Shada by Gareth Roberts was a novelisation of the TV story of the same name written by Douglas Adams, which was intended to conclude Season 17 but never completed due to labour action at the BBC disrupting production. It was the first novelisation of a Doctor Who TV story since Doctor Who - The Novel of the Film in 1996, although many Sarah Jane Adventures novelisations were published between the two.
Publisher's summary Edit
At the age of five, Skagra decided emphatically that God did not exist. This revelation tends to make most people in the universe who have it react in one of two ways — with relief or with despair. Only Skagra responded to it by thinking, Wait a second. That means there's a situation vacant.
(inside front cover)
- From the unique mind of Douglas Adams, the legendary "lost" Doctor Who story completed at last!
The Doctor's old friend and fellow Time Lord Professor Chronotis has retired to Cambridge University — where nobody will notice if he lives for centuries. But now he needs help from the Doctor, Romana and K9. When he left Gallifrey he took with him a few little souvenirs — most of them are harmless. But one of them is extremely dangerous.
The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey isn't a book for Time Tots. It is one of the Artefacts, dating from the dark days of Rassilon. It must not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. The sinister Skagra most definitely has the wrong hands. He wants the book. He wants to discover the truth behind Shada. And he wants the Doctor's mind...
Based on the scripts for the original television series by the legendary Douglas Adams, Shada retells an adventure that never made it to the screen.
Inside this book is another book — the strangest, most important and most dangerous book in the entire universe.
The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey is one of the artefacts, dating from dark days of Rassilon. It wields enormous power, and it must not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands.
Skagra — who believes he should be God and permits himself only two smiles per day — most definitely has the wrong hands.
Beware Skagra. Beware the Sphere. Beware Shada.
Chapter titles Edit
- Part One: Off the Shelf
- Chapters 1-13
- Part Two: An Uncharitable Deduction
- Chapters 14-24
- Part Three: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
- Chapters 25-36
- Part Four: Carbon Copies
- Chapters 37-51
- Part Five: Gallifrey's Most Wanted
- Chapters 52-61
- Part Six: Brought to Book
- Chapters 62-75
- Fourth Doctor
- Romana II
- K9 Mark II
- Professor Chronotis
- Chris Parsons
- Clare Keightley
- David Taylor
Time Lords Edit
- The High Council grant Time Lords in their final incarnation an opportunity to retire to a planet of their choosing. However, very few accept this offer.
- Romana estimates Chronotis is between 12,000 and 13,000 years old.
- The Doctor is 760 years old.
- Romana II recalls Zetar, another evil renegade Time Lord who, like Morbius, was executed by vaporisation.
- Romana is part of the Prydonian Chapter.
- The Doctor prepares to send a message cube to the Time Lords. This cube looks and behaves like the cube the Second Doctor used. (TV: The War Games)
The TARDIS Edit
- The TARDIS contains a cricket pavilion, a cinema, a room of shelves with a scarf, jelly babies and yo-yos, a guest suite and an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
- Chris eats steak and candy floss from the TARDIS food machine.
- One of the undergraduate students is wearing a Jethro Tull shirt.
- David Taylor's car radio plays a Cilla Black song, Love of the Loved.
- Clare jokingly calls the skeleton in Chronotis' study 'Boney M'.
- Professor Chronotis owns a Bonnie Tyler cassette tape.
- The Doctor hums the opening notes to the Doctor Who theme tune.
- Amongst the books Chronotis owns are The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Time Machine, Wuthering Heights, Chariots of the Gods, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Secret Garden, The Phoenix and the Carpet, The Box of Delights, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and a travel guide, Alternative Betelgeuse. Betelgeuse was a planet in Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
- The Doctor traded the place of Shada within the Gallifreyan archives with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
- None of Douglas Adams's three Doctor Who stories have previously appeared in book form for a variety of legal reasons. This novelisation, the first book adaptation of his stories to be released, was released 11 years after Adams' death in 2001.
