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 2003.
This story remains the most recent webcast production of this nature.
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.
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- The Doctor - Richard E Grant
- Alison Cheney - Sophie Okonedo
- Dawson / Greaves - Conor Moloney
- Max - Andrew Dunn
- Joe - Craig Kelly
- Mathilda Pierce - Anna Calder-Marshall
- The Master - Derek Jacobi
- Shalka Prime - Diana Quick
- Major Kennet - Jim Norton
- Writer - Paul Cornell
- Director - Wilson Milam
- Producer - Muirinn Lane Kelly, Jelena Djordjevic
- Executive Producer - James Goss, Mario Dubois, Martin Trickey
- Editor - Ian Garrard
- Animator - Cosgrove Hall
- Animation Director - Jon Doyle
- Researcher - Daniel Judd
- Theme music - Ron Grainer
- Incidental Music - Russell Stone
- The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to turn his mobile phone into a door into the TARDIS.
- The Doctor is thrown towards a black hole.
- It appears the Doctor is working for the Time Lords.
- The Doctor is in his ninth incarnation.
- An android version of the Master is in the Doctor's TARDIS.
- In introducing himself to Alison, The Master started to say "I am the Master and you will obey me" (TV: Planet of Fire) but was interrupted by the Doctor so instead said "I am the Master and you will...learn to like me when you get to know me."
- When the Doctor first meets Alison Cheney in the pub, he asks if she's related to Lon Chaney, stating he had very hairy hands.
- The Doctor tells Alison that Andy Warhol wanted to paint "all nine" of him.
- When first broadcast, this Doctor was advertised by the BBC as the 'Ninth Doctor'.
- This was the sole performance for Richard E Grant as the "Shalka Doctor". His first line in the role was, "No! It's not where we're supposed to be. I'm going to take a look around.", and his last line was, "Ship rules. No running, no jumping, no pushing and no slapping."
- 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 4 adaptation of The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents in a neighbouring studio. When he discovered what was being recorded next door, he convinced the director to give him a small role. (DWM 336) 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 a spoof Tenth Doctor in The Curse of Fatal Death and would later play Walter Simeon in TV: The Snowmen.
- Derek Jacobi would later play a Doctor Who-obsessed character in Deadline, and a valid incarnation of the Master in Utopia.
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 still 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 as 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 and that 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.
Original website release/broadcast
- Episode 1 - 13 November 2003
- Episode 2 - 20 November 2003
- Episode 3 - 27 November 2003
- Episode 4 - 4 December 2003
- Episode 5 - 11 December 2003
- Episode 6 - 18 December 2003
- The cut on Allison's forehead originally appears on her right, but later appears in the middle.
DVD, video and other releases
- Audio commentary with writer Paul Cornell, director Wilson Milam and producer James Goss
- Carry On Screaming - Making of with executive producer Martin Trickey, producers Muirinn Lane Kelly and Jelena Djordjevic, animation director Jon Doyle, writer Paul Cornell and researcher Daniel Judd. Presented by James Goss
- The Screaming Sessions - Archival interviews from 2003 with actors Sophie Okonedo (Alison Cheney), Jim Norton (Major Kennett), Diana Quick (Prime), Craig Kelly (Joe), Anna Calder-Marshall (Mathilda Pierce) and director Wilson Milam
- Interweb of Fear - Brief history of the BBC website and the role Doctor Who has played over the years, with internet consultant Martin Belam, editor Ian Garrard, producer James Goss, commissioner Martin Trickey, rights expert Ann Kelly, iPlayer inventor Ben Lavender and Doctor Who executive producer Russell T Davies
- Photo Gallery
- Soundtrack Album
- Production Notes Subtitle Option
- 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.