Shada Steelbook

ShadaShada Steelbook


Number of DVDs: 2
DVD Number: BBCDVD3387
Certification: PG
Duration: 147 minutes


BBC Worldwide is to release the Douglas Adams Doctor Who story Shada, using animation to complete the story.

Shada was planned to be the celebratory end to the seventeenth series of Doctor Who. Acclaimed writer Douglas Adams had completed the script, Tom Baker’s Doctor was at the height of his popularity, and the series had bigger audiences than ever before.

The story was also due to be the final story produced by Graham Williams, before handing over to new producer John Nathan Turner, who would introduce a new look to the series. But it was not to be. Strike action at the BBC in November 1979 meant the final studio recording sessions were cancelled, and the story was never completed.

A video was released in 1992, with Tom Baker providing linking material to camera for the missing scenes, re-released as a DVD in 2013. A web version of the story was also produced for the official Doctor Who website to mark the programme’s 40th Anniversary in 2003. It used basic Flash animation alongside a new audio track produced by Big Finish and starring Paul McGann as The Doctor. In 2013 an unofficial fan version, directed by Ian Levine, was completed using animation to fill in the missing scenes. In this version, although a number of original cast members revoiced their parts, the Fourth Doctor was voiced by another actor.

Now, thirty-eight years on from the planned transmission, BBC Worldwide has announced that a new official version of Shada is to be completed, combining the original, remastered footage, with new colour animation. The animation will feature the newly-recorded voices of the original cast, including Tom Baker as The Doctor and Lalla Ward as Romana, performing the original script.

Tom Baker says
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.
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.

Doctor Who: Shada is being produced by the team behind the highly successful and critically acclaimed animation of lost Doctor Who serial The Power of the Daleks and lost Dad’s Army episode A Stripe For Frazer. The team have had access to nearly seven hours of raw footage from the original 1979 Shada shoot from which they are ing the new production from scratch, with all the original location film negatives re-scanned in full HD and digitally remastered. It will not, however, be possible to create a full HD version of the new production, as the original studio video material is locked into its original SD format, and no higher resolution is possible.

Paul Hembury, Executive Producer, BBC Worldwide says
Fans loved The Power of the Daleks, so we’re delighted to be able to complete and bring them another lost Doctor Who classic.
Shada will be released as a digital download on Friday 24th November, and on DVD and Bluray on Monday 4th December.

Episode entry

Special Features

Disc 1


Toby Hadoke interviews actors Christopher Neame (Skagra) and Daniel Hill (Chris), character artist Martin Geraghty, and animator Anne Marie Walsh in a special commentary covering the 38 year production of Shada from 1979 to 2017.

Alternate Sound Mixes

Available in 5.1 Surround Sound, 2.0 Stereo, and 1.0 Mono. Mixed by Mark Ayres.

Disc 2

Taken Out of Time

Cast and crew look back on the making of Shada. With actors Tom Baker and Daniel Hill, director Pennant Roberts, production manager Ralph Wilton, production assistant Olivia Bazalgette and design assistant Les McCullum.

Now and Then

A return visit to Cambridge to compare and contrast the city locations as they appear in Shada with how they look today. Narrated by Richard Bignell.

Strike, Strike, Strike!

Although by far the most high profile victim, Shada was by no means the only Doctor Who story to be affected by industrial action. BBC political correspondent Shaun Ley presents this 2012 documentary, featuring actress Nicola Bryant, director Paul Seed, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Addington, BECTU union president Tony Lennon and writer and union rep Gary Russell.

Studio Sessions

A compilation of raw footage from the studio recording of Shada. Shot at BBC Television Centre in November 1979.

Dialogue Sessions

In June 2017, the original cast of Shada reassembled in the sound studio for two days dialogue recording for the animated sections of the story. This is a compilation of some of the material recorded over those two days. Featuring Tom Baker, Christopher Neame, Daniel Hill and Toby Hadoke.

Studio Shooting (2017)

A compilation of behind-the-scenes footage from the final live action shoot for Shada, recording in September 2017.

Model Filming

A compilation of behind-the-scenes footage from the model effects filming conducted for Shada in August 2017.

Deleted Scenes

Two short scenes, originally intended for animation, were cut during the production, for reasons of pacing. They are presented here from the raw studio sessions.

Title Sequence Films

The Doctor Who title sequence used on Shada was created in 1974 by BBC graphic designer, Bernard Lodge. It opened and closed every Doctor Who episode made between 1974 to 1979. As part of the 2017 completion of production of Shada all of the original film negatives for this title sequence were retransfered and digitally remastered in high definition. The sequence is presented here in full, together with raw transfers of the film rolls themselves and some never before released test footage.

Live Action Reference Footage

In order to help give the Shada animators the best possible reference from which to work, a number of scenes were acted out as live action scenes in a green-screen studio. It was the first footage to be shot on Shada for nearly 38 years. Featuring Daniel Hill (Chris Parsons), Barnaby Edwards (Krag performer) and Tim Bentinck (doubling for Tom Baker).

1979 Photo Gallery

A collection of photographs taken during the original 1979 location filming and studio recording of Shada.

2017 Photo Gallery

A comprehensive gallery of drawings, artwork, photographs and other images related to the 2017 completion of Shada.

PDF Materials

Includes original scripts (rehearsal scripts, 1979 camera scripts, 1981 camera scripts, and 1992 VHS compilation scripts), recording schedules, animation storyboards, the 1981 Doctor Who Annual, 1992 VHS cover, Knitting Pattern, and Promotional Art.

Disc 3 (Blu-Ray Steelbook Exclusive)

1992 VHS Verison

This inclues the edition of Shada released on the VHS format in 1992. It features the original footage combined with Tom Baker narrating the missing scenes.

2003 Webcast Version

To celebrate Doctor Who’s 40th Anniversary, the BBC produced a new animated version of the Douglas Adams story, which was made available on The Doctor Who website. It was rewritten to feature Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, and also stars Lalla Ward as Romana and John Leeson as K-9.

Missing Bonus Features

  • Production Subtitles
  • Being a Girls
  • 1992 VHS Verison (exclusive to the Blu-Ray Steelbook)
  • 2003 Webcast Version (exclusive to the Blu-Ray Steelbook)

more covers

Shadae coverShada cover


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