- Although Douglas Adams had said he would like to novelise his other two Doctor Who stories, The Pirate Planet and City of Death, when he had "run out of things to do" and didn't want another author writing them, as far as he was concerned Shada would never see print as he felt it was "just not up to much".
- This is the first official novelisation of Shada.
- This story was also released as an ebook available from the Amazon Kindle store.
- The opening page features epigraphs from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Maxims and Reflections, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Resident Alien and The Smiths song Still Ill.
- Some hardback editions incorrectly refer to Skagra as a Time Lord on the sleeve.
- The Doctor was considering returning Romana to Gallifrey once the quest for the Key to Time was completed, and travel only with K9. However, once the Doctor installed the Randomiser to escape the Black Guardian, he had no choice but to continue to travel with her. (TV: The Armageddon Factor)
- Chronotis is resurrected in part because Clare places his TARDIS in a temporal orbit. (TV: Doctor Who)
- One of the prisoners in Shada, Scintilla, was sentenced for "conspiring with Carrionites". (TV: The Shakespeare Code) She is referred to as the "greatest of the visionaries". (TV: The End of Time)
- Romana also refers to the member of the Sisterhood of Karn who is kidnapped by Skagra as a "visionary". (TV: The End of Time)
- Reference is made to a fixed point in time. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii)
- When the TARDIS approaches Shada, Romana hypothesises that they are passing through a time lock. (TV: The End of Time)
- In a discussion of Time Lords who broke with traditional Gallifreyan inactivity, Romana and the Doctor mention the following Time Lords:
- Drax (TV: The Armageddon Factor)
- The Corsair (TV: The Doctor's Wife)
- The Master (TV: Terror of the Autons, et al.)
- The Rani (TV: The Mark of the Rani, Time and the Rani)
- Morbius (TV: The Brain of Morbius)
- The Meddling Monk (TV: The Time Meddler)
- The Interfering Nun (first mentioned in this novelisation)
- The Heresiarch of Drornid (first named as Cardinal Thorac in this novelisation)
- Subjatric (mentioned in the original scripts of Shada, but not explicitly identified there as a Time Lord)
- Rundgar (mentioned in the original scripts of Shada, but not explicitly identified there as a Time Lord)
- Earth is again referred to as a Level 5 planet. (TV: City of Death, The Eleventh Hour)
- Some of the previous episodes are viewed by Skagra as video-files. (TV: The Androids of Tara, The Power of Kroll, The Creature from the Pit)
- Skagra plans to take over the mightiest empires; Skaro, Telos and Sontar. (TV: The Daleks, The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Time Warrior)
- While in control of the Doctor's TARDIS, Skagra wonders if Romana II is trying to reach the secondary console room. (TV: The Masque of Mandragora - The Invisible Enemy)
- When Skagra is captured by his ship, he is forced to watch all of the Doctor's adventures. The first video-file shows a policeman in the fog. (TV: An Unearthly Child)
- Clare believes Gallifrey is in Greece. Others have assumed it is in Ireland. (TV: The Hand of Fear)
Deviations from the Televised Story Edit
- An opening chapter focusing on Skagra is added.
- There is a homosexual subtext to Skagra recruiting David Taylor. The character is given a greater presence than in the original story, although his character was also elaborated on in the webcast.
- The scene with the Doctor being chased by the sphere on the bicycle is relocated to nighttime. This was the original intention in the script, but could not be filmed as such due to strike action. (DOC: Taken Out of Time)
- There are added scenes featuring Chris walking around the TARDIS and finding his bedroom.
- The closing of the novel adds a scene of Chris, Clare and Chronotis being escorted to the police station, and a scene of the Doctor and Romana using the Randomiser in the TARDIS.
This novel was released complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Lalla Ward and John Leeson. Unusually, this release uses the series' theme music at the opening and closing, a convention usually not followed in these audiobook releases.
The audio set of four CDs was released in March 2012 priced £13.99 (UK)