Sunday, 16 February 2020

530 Shada: Part Five

EPISODE: Shada: Part Five
TRANSMITTED: Unbroadcast (planned for 16th February 1980)
WRITER: Douglas Adams
DIRECTOR: Pennant Roberts
SCRIPT EDITOR: Douglas Adams
PRODUCER: Graham Williams
RATINGS: Unbroadcast
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Shada

"My purpose will fulfil the natural evolutionary goal of all life. With the aid of these spheres, I shall make the whole of creation merge into one single mind, one god-like entity. The universe, Doctor, shall not, as you so crudely put it, be mine. The universe shall be me!"

The Krarg strikes the machinery in the think tank, creating a vast amount of smoke which enables the Doctor, K-9 & Chris to escape back to Skagra's ship, leaving just as the Think Tank station explodes. The Ship is persuaded to take the Doctor to Skagra's home. While trying to repair the Professor's ship Clare asks about who Salyavin is. The Professor places the knowledge that Clare needs to repair the Tardis in her head telepathically. Skagra's ship takes the Doctor's ship to the Krarg carrier ship. They are captured and Skagra reveals his plan to take over the universe telepathically, merging them into one mind: his. The Doctor stages an escape with Chris & K-9 but Romana is dragged back to the Tardis by Skagra. Fleeing down the corridors of the ship the Doctor & co find an out of place old wooden door and go through it, discovering themselves to be in Professor Chronotis' rooms/Tardis. The Professor knows that with the book & Tardis that Skagra can travel to Shada, which is exactly what he does. Skagra searches Shada's records for the location of Salyavin, the Time Lord criminal with huge mental powers. The Professor's Tardis arrives and he, K-9 & The Doctor follow Shada with the Professor guiding them. Skagra starts reviving the prisoners as the Doctor arrives but when they open Salyavin's cell they find it empty. The Professor admits he is Salyavin: he escaped centuries ago and used his powers to make the Time Lords forget about Shada. The Sphere attacks the Professor but is destroyed by K-9. However it reforms into several smaller spheres, one of which attaches itself to the Professor and he sinks to the floor. The spheres attach themselves to the revived prisoners, bringing them under Skagra's control. Chris & Clare arrive, but Chris too is brought under the control of a sphere. He and the prisoners advance on the Doctor.

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Once again Tom Baker's narration on the VHS version doesn't do what's happening justice. Not Tom's fault at all, more the John Nathan-Turner penned script which draws attention to the wrong elements. Certain bits, notably finding the door to the Professor's rooms on the Krarg carrier ship and the revelation that Chronotis is Salyavin came to life, really don't work in the VHS version and it needs either the scriptbook or the 2017 version to bring them to life!

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The idea that Time Lords have mental powers has been hinted at before: Susan was telepathic and both the Doctor & The Master have been shown to easily hypnotise people. In Salyavin we have someone who has taken those abilities to a whole new level.

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Many years ago when I was given for my Birthday a copy of the Doctor Who Programme Guide my interest in this story was peaked by the description that the prisoners would include "A Dalek, a Cyberleader and a Zygon".

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This really got me interested reading it because, apart from the Daleks earlier this season and the Sontarans nearly a year and a half previous, we hadn't seen any of the more famous Doctor Who monsters for a long time!

Obviously since the scenes on Shada weren't filmed we see none of this, and when I read the script book there's no reference there to who or what the prisoners are. So, fearing this detail had been made up, I asked on Roobarb's Doctor Who forum and m'learned colleague Mr David Brunt recalled thus:

If memory serves, it's something listed in the costume designer's notes for the story.

Might even be in the recording scripts which post-date the ones used for the script book.

There's certainly paperwork listing extras Steve Ismay, Ridgewell Hawks and Les Shannon as "Space Monsters". Ismay was certainly tall enough to get into a Cyberman suit.

Sadly it looks as if the animators for the 2017 DVD have just used generic humanoid aliens.

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Steve Ismay, the suspected Cyberman here, had been a BBC3 TV Crewmember in The Dæmons, a Guerilla & Stills Cameraman in Day of the Daleks, Sea Devil in The Sea Devils, Varan's Bodyguard in The Mutants a Presidential Guard in Frontier in Space and a Security Guard in The Green Death. He's in every story in season 10 playing a UNIT Soldier in The Time Warrior, an Army Soldier in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, an Exxilon & Exxilon Zombie in Death to the Daleks, a Guard in The Monster of Peladon and a Metebelis 3 Guard in Planet of the Spiders. He then plays a Guard in The Deadly Assassin, a Leviathan Guard in Ribos Operation and a Gracht Guard & one of Zadek's Guards in The Androids of Tara. He returns to plays a Citizen in Full Circle, a Cyberman in Earthshock and a Security Guard in Time Flight. He had been a Man in the Doomwatch episode The Islanders & Flood, and then appears in The Sweeney as a Policeman in Cover Story, a Driver in Golden Boy and a Villain in Stoppo Driver. In Porridge he played a Prison Warden in A Night In and a Gardener in Happy Release while in The Tomorrow People he was in a Vesh Rebel in Worlds Away and an SIS Sergeant in The Dirtiest Business. In Blake's 7 he plays a Scavenger in Deliverance, a Guard in Dawn of the Gods, a Convict in Moloch and a Hommik in Power.

Ridgewell Hawkes had been a Mute in Armageddon Factor and a Bearer in Creature from the Pit. He returns as a Pangol Doctor in The Leisure Hive, a Security Guard in Timeflight, a Seabase Guard in Warriors of the Deep and a Gastropod in Twin Dilemma. In Blake's 7 he's a Rebel in Pressure Point, a Customer / Gambler in Gambit, a Goth Guard in The Keeper, a Guard in Dawn of the Gods, a Menial in Ultraworld and a Hommik in Power. In The Professionals he's a Policeman in The Purging of Ci5.

Les Shannon had been a Citizen of Millenius in The Keys of Marinus, a Council Member in The Massacre, a Settler in The Gunfighters, a Passenger/Plague Victim/Passersby/Ambulance Man/Policeman in The Silurians and one of Collinson’s Men & and a Cameraman in Ambassadors of Death. In Blake's 7 he's a Federation Trooper in The Way Back and a Kairos Guard in The Harvest of Kairos. Earlier he was in Moonbase 3 as a Technician in View of a Dead Planet, Out of the Unknown as the Coroner in The Sons and Daughters of Tomorrow and The Andromeda Breakthrough as a Crowd Extra in Gale Warning.

The DWAS Production File reveals another disappointment with the Generic Human Prisoners that were animated: they were intended to be real life villains!

Lucrezia Borgia would have been played by Ann Lee who Returns as a Kinda in Kinda. In Doomwatch she was a Secretary in Friday's Child, a Woman in Spectre at the Feast, a Woman in Train and De-Train, a Woman in You Killed Toby Wren, a Woman in Flight Into Yesterday, a Nursing Sister in The Web of Fear, a Woman in The Inquest and a Laboratory Assistant in Cause of Death. I think it's likely that she's the Ann Garry Lee that I can't find on IMDB but the DWAS production file shows her appearing as a Passenger in Nightmare of Eden and a Lazar in Terminus.

Boedicia would have been played by Joan Harsant who had been a Technician in The Silurians and a Technician in Inferno. In Quatermass and the Pit she was part of the Crowd at Museum in The Enchanted and in The Black Adder she was a Nun in The Archbishop. She had a recurring role as the Cleaning Lady in The Paradise Club: you'll be seeing both of the stars of that show in Doctor Who over the next few years.

Salome would have been played by Julie La Rousse. She can be seen in Douglas Camfield & Robert Holmes' The Nightmare Man as the Hotel Receptionist in the third episode and in The Professionals as a Woman Walking Across Street in The Madness of Mickey Hamilton. There's a few comedy roles on her CV including The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin where she's a Woman in Audience in The Speech to the British Fruit Association, Are You Being Served? as a Shopper in The Club, Fawlty Towers as the Bearded Guest's Redheaded Companion in The Kipper and the Corpse and she later to find a recurring role as Julie the Barmaid in Only Fools and Horses

Nero, who previously appeared in the Doctor Who story The Romans played by Derek Francis, is portrayed here by Barry Summerford He had been in Invasion of the Dinosaurs as an Operation Golden Age Man, The Ark in Space as a Body in Pallet, Genesis of the Daleks as a Elite Guard, Revenge of the Cybermen as a Vogan, Terror of the Zygons as a Private Thurston, The Seeds of Doom as a UNIT Soldier, The Hand of Fear as a Security Guard, The Sun Makers as an IR Guard in Exchange Hall, The Ribos Operation as a Shrieve, The Armageddon Factor as a Guard and The Creature from the Pit as a Guard. He returns in The Keeper of Traken as a Foster. He was in the Doomwatchepisode Tomorrow, the Rat as a Man, Moonbase 3 as a Technician in Castor and Pollux & View of a Dead Planet and in Blake's 7 he plays a Federation Trooper in The Way Back, a Rebel in Pressure Point, a Rebel in Voice from the Past, a Customer / Gambler in Gambit, a Federation Commando in Volcano, a Monster in Dawn of the Gods and Tando in Blake, making him one of four actors to appear in the first and last episode of the series. He can also be seen in the Douglas Camfield adaption of Beau Geste as a Legionnaire.

Grigori Rasputin, a risky role surely as the show's star had once famously portrayed it, would have been played by Derek Moss while the fictional Lady Macbeth would have been played by Shirley Conrad. Both have no other Doctor Who roles.

Then there's a couple of more generic characters:

The Executioner is played by John Cannon. He'd been a Miner in Monster of Peladon, Elgin in Hand of Fear, a Passerby in Talons of Weng Chiang, a member of the Audience/Stagehands/Doorman (Fred) in Talons of Weng Chiang, a Trog in Underworld, a Technician in the Pirate Planet, a Guard in The Armageddon Factor, a Guard in Creature from the Pit, and would have been the Executioner in Shada. He returns as the Police Sergeant in Mawdryn Undead, the Shadow Helmsman in Enlightenment and a Retainer in King's Demons. In Blake's 7 he's a Federation Trooper in Project Avalon, Cevedic's Heavy in Gambit, a Labourer in The Harvest of Kairos and a Federation Trooper in Children of Auron. In Moonbase 3 he's a Technician in Castor and Pollux and in I, Claudius he's the Cake Ship slave in - A Touch of Murder. He's in Porridge twice: he's a Prisoner in A Night In and No Way Out. In The Sweeney he's in Supersnout as a Constable and Thou Shalt Not Kill as a Policeman while in The Professionals he's Huey in It's Only a Beautiful Picture. In The Empire Strikes Back he's a Holographic Imperial Officer while in Beau Geste he played a Legionnaire.

The Gladiator is played by Steve Kelly. He'd been a UNIT Soldier in the Invasion, a UNIT Soldier in the Ambassadors of Death, and an Ogron in Frontier in Space,. He returns as the Marshman leader in Full Circle and a Sea Devil in Warriors of the Deep. In Blake's 7 he's a a Scavenger in Deliverance, a Customer / Gambler in Gambit, a Goth Guard in The Keeper, a Hommik Warrior in Power and a Plantation Bounty Hunter in Blake. In Doomwatch he was a Man in Re-Entry Forbidden, a Man in The Islanders and the Lieutenant in Flood. In Monty Python's Flying Circus he was a Viking in Spam and in Fawlty Towers a Lorry Driver in Gourmet Night and an Ambulance Driver in The Germans. He's also in The Young Ones episode Cash.

Genghis Khan would have been played by Dave Cooper who returns as a Guard/Bearer/Alphan/Huge Alphan/Linna in Trial of a Timelord: Mindwarp. In The Professionals he's a Thug in Dead Reckoning and a Man in Bar in When the Heat Cools Off.

There's a real jump in the depiction of Clare Keightley between episodes: having had her hair up in the first four episodes it's suddenly down here. It's obvious on the VHS version and caught my eye: did they intend a scene where she let it down?

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The production paperwork indicates that all the Krargs were in episode 4, which is where we covered them, but this is the first episode where it feels like they're out in force.

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By this point the animation is taking up far more of the episode in the 2017 version than the recorded material is. Generally it's working quite well for me: love the K9 blast effect in this episode!

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Am I allowed a little nitpick at the animation? The animators, knowing nothing was filmed on Skagra's Carrier have used their licence and designed their own dark red corridors, as you can see in this shot when the Professor's front door materialises in it:

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The only problem is once The Doctor, K-9, Romana & Chris charge through the door you can see the corridor through the open door, a typically late 70s yellow, brown and beige patterned flat, which doesn't match what the animators came up with at all!

The most natural home for Shada to be finished would, for many years, have been the Doctor Who Target Book range. There was one problem though: It was a Douglas Adams story and Douglas said only he was going to adapt his stories. Unfortunately by this point Douglas had become a best selling author and the advance he commanded was waaaaaay in excess of what Target could afford. So the Target book of Shada, along with those for Douglas' two previous tales The Pirate Planet & City of Death, went unmade. There's two other Doctor Who stories that weren't adapted as Target Books: Resurrection of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks but the reasons they weren't adapted are slightly different.

However in 1989 an unauthorised adaptation of the story was carried out by The New Zealand Doctor Who fan club. A version can be downloaded from here.

In 2011 BBC Books unexpectedly announced that they were publishing a novelization of the story which would be written by New series writer Gareth Roberts. Roberts made his name writing a series of Fourth Doctor Missing Adventures books for Virgin. Doctor Who: Shada was released on 17th March 2012. Roberts takes certain liberties with the plot, most notably the cliffhanger to this episode, but it's a decent attempt at adapting the story and worth a read.

Two days after this episode was planned to be broadcast the Blake's 7 episode Children Of Auron was shown.

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