Part One

I haven’t told Sue what we’re watching tonight, and I fully expect a cushion in the face.

ShadaSue: That’s what I’m looking for – the bloody exit. So what are we watching this week?

Tom Baker enters the Museum Of The Moving Image Doctor Who exhibit circa 1992.

Sue: Are we watching a Blue Peter special?

As Tom walks through the exhibition, he reels off the names of the Doctor’s enemies.

Tom Baker: Yeti, Gun-dan Robot, Vervoid, Sea Devil, Ice Warrior.
Sue: He’s reading the signs. He can’t remember the monsters’ names and he played the bloody Doctor. I don’t feel bad about forgetting them, now.

And then, completely out of the blue:

Tom Baker: SHADA!

Sue: Oh for ****’s sake. Not ****ing Shada. You promised!

ShadaTom reminisces about the uncompleted story.

Sue: Hasn’t Ian Levine got something to do with this?
Me: No.

And before anybody asks, no, I wouldn’t show her the animated version even if I had a copy. I’m not in the mood for any death threats, thanks.

Sue: For ****’s sake. What is this? Is it a documentary?
Me: No, we’re going to watch Shada, but bits of it are missing.
Sue: Oh, so it’s a recon.
Me: Sort of. You’ll see. Just imagine it’s 1992 and you haven’t seen any new episodes of Doctor Who for three years.
Sue: Sounds wonderful.
Tom Baker: We all cried a lot. We were very sad. Shada, Shada, Shada…
Sue: Oh, get over it. These things happen.

And then the 1970s title sequence kicks in.

Sue: Oh for ****’s sake.
Me: What’s wrong?
Sue: I didn’t think I’d ever have to sit through this title sequence again. We’re going backwards.

Shada begins on a space station.

Sue: The sleeping arrangements in the 200th season of Big Brother leave a lot to be desired.

One of these sleeping men is Skagra.

ShadaSue: Oh, it’s him from Peep Show. The one who isn’t married to the brainy woman who you fancy. You know, the other one.

Skagra does something heinous.

Sue: Is there a missing scene which explains what the hell is going on here? And who is doing the ****ing music?
Me: It’s Keff.
Sue: For ****’s sake.
Me: It’s Keff trying to be Dudley Simpson.
Sue: FOR ****’S SAKE!

The sleeping men begin shaking in their chairs.

Sue: Right, so we are in an airport longue and they are sitting in those chairs that massage you while you’re waiting for your flight. Is that it?

A sphere floats into the air.

ShadaSue: Ah, it’s the Yeti!
Me: It’s not the Yeti.
Sue: But Tom Baker said it was the Yeti, right at the beginning. Are all the old monsters not in this, then? That’s disappointing. What was the point of that?

Sue is brought back down to Earth. Cambridge, to be precise.

Sue: Now this is more like it. We’re outside, on Earth, and there’s no ****ing music. Bliss.

The silence doesn’t last very long, though.

Sue: So Keff has found the oboe setting on his Casio keyboard, has he? It still doesn’t make him Dudley. I bet Dudley is turning in his grave.
Me: Dudley isn’t dead.
Sue: So why not just hire Dudley? This makes no sense at all.

Chris Parsons arrive at St Cedd’s College.

Sue: Nicol went for an interview at Cambridge and they turned her down, the idiots. Oh well, their loss. Maybe if she’d kept her double-barrelled surname, she may have stood a chance.

In Professor Chronotis’ office.

Sue: I wish my university office looked like that. It’s gorgeous.

ShadaChronotis asks Chris Parsons if he’d like a cup of tea.

Sue: Is he a hobbit?

The Professor’s scatterbrained approach to life reminds Sue of someone else.

Sue: He’s very similar to Patrick Troughton. This actor would have been a great Doctor.

Meanwhile, on the Cam.

Sue: This looks lovely.
Me: Doesn’t this ring any bells?
Sue: Yes, you’ve made me watch this before. Why did you make me watch this before?
Me: The Five Doctors. Remember?
Sue: Oh yes, it’s all coming back to me now. Hang on, how can this happen twice?
Me: Well, Shada was never shown on television, so, erm…
Sue: So it doesn’t count?
Me: Well, not really, no.

