BBC Books have announced the forthcoming publication of a novelisation of the great â€˜lostâ€™ Doctor Who serial Shada!
Retelling an adventure that never made it to TV screens (despite several subsequent attempts), prolific Doctor Who TV script writer Gareth Roberts has adapted the original Douglas Adams draft scripts and production notes as well as original designs and the various completed material.
For long-standing fans of Doctor Who this is one of those “holy grail” moments. Previous attempts to restore the tale have come and gone, with the Tom Baker-narrated bridging work on a BBC video release in 1993 and a BBCi-produced audio/animation starring Paul McGann and Lalla Ward coming closest. So notorious has the story become that it became the subject of a Radio 4 series, Shelved, in 2009.
The reason this release is so notable is that production of the planned finale to the 1979-1980 season of Doctor Who was halted part-way through due to industrial action at the BBC, and as such the story was never completed. The only footage from the story that fans will be familiar with is the punting sequence from The Five Doctors.
Published with the full support of the Estate of Douglas Adams and Adams’ agent Ed Victor at Ed Victor Ltd, Shada will be the first ever novelisation of Douglas Adamsâ€™s work on Doctor Who, and will be published by BBC Books in March 2012 as a Â£16.99 hardback.