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Scream of the Shalka (webcast)

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Scream of the Shalka
Shalka TARDIS
Doctor: Ninth Doctor (Scream of the Shalka)
Companion(s): Alison, The Master
Main enemy: The Shalka
Main setting: Lancashire, England, 2003
Key crew
Writer: Paul Cornell
Director: Wilson Milam
Producer: Muirinn Lane Kelly
Animator: Cosgrove Hall
Release details
Release number: 4
Premiere broadcast: 13 November - 18 December 2003
Format: 6 Episodes - Flash Animation
Production code: BBCI-4
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Behind the scenes video
Scream of the Shalka DVD trailer - Doctor Who01:21

Scream of the Shalka DVD trailer - Doctor Who

Scream of the Shalka was a flash-animated Doctor Who serial with Richard E. Grant as the voice of an alternative Ninth Doctor. Its animation was produced by Cosgrove Hall. The serial was webcast by the BBC's official Doctor Who website in November and December of 2003.

This story remains the most recent webcast production of this nature.

Synopsis

The Doctor's TARDIS materialises in the village of Lannet in Lancashire. An annoyed Doctor, who has apparently been transported here against his will, finds the village silent. Its inhabitants are all living in fear except for a barmaid, Alison Cheney. The alien Shalka have taken up residence beneath Lannet in preparation for a wider invasion. Despite his initial reluctance, the Doctor finds himself having to save the world again, aided by Alison and an enemy who has become an ally.

Plot

to be added

Cast and Characters

References

Story notes

  • When first broadcast, this Doctor was advertised by the BBC as the 'Ninth Doctor'.
  • Appearing in a cameo role in the serial was actor and Doctor Who fan David Tennant, who in April 2005 was announced as the Tenth Doctor. He was not originally cast in the production, but Tennant happened to be recording a radio play in a neighbouring studio. When he discovered what was being recorded next door, he convinced the director to give him a small role. Tennant had several roles in Big Finish Productions' Doctor Who related audios before he was cast as the Tenth Doctor on the BBC Wales' produced series.
  • If the viewer right clicks and selects play after the end of episode 3, an alternate version of the closing credits plays (followed by the final part of the episode).
  • Around the time of providing the voice of Alison, Sophie Okonedo also filmed a role in the movie Hotel Rwanda, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award; this makes Okonedo, to date, the only companion actor to have been nominated for an Oscar. Okonedo would eventually return to televised Doctor Who in the 2010 series as the recurring character Elizabeth X.
  • Richard E. Grant previously played the Tenth Doctor in The Curse of Fatal Death and would later play Walter Simeon in TV: The Snowmen.

Production background

Scream of the Shalka was produced to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of Doctor Who. It was originally posted in six weekly parts from 13 November to 18 December 2003 on BBCi's Doctor Who website. Although it was intended to be an "official" continuation of the television series that had ended in 1989, the revival of the programme in 2005 relegated it and the Richard E. Grant's Ninth Doctor, to non-canonical status.

Previous Doctor Who webcasts were produced with limited animation which was little more than a series of illustrations. This story was the first-ever officially licensed fully animated Doctor Who story. Doctor Who had suspended production in 1989, Aside from charity specials, it had only resurfaced as an American-funded television movie in 1996 which didn't garner enough ratings to go to a regular series. When Shalka was announced in July 2003 for broadcast in November, the possibility of Doctor Who returning to television screens still seemed remote and BBC Worldwide were shopping around for another possible movie deal. As a result, BBCi announced, with BBC approval, that the Doctor appearing in Shalka would be the "official" Ninth Doctor. However, events rapidly overtook this.

In September, Lorraine Heggessey, the Controller of BBC One persuaded BBC Worldwide that as their plans for a Doctor Who film were nowhere near fruition, BBC television should be allowed to make a new series. A deal with Russell T Davies to produce the new series was quickly struck, and on September 26, the BBC announced that Doctor Who would return to BBC One in 2005, produced by BBC Wales.

As a result, the "official" nature of the Shalka webcast was in doubt from even before it was released. After the web cast, in February 2004, plans for sequels were indefinitely shelved. For a period, it was unclear if the new television Doctor would be the Ninth or Tenth Doctor, but this was settled in April 2004 when in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine, Davies announced that the new television Doctor (played by Christopher Eccleston), would be the Ninth Doctor, relegating the Richard E. Grant Doctor to unofficial status.

Grant's incarnation of the Time Lord (often referred to as the "REG Doctor" or the "Shalka Doctor" by fans) has since appeared in an online short story, The Feast of the Stone by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright, although no further stories seem planned.

Paul Cornell, who wrote Scream of the Shalka, has since referred to this story as his "unbound."[1]

Original website release/broadcast

Production Errors

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • The cut on Allison's forehead originally appears on her right, but later appears in the middle.

DVD, Video and Other Releases

  • The serial was released on DVD on September 16th, 2013.

Novelisation

ShalkaBook

Novelisation cover.

Main article: Scream of the Shalka (novelisation)

Paul Cornell wrote a novelisation of Scream of the Shalka, which was published by BBC Books. This marked the first publication of a novelisation under the BBC Books paperback line since Doctor Who was so adapted in 1996, and the first novelisation of a non-televised Doctor Who story since The Ghosts of N-Space in 1995; it is also the only webcast to be so adapted. The book was augmented with a section chronicling the making of the webcast.

External links

Footnotes

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