This is the famous "unfinished story" by Douglas Adams, that was never completed owing to industrial action. Scenes from this were used in "The Five Doctors" to create a presence for Tom Baker's Doctor when he refused to appear in it. 


I own two versions of this. One is a VHS tape which contains as much of the story as was completed, with linking narration by Tom Baker.  This is interesting in an academic sense if you're a hard-care Who fanboy, which I suppose I qualify as.  It's difficult to get a fair sense of what the completed story would of been like, though I suspect it might not have gone down in history as Douglas Adams' greatest work. Some characters suffer more than others from the incompletion. Poor Victoria Burgoyne - her role as Clare was meant to be her first TV job, but it never got finished, and she's hardly in what was done. Christopher Neame's Skagra isn't in it much either, but that's probably just as well, given what little we do see of his performance.  The Krargs aren't in it much, either - just as well, they're kind of lame - sort of like what the Pyroviles might of looked like done on a 70's Who budget.


The second version is an audio adaptation featuring Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor. It's rationalized that Borusa's interference with the Time Scoop during "The Five Doctors" left the events of "Shada" undone, so the Doctor gooes to Gallifrey to pick up Romana (she's the President of the High Council by this point) and K-9 Mark Two and drags them off to Cambridge to have the adventure they should of had. Ward reprises her role as Romana and Leeson returns as K-9, replacing Brierley, who was in the original.  McGann, Ward and Leeson work well together, I would'n't've minded hearing more with this team.  I found this version more enjoyable - it's basically the same story as before, but complete, with a few adaptations - for example, for a scene in which Skagra probes the Doctor's mind, we hear clips from previous audio stories featuring the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors. Also, the audio format removes the visual lameness of the the effects - the Krarg, for example, sound alot more effective than they looked in the TV version of the story.



  • Part One: The Krarg says all is ready!
  • Part Two: The sphere closes in on the Doctor!
  • Part Three: The ship cuts off the oxygen supply!
  • Part Four:  The Krarg attacks!
  • Part Five: The prisoners advance on the Doctor!
  • Part Six:  The Doctor and Romana take off, leaving their friends to get hauled off to the stationhouse!



An interesting glimpse at what might have been.  I'm glad to have had the chance to see the fragments of the TV version, but I did find the audio version amor eentertaining experience.


[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]

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Christopher Neame turned up in 2 of my favorite movies over the years.

He's a British agent sent after Timothy Dalton in LICENSE TO KILL (1989).

Also, he's Johnny Alucard in DRACULA A.D. 1972 !

Just finished Doctor Who: Shada - The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams, by Gareth Roberts. Roberts has written several episodes od the new series. What he's done here is not so much novelize the TV story as to work various scripts and notes that Adams left behind to try to re-create the story as he feels Adams would have like to have told it, had he been free from the limitations imposed upon 1970's Doctor Who.  I am often leery of these attempts to work up stories from dead men's notes, but for me, Roberts does a fairly good job. He doesn't try to be Adams, so much as tries to write in the spirit of Adams. I found it to be an enjoyable, entertaining read.

Listened to the McGann audio adaptation of this recently.   I'd forgotten that the role of Skagra was played by the late Andrew Sachs. I only recently learned that Sachs  put his name in to play the Seventh Doctor.. That would have been interesting.

In your personal continuity, which Doctor participated in this story? Four? Eight? Both?

That's a tough one.  I did like the conceit that Borusa using the Time-Scoop prevented the Fourth Doctor from doing what he originally intended to do.

That's kind of the way I look at it, too: Shada "happened" to the Fourth Doctor, but those events were not part of the "web of time." When Borusa snatched him out of the time stream, they no longer happened to the Fourth, but they eventually cycled back to the Eighth.

BBC America is airing Shada this Thursday evening (7/19/18).  

Watched this on dvd very recently. 


Oh - piece of right to the very end.!

Doctor Hmmm? said:

BBC America is airing Shada this Thursday evening (7/19/18).  

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