37 years later, it’s finally here… ‘Shada’, the lost episode of ‘Doctor Who’, written by famed sci-fi author Douglas Adams, which originally intended to air in 1980. The episode featured Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor with his Companion Romana, played by Lalla Ward. This legendary episode was partially shot but shut down due to a strike at the BBC and never fully completed.
But the new version is considered the definitive presentation of ‘Shada’ with animation filling in the parts that were not filmed for the original episode and Baker and Ward reprising their roles. The animation comes from the same team that created the 1966 serial ‘The Power of the Daleks‘.
Check out this trailer to get a feel for how the original live action looks with the animated sections:
‘Shada’ was previously released in 1992 on VHS, with Baker narrating the missing parts. In 2010, Ian Levine privately financed a version similar to this one, using animation to fill in the missing scenes, but that was unsanctioned. Big Finish produced an audio drama of the original script with Ward reprising her role, but Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor filling in for Baker’s Fourth. And there have been other adaptations in novel and audio form as well over the years, but as stated, this is considered the definitive version.
‘Shada’ will be available on digital platforms today, November 24 and on DVD and Blu-Ray on December 4, but I believe these dates are only valid in the U.K. It will be released as a two-disc special edition in the U.S. on January 9, 2018.
If this release goes well, there is speculation that animation could be used to present other adventures using Baker as well as possibly other Doctors, since many of them frequently contribute to other Big Finish audio dramas. Recording an animated special would be a similar experience for the actors.
Are you happy to finally get to see the legendary ‘Shada’?
Source: Radio Times