BBC regenerates ‘lost’ Tom Baker Doctor Who story Shada

An unbroadcast story from the Fourth Doctor era has finally been completed, combining live action footage with specially created animation

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A lost Doctor Who classic starring Tom Baker is about to be brought back to life, 38 years after the story was abandoned and the final episodes were left unbroadcast.

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Shada, written by Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams and starring Baker as the Fourth Doctor, was set to be the finale to the 17th series in 1979, but strike action at the BBC meant the episodes were never finished.

Now the BBC has finally completed the six-part story, mixing original footage with brand new colour animation and specially recorded dialogue from the original cast, including Tom Baker and actress Lalla Ward as companion Romana.

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Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and Cambridge student Chris Parsons (Daniel Hill) recreated in animated form for the new release of Doctor Who’s Shada

“Shada was one of my favourite Doctor Who stories,” said Baker. “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.”

Watch the trailer below for Doctor Who: Shada below.

The new Doctor Who project is made by the same team who produced the remastered version of lost Who episode The Power of the Daleks and missing Dad’s Army episode A Stripe for Frazer.

To make the new Doctor Who story, the production team had access to nearly seven hours of raw footage from the original 1979 shoot, and edited the new production from scratch with all the original film negatives re-scanned in full HD.

Doctor Who Shada DVD cover

Paul Hembury, Executive Producer, BBC Worldwide said, “Fans loved The Power of the Daleks, so we’re delighted to be able to complete and bring them another lost Doctor Who classic.”

Industrial action at the BBC meant Doctor Who studio shooting and a planned night shoot were disrupted. Shada was dropped from the 17th series in December 1979, and officially cancelled in June 1980. The episodes were never broadcast.

A version of the story was eventually released in 1992, with Tom Baker recording a narration for the missing scenes. However, this is the first time the episodes have been recreated in full.

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Doctor Who: Shada will be released on Friday 24th November, first as a digital download and then on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 4th December.