seventies. Virgin Books.

External links

Reviews

Fan novelisation

Webcast


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al-‘Arabiyyah in written Arabic (Kufic script):  
Pronunciation: /alˌʕa.raˈbij.ja/
Spoken in: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman,
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Shadda (Arabic شَدَّة šaddatun
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Tom Baker

Tom Baker as Doctor Who

Birth name Thomas Stewart Baker
Born January 20 1934 (1934--) (age 73)
Liverpool, Merseyside, England


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Fourth Doctor is the name given to the fourth incarnation of the fictional character known as the Doctor seen on screen in the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who.
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Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams signing books at ApacheCon 2000
Born: 11 March 1952(1952--)
Cambridge, England
Died: 11 May 2001 (aged 49)
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
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Pennant Roberts (born 15 December 1940) is a Welsh director noted for his work on British television.

He worked on the following BBC programmes: Softly, Softly, Doomwatch, The Onedin Line, Sutherland's Law, Survivors,
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Graham Williams was a British television producer and script editor, whose best known work was on the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who.

After working as script editor for The View From Daniel Pike (1971), Sutherland's Law
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John Nathan-Turner (born Jonathan Turner; August 12, 1947–May 1, 2002) was the ninth producer for the long-running BBC science fiction series Doctor Who, from 1980 until it was put on hiatus in 1989.
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108 - The Horns of Nimon
Doctor Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)
Writer Anthony Read
Director Kenny McBain
Script Editor Douglas Adams
Producer Graham Williams
Executive producer(s) None
Production code 5L
Series Season 17
Length 4 episodes, 25 mins each
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110 - The Leisure Hive
Doctor Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)
Writer David Fisher
Director Lovett Bickford
Script Editor Christopher H. Bidmead
Producer John Nathan-Turner
Executive producer(s) Barry Letts
Production code 5N
Series Season 18
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Motto
"Dieu et mon droit" [2]   (French)
"God and my right"
Anthem
"God Save the Queen" [3]
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Science fiction first appeared on television during the Golden age of science fiction, first in Britain and then in the United States. Special effects and other production techniques allow creators to present a living visual image of an imaginary world not limited by the
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Various Doctors
(currently David Tennant)
Various companions
Opening theme Doctor Who theme music
Ending theme Doctor Who theme music (reprise)
Country of origin  United Kingdom
No.
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Strike action, often simply called a strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal by employees to perform work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances.
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The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Type Broadcast radio and television
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Founder John Reith
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Radio drama is a form of audio storytelling broadcast on radio. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the story.
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Big Finish Productions is a British company that produces audio plays released straight to compact disc, based on British cult science fiction properties. They are best known for their Doctor Who line; other properties include 2000 AD
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First air date 15 December 2002
Frequency DAB: 12B
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Live Stream Real/WM
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Owner BBC
Website www.
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Eighth Doctor is a fictional character, the eighth incarnation of the Doctor seen on screen in the long-running BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by Paul McGann.
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EARTH was a short-lived Japanese vocal trio which released 6 singles and 1 album between 2000 and 2001. Their greatest hit, their debut single "time after time", peaked at #13 in the Oricon singles chart.
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St. Cedd's College is a fictional college of Cambridge University created by Douglas Adams. It appears in the Doctor Who serial Shada, and in the novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.
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Professor Urban Chronotis is a fictional character created by Douglas Adams. He was originally created for the 1979 Doctor Who serial Shada, starring Tom Baker and Lalla Ward. However, the filming of the serial was never completed due to an industrial action.
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Big Finish Productions is a British company that produces audio plays released straight to compact disc, based on British cult science fiction properties. They are best known for their Doctor Who line; other properties include 2000 AD
..... Click the link for more information.
Various Doctors
(currently David Tennant)
Various companions
Opening theme Doctor Who theme music
Ending theme Doctor Who theme music (reprise)
Country of origin  United Kingdom
No.
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