Doctor Who's 'Shada' gets animated in first look at long-lost Douglas Adams story

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Oct 10, 2017, 11:35 AM EDT

Long-lost Doctor Who story “Shada” is finally coming in its entirety thanks to BBC Worldwide, and we have a first look at the animated version of the classic Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) adventure.

Originally meant to close the 17th season of Doctor Who in 1979, the serial, written by legendary author Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency), was never finished thanks to a strike at the BBC.

Nearly four decades later, the story has finally been completed by the team behind the animation of that other lost Doctor Who episode, “The Power of the Daleks,” by using original and remastered footage (they had access to almost seven hours of raw footage), as well as color animation to fill in the gaps. Said animation will also feature the newly recorded voices of original stars Baker and Lalla Ward (Romana), reading from the original script.

“'Shada' was one of my favourite Doctor Who stories,” Tom Baker said in a statement. “I have many fond memories of shooting the location scenes in Cambridge, and it was disappointing not to finish the story in studio. I’m so glad that BBC Worldwide have found a way to bring fans a complete visual version.”


“Shada” was previously adapted as a novel titled Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by author Gareth Roberts, and as a Big Finish radio play starring Eighth Doctor Paul McGann.

The story sees the Doctor (Baker) working with his companion Romana (Ward) and retired Time Lord Professor Chronotis (Denis Carey) to defeat an evil alien named Skagra (Christopher Neame), a genius hailing from the planet Dronoid who is planning to steal the secrets of the planet Shada, on which the Time Lords have built a high-security prison.

Fans will be able to get their hands on “Shada” when the complete adventure is released via digital download on Nov. 24, and on Blu-ray and DVD on Dec. 4.

(via Doctor Who Online)