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Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams Hardcover – June 26, 2012
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Praise for DOCTOR WHO: SHADA
"[Roberts] does a great job of maintaining Douglas Adams' voice throughout the story, with his trademark satire and humor firmly in place . . . fans of Doctor Who will enjoy this little trip back into that world."— Wired.com
"[A]n entertaining read . . . and anyone who enjoys both the big heart and boundless silliness of Dooctor Who will be pleased."— io9.com
"[S]pectacular. Gareth Roberts has done a remarkable job of channeling the vision of Douglas Adams . . . not only Doctor Who fans will enjoy it, but I think Sci-Fi and Hitchhiker fans will love it as well."— GeeksofDoom.com
About the Author
Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge in 1952, and was educated at Brentwood School, Essex and St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he read English. As well as writing all the different and conflicting versions of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, he has been responsible for Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, and, with John Lloyd, The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff. In 1978-79, he worked as Script Editor on Doctor Who. He wrote three scripts for the show: “The Pirate Planet,” “City of Death” [under the name David Agnew], and “Shada.” Adams died in May 2001. Gareth Roberts was born in Chesham, Buckinghamshire in 1968. His scripts for Doctor Who on television include “The Shakespeare Code,” “The Unicorn and the Wasp,” “The Lodger,” and “Closing Time.” He has also written many scripts for the spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, as well as scripts for such television shows as Emmerdale and Randall & Hopkirk [Deceased]. He has written nine previous Doctor Who novels, and lives in West London.
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Top Customer Reviews
This time, the threat comes from Skagra, an overly ambitious fellow from the vacation planet of Dronid. He wants to be God, or the closest thing possible. To achieve this goal, he needs to absorb the mind of the legendary Gallifreyan criminal Salyavin who had the ability to replace or augment the minds of others with own. Salyavin, though, was reportedly placed in stasis and imprisoned thousands of years ago on the now lost and forgotten prison planet of Shada. The key to finding Shada is the book 'The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey,' which Professor Chronotis stole from the Time Lords' archives and subsequently misplaced.
Got it? Good. Because that's about as much of the plot as I'm going to try to summarize.
The story was originally written as a TV script by Douglas Adams, the late, great author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galxay, and novelized by Gareth Roberts, a writer of other Doctor Who novels and TV scripts.
To me, the beginning sounds like Adams. See if you don't agree.
`At the age of five, Skagra decided emphatically that God did not exist. This revelation tends to make most people in the universe who have it react in one of two ways -- with relief or with despair. Only Skagra responded to it by thinking, Wait a second. That means there's a situation vacant.'
Now I don't know if Adams came up with this opening or if Roberts did, but it has a lot of Douglas Adams' irreverent wit and whimsy. And so does the rest of the book. Now, I won't say it reads exactly like a Douglas Adams book because it doesn't. There are bits that do, probably because Adams wrote them as part of the script, but in other parts, the imagination is noticeably more constrained. It's still quite good, enjoyable, and it hangs together very well. The melding of Roberts and Adams is virtually seamless.
The portrayal of the Doctor is exceptional, often sounding more like the later Doctors from the new series than the fourth Doctor from the 1970s/1980s. I don't consider this a bad thing. (Don't get me wrong, all of the Doctors were fun, but the new series has more polish.)
There was a certain element of nostalgia for me reading a `new' Doctor Who adventure set in the 1980s featuring the Doctor's campy, robot dog, K-9. I enjoyed it very much. I would recommend this book to all fans of Douglas Adams and Doctor Who. If you are not a fan, what's wrong with you?
I picked this up far more for the 'Douglas Adams' part than the 'Doctor Who' part, even tho I have memories of watching some Tom Baker episodes on PBS when I was a kid and have been following the revival since it started.
Douglas Adams, if you don't know (and if you don't....you have my deepest condolences) wrote The Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy; the BBC radio series, the BBC television series, and the first five books in the trilogy. (Several years back, Eoin Colfer wrote And Another Thing..., the sixth book, which I haven't read.) He also wrote two books featuring an eccentric detective named Dirk Gently and other works, all worth checking out. His death in 2001 was a great loss that still makes me sad to this day.
Gareth Roberts took on the unenviable task of transforming Adams's script to a novel and completing it in a way that Adams (who is said to have expressed his displeasure over how the whole affair turned out) maybe would've approved.
I don't know how Adams would react, but I quite liked it. I don't know specifically which bits are Douglas Adams and which bits are Gareth Roberts and that's a good thing. The whole thing has the general sound of something Adams could've written, with plenty of phrases that definitely sound like the way he wrote, but the tone is consistent throughout. It doesn't come across like person A wrote this bit and person B wrote that bit. The story is a fun Doctor Who tale at its core, and the Adams touches are just icing on the cake. Nothing about it plays against my (hazy, to be sure) memories of Tom Baker's Doctor, and I could hear his voice and see his face while reading it. And K-9 is on the scene, too. K-9 rocks!
If you're a fan of Adams or the Doctor, I'd say it's worth a read.