Throughout Doctor Who history many episodes of the sci-fi series have been lost, but few have inspired fans and creators quite as much as Douglas Adams’ Shada, a Tom Baker-starring serial intended to air on the BBC in 1979-80 before strike action halfway through filming meant it was never fully completed.
Since then, attempts at finally completing Shada have been plentiful, from a direct-to-video release using linking narration by Baker, a Big Finish audio play (starring Paul McGann’s Doctor instead of Baker’s) with animation and even a novelisation by revived series writer Gareth Roberts.
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But now, Shada has been completed in what may be the definitive version of the story, with the BBC combining the original footage of the serial with brand-new animation to bridge the gaps and bringing back the original cast (including Tom Baker and Lalla Ward) to record the missing lines included in Adams script – and a first-look trailer has been released to give a taste of exactly how the mash-up will look on screen.
And who knows? If the release of Shada is successful, this new technique could be the perfect way to bring Baker’s beloved Doctor back for more onscreen adventures. In a world where the First Doctor can be one of the stars of the upcoming Christmas special, it’s not SUCH a weird idea, after all.
Shada is available on digital platforms on the 24th November, and will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on the 4th December