nce again the infamous unfinished Doctor Who serial Shada, is being released on Home video. Once to be believed “lost” the Douglas Adams classic is making a return with animated episodes and scenes to fill in the gaps that were left by the BBC after the writer’s strike in the late 1970s. The upcoming DVD release of Shada has few surprises install for many Whovians alike, and if you’ve been living under a rock then you’re totally oblivious to a scene that has had the internet and the internet and the Doctor Who fanbase in a frenzy.
Over the last 54 Years of the show’s existence we’ve had two versions of Adams’ fan-favourite story. The first release of the story was the 1992 VHS release of the unfinished story where Tom Baker introduced the story and narrated the episodes that were unfinished, whilst being accompanied by a menagerie of monsters from Doctor Who’s past. Whilst the other was an adaptation by Big Finish Productions that featured Paul McGann and Lalla Ward as the 8th Doctor and Romana II (respectively).
The following paragraph will contain SPOILERS so if you want the news of the upcoming rerelease of Shada to remain a surprise then I recommend you should avoid this blog at all costs. However, you’re in the know, continue on! Care for some tea? One lump or two?
Unlike many of the main news channels you won’t find the Ian Levine Shada here! Above is the correct version that many of us Whovians are fanboy/girling over at the current moment. If those of you who cannot wait for it to be released on DVD it is available to buy digitally from iTunes and Amazon Play. So, it’s your choice! As for me I’m “patiently” waiting for it to be released on DVD so that it can find its way under the Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve.
But the huge nugget of a spoiler that has the internet in a frenzy is that the one and only Tom Baker has returned to reprise his role of the benevolent Time Lord in a live-action scene after 24 Years, that's if you count the 1993 Children in Need Special, Dimensions in Time. To many fans this has made them delighted with Baker making a comeback, however, many haven’t seemed overly keen on finding out the news as they wanted to find it out first hand. I was somewhat both on the news of Tom Baker making a comeback, but seeing him in his signature Doctor look, made me look past the spoiler and made me want to see the new Shada even more. It’s almost as though he's never left the role or should I say the role never left him.
The new Shada is a mixture of live-action and animated scenes/episodes voiced by the original cast. The scene in question that features Baker as he is today was filmed early this year the BBC Television Centre, the scene features Baker delivering dialogue after emerging from under the TARDIS console, originally the small scene that concludes the overall story wasn’t filmed until this year.
“I expect that sometime in the future – in about 200 year’s time – someone will meet me and say is that really the Doctor?” Baker’s Doctor delivers as he gazes across the console room in his true bohemian fashion, he concludes his dialogue with “He seemed such a nice old man.”
Many of us fans have started pondering whether Douglas Adams started the ball rolling on the idea of the Time War/War Doctor? Who knows! Adams has given us a good selection of stories over the years, not to mention his trilogy in five parts; The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. As for me my favourite story of his in Doctor Who history is The City of Death. The dialogue and humour in the serial is true Douglas Adams fashion!
Doctor Who: Shada is available has been available on digital download since Friday 24th November 2017 and will be soon available on DVD and Blu-Ray on Monday 4th December 2017.
Also a special screening of Doctor Who: Shada will take place at the BFI Southbank, London on Saturday 2nd December.