Shada: the maximum-security prison planet of the Time Lords, for those who wanted to conquer the universe. The way to Shada has been long forgotten. But Skagra – wannabe universal conqueror and possessor of a mind-draining sphere – wants to enlist the talents of a very special inmate. The sphere leads him to Cambridge in 1979, and the apartment of Professor Chronotis – a elderly Time Lord, friend to the Doctor and owner of a unique book….
The deeper dive:
Being A Girl – Women in Doctor Who examines how the Doctor’s female companions have developed from the childish Susan and buttoned-down Barbara, to the more feisty women of today. Strike! Strike! Strike! tells the fascinating story of the regular bouts of industrial action at the BBC in the sixties and seventies. The Big Finish/BBCi Flash animation of Shada is a nice addition.
Douglas. Adams. As with his earlier Doctor Who offerings (The Pirate Planet and City of Death), Shada is crammed full of the wild ideas and witty dialogue that were his trademark. The completed location work in Cambridge is glorious, placing the Doctor in an academic setting where he looks so comfortable. And Tom Baker’s linking narration from 1992 is delightfully eccentric – delivered in character as the Fourth Doctor.
The bottom line:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Doctor Who.