I change the subject.

ShadaMe: Aren’t you happy to see Tom and Lalla back?
Sue: I suppose so. When you have a break from someone you tend to miss them after a while, even if they were getting on your nerves at the time. You’ll understand once we divorce. Were they shagging at this point?

Skagra struts around Cambridge in a ridiculous outfit.

Sue: Well, that’s not conspicuous, is it? Who does he think he is? Gary Glitter?

Suddenly, an elderly Tom Baker interjects from the future:

Tom Baker: Chris Parsons went to the lab and discovered that one of the books that he’d borrowed was written in a totally unknown alphabet.
Sue: That was a bit shit. Is he going to do that all the way through? Oh dear.

ShadaThe Doctor and Romana arrive at St Cedd’s College, where they met by Wilkins.

Sue: Oh look, it’s Ronnie Corbett.

When our heroes enter the Professor’s office, Sue begins to enjoy herself.

Sue: The script is very funny. I could watch these three all day.

Professor Chronotis is a retired Time Lord.

Sue: Hang on. If he’s been on Earth for hundreds of years, why hasn’t he helped out more? You know, when we were getting invaded by aliens, what the hell was he doing then?
Me: Marking student essays, probably.
Sue: Fair enough. That’s much harder than saving the world.

Skagra catches a glimpse of himself in a mirror.

Sue: Even in the 1970s, that outfit would have turned heads. Only one person could possibly pull a look like that off, and that’s Eddie Izzard.

Skagra confronts Ronnie Corbett.

Sue: Keffing hell! They are just having a conversation, it isn’t a Dalek invasion. Do you really need those bloody stings, Keff? Really?

ShadaThe Doctor tells Professor Chronotis that he heard strange voices while he was punting.

Chronotis: Oh, undergraduates talking to each other, I expect. I’m trying to have it banned.
Sue: This is now officially the best Doctor Who script ever.

Skagra hitches a lift from a passing motorist.

Sue: Does a man opening a car door really deserve the DER-DER-DER! treatment? And can this villain hypnotise people or does this bloke in the car think he’s pulled?

Skagra takes the car to a nearby field.

Sue: He’s such a cocky bastard. He left the ****ing gate open. I really hate it when people do that.

Skagra enters his invisible spaceship.

Sue: If Tom Baker hadn’t mentioned the invisible spaceship in his introduction, that would have been a nice surprise.

The episode concludes with Tom delivering another piece-to-camera:

ShadaTom Baker: In his invisible spaceship, Skagra absorbed masses of information about me and then informed the Commander of the carrier via the communicator that he would be joining him soon and that the universe should prepare itself. The Commander assured him that all was ready as his image solidified on the spaceship screen.
Sue: Is that it? It looks like they’ve glued some tiles together.

The credits kick in.

Sue: What a shame they didn’t finish it. The Professor is a lovely character. So is that it, then? I’d probably give it a 7 for…
Me: It isn’t over yet. There are five episodes left.

Finally, a cushion in the face.


Part Two

Sue: Actually, I do miss these titles. None of that stupid winking bollocks. And proper music, too.

The Doctor and Romana are discussing the Gallifreyan criminal, Salyavin.

The Doctor: Oh yes. He was a boyhood hero of mine.
Romana: Really, Doctor? A great criminal your hero?
The Doctor: A criminal, yes, but he had such style, such flair, such –
Romana: Panache?
Sue: If they are talking about the villain, then the Doctor needs to give his head a shake. He is anything but stylish.
Me: That’s not Salyavin – that’s Skagra.
Sue: Two silly names beginning with S. I can’t keep up.

The Doctor quizzes Chronotis about a book he borrowed from the Panopticon Archives on Gallifrey, but the Time Lord’s memory isn’t what it used to be.

ShadaChronotis: A sieve! That’s what it is. I’ve got a memory like a sieve!
Sue: Brilliant.
Tom Baker: Chris Parsons told his friend Clare about the book. Clare decided to wait with the book at the lab while Chris went back to the college to find out more about the extraordinary illegible tome.
Sue: I just wish this wouldn’t turn into Jack-a-bloody-nory every five minutes.
