Great news for classic ‘Doctor Who’ fans: one of the most infamous “lost episodes” of the series is finally seeing a release! The episode, “Shada” was written by popular British author Douglas Adams, best-known as the creator of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ book series; the episode was meant to air during the era of the Fourth Doctor in 1979 – the big finale episode of the show’s 17th Season – but a strike at the BBC killed those plans, and the episode was never brought back afterwards.
Fortunately, BBC has made the smart move to finally give the show to the fans, albeit 38 years past their original intended release date. Since the show never fully completed shooting on-camera, the episode will be filled in with color animation for the missing scenes – with the original cast all returning to provide the voice work to boot!
Fourth Doctor and episode star Tom Baker is ecstatic about the episode’s release, saying:
“Shada was one of my favourite Doctor Who stories. 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.”
BBC, in their press release, detailed how the episode breaks down:
The new feature-length production incorporates all of the live-action scenes from 1979, together with new animated material. Shada finds the Doctor in Cambridge working alongside companion Romana and retired Time Lord, Professor Chronotis, to defeat the evil alien Skagra who is attempting to steal the secrets to the prison planet, Shada.
Lastly, there is a surprisingly large selection of special features included with the episode’s release as well:
– Taken Out of Time (25′ 39″)
– Now and Then (12′ 45″)
– Strike, Strike, Strike! (27′ 50″)
– Studio Sessions – 1979 (44′ 38″)
– Dialogue Sessions (14′ 16″)
– Model Filming (04′ 36″)
– Deleted Scenes (01′ 22″)
– Title Sequence Films (TBC)
– Live Action Reference Footage (02′ 48″)
– 1979 Gallery (04′ 50″)
– 2017 Gallery (02′ 52)
‘Doctor Who: Shada’ is coming to digital home video on November 24, 2017, and Blu-Ray and DVD on December 4, 2017.