With the news that the long unfinished Doctor Who story Shada, featuring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor, is to be finally completed, we bring you an in-depth look at the (mis)adventure from Doctor Who Magazine.
Read more about the new release of Shada on digital download/bluray and DVD here.
Time After Time was originally presented in The Essential Doctor Who: Time Lords published by Panini UK in 2016 and presents the legacy of the Douglas Adams tale which will now be completed using the original footage from 1979 and hand-drawn animation.
The following article is reproduced by very kind permission of the author and Doctor Who Magazine.
Time After Time
By Paul Kirkley
“The day after we finished filming Shada,” Tom Baker once claimed, “it was already mythology to me.”
Baker recorded his final scenes for the ill-fated serial on 5 November 1979. They weren’t supposed to be his final scenes, of course: with work scheduled to run into December, there was still plenty to be done. But when the cast and crew arrived at Television Centre for the next studio session they found the doors locked. Production had been halted by an industrial dispute which, depending on who you believe, may have boiled down to a row about whose job it was to move the hands on the Play School clock.
The doors were finally unlocked later that month, but BBC bosses decided to prioritise Television Centre for more ‘prestigious’ shows like Fawlty Towers and The Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special. So, despite several studio sessions and a whole week’s worth of location filming in Cambridge having been completed, Shada was cancelled. And that was seemingly that.
Except this was only the beginning of a long and extraordinary afterlife that has ironically gifted Shada a much richer legacy than many stories that did actually make it into viewers’ living rooms. While there may be many Doctor Who adventures that are better regarded, few can match Shada in terms of its sheer – thanks Tom – mythology.