Tuesday, 10 October 2017
For a story that was never completed and so never broadcast, there's a heck of a lot of Shada about. News comes today that the story will get an official release from the BBC, of the original footage that was completed, combined with new animation, voiced by original cast members.
This isn't totally unexpected news - Daniel Hill (Chris Parsons) tweeted that he had completed voice work some months ago.
There will be a download available from November 24th, with a DVD to follow on 4th December.
The story was cancelled due to one of the annual BBC strikes, with only one of the three studio sessions completed plus - luckily - all of the Cambridge location work. JNT tried to get it remounted when he took over, but was unsuccessful, and later used a couple of clips so that Tom Baker could be included in The Five Doctors.
The story was released on VHS with Tom Baker providing narration for the missing bits. JNT commissioned new SFX shots for this, but unfortunately used 1980's music instead of the Dudley Simpson score it would have had.
Big Finish also came up with an audio version, replacing the Fourth Doctor with the Eighth for some reason. This was also a webcast, with limited animation.
When it came time to release the story on DVD, they went back to the VHS version. This rather infuriated Ian Levine, as he had commissioned his own animated version of the missing sections. I've seen clips and the animation is good in places and dire in others, and he had to get sound-a-likes for some of the cast (including Tom Baker).
We should also mention that the story was finally novelised not long ago, by Gareth Roberts, using Douglas Adams' notes.
Once again, thoughts turn to those other missing or incomplete stories. Hopefully this shows that the BBC still has an interest in releasing more classic Doctor Who.