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Doctor Who: Shada (Story 109) (2013)

Tom Baker , Lalla Ward , Pennant Roberts  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, David Brierley, Christopher Neame
  • Directors: Pennant Roberts
  • Writers: Douglas Adams
  • Producers: Graham Williams
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Color
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 8, 2013
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009RZ160W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,030 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: Shada (Story 109)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Written by Douglas Adams as his final contribution to Doctor Who, Shada was envisaged as a Time Lord story without a Gallifreyan setting. It sees the Doctor bringing Romana to present-day Earth to visit Professor Chronotis, an elderly Time Lord who absconded from Gallifrey and now lives a quiet academic life at St Cedd's College in Cambridge. Also seeking Chronotis is a scientist called Skagra who has a device, in the form of a floating sphere, with which he intends to steal the Professor's mind and thereby learn the location of a book entitled The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey. Skagra eventually succeeds in obtaining the book, which has been borrowed from the Professor's study by a student named Chris Parsons. He then kidnaps Romana and hijacks the TARDIS.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I remember how excited I was back in 1992 when Shada was first released on home video featuring Tom Baker providing accompanying narration to the unfinished serial which was aborted from Season 17 due to a BBC strike. Previously, the only glimpse we had into this "lost" Douglas Adams story was the scene with the Doctor and Romana II punting down the river at Cambridge that was used in the 20th Anniversary special Doctor Who: The Five Doctors (Story 130).

I had surmised that the excruciatingly long delay to release Shada on DVD was because the Doctor Who Restoration Team had plans to do a complete reconstruction of the unfilmed serial using animation like Cosgrove Hall had fabulously done for Patrick Troughton's two missing episodes of Doctor Who: The Invasion (Story 46). Unfortunately what we have been given here is the same "storybook" reading by Tom Baker that we were given back in 1992 and it's very disappointing considering that Tom Baker, almost 80, is still alive and probably more than happy and willing to record new audio performances for accompanying animation sequences having recently lent his vocal talents to several Big Finish audio adventures of his fourth Doctor. Even if Lalla Ward had declined to participate for personal reasons due to her prior relationship with Tom Baker which ended in divorce, they still could have edited her dialogue that she recorded for the 8th Doctor Big Finish audio reconstruction of
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52 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Long ago, the Time Lords created Shada, a prison planet specifically to house the worst of the worst, that is, creatures who had tried to conquer the universe. One of those imprisoned was Salyavin, a Time Lord of enormous mental powers and mind control. But don't bother looking for Shada. Its location has been lost in the mists of time. Or not.

The episode starts on the Think Tank space station. Using a device with a strange sphere, great thinkers and scientists share their knowledge, to be accumulated in the sphere. But then one of them, Doctor Skagra, goes megalomaniac. He uses the sphere to drain his colleague's minds and sets out to, well, conquer the universe. But to insure his victory, he needs one last almost all-powerful mind to steal, that of the Time Lord Salyavin. There are rumors that there is one person alive who knows Shada's location, an elderly Time Lord who has retired to Cambridge, Earth, under the name Professor Chronotis. Skagra sets out for Earth.

Fortunately for the universe, The Doctor (Tom Baker), Romana II (Lalla Ward) and K9 also make a visit to Cambridge. Professor Chronotis is the Doctor's old friend, and he's asked the Doctor to visit him and help him find a book he seems to have misplaced. If you call a friend from across time and space to find a book, it may not be an ordinary book.

"Shada" has my favorite Classic doctor and my favorite companion (K9, not Romana!). It was the last series Adams wrote for Dr. Who and it has a lot of goofy humor, such as when Professor Chronotis introduces himself, "I am, I was, I will be Professor Chronotis. Oh dear. We Gallifreyans have never managed to come up with a satisfactory form of grammar to cover these situations.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice set for Doctor Who completists November 24, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As long as you don't purchase it expecting a complete Doctor Who story, this is an interesting look into what could have been, featuring entertaining commentary by the Fourth Doctor himself, Tom Baker. Includes a wealth of extras along with the documentary, "More than 30 years in the TARDIS."
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42 of 63 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth It And Depressing January 8, 2013
Format:DVD
Over $30 for what is essentially the length of a 4 part 90 minute Doctor Who story, with some animated stills added to the original production and narration provided for large missing chunks by Tom Baker. (at this time, Barnes&Noble.com is selling the item for about $23, a more reasonable price.) It may be 3 discs, but the "full version", which is flash animation (read: sub par to what is considered broadcast TV quality animation) is only viewable through the internet (granted, most viewers probably have a DVD drive and can connect to a big screen TV) and does not feature the original cast (with a few exceptions, but even then the voices are different), and in my view is a lackluster cartoon attempting to make up for the real thing. As for the other big extra of "More than 30 Years in the Tardis", what you essentially get is a series of inaccurate memories as seen through a child's eyes. As with Dalekmania, the previous heralded Doctor Who documentary, it leaves the viewer confused and unimpressed at the end, destined to fade away with all your other bad dreams with zero value to any casual viewer. Even more depressing are the shorter extras, most of which, instead of celebrating the show, just remind the long term fan of all the people who were connected with the show who are now dead, almost all of which have absolutely nothing to do with Shada or even the Fourth Doctor, and make me wonder why exactly they are on THIS release, unless the producers saw the "Douglas Adams" association as a great marketing ploy to take advantage of, to sell something to fans that they otherwise would be resistant to purchasing. Besides all that, it is not the best story from that period of the show, complete or not, it's definitely not another Douglas Adams triumph as was the previous "City of Death". Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars half a Who is better than none
An incomplete story that fascinates at what might have been. Perhaps not a lost classic but entertaining none the less. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Michael A. Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Lost Gem.
This DVD is great for die hard Dr. Who fans. Yes it is the same as the VHS release, but you get two extra disc of special features, including the 30 Years in The Tardis... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mark Who
5.0 out of 5 stars whovian house
we are a house of whovians and enjoy all of the programs including classics such as the tom baker series. a must see for all fans.
Published 2 months ago by n varney
5.0 out of 5 stars Always wondered
I loved Shada. It was a different type of Tom Baker story. Alway wondered where that footage came from. A+
Published 2 months ago by Char
5.0 out of 5 stars i love it
This was a great idea for a Doctor Who script that was never finished due to Labor troubles in the United Kingdom,but what was done is excellent
Published 3 months ago by Kevin Todd Clepps
5.0 out of 5 stars Special Features!
The special features on this are just about the best. It has 3 discs, just about the most special features of any Fourth Doctor release. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Zanriel
5.0 out of 5 stars The Lost Douglas Adams Episode
In the early 1980's, I remember getting a guide to SF programmes, which included an abbreviated Doctor Who episode listing. Read more
Published 5 months ago by JohnIon
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr WHO
This was a gift for my husband. He is a BIG DR WHO fan. Soon I will be looking for more. Thanks
Published 5 months ago by DEBORAH ANN GROBARCIK
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as big a loss as the fuss
While it is wonderful to have this story restored in some form or other, it is not really that great a story. Sorry, but it isn't. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Michael Mueller
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Unions
A pretty good addition to Time Lord lore destroyed by England's frickin' labour unions at the time. A pretty good recreation and better than those of lost episodes of the first and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Steven R. Johnson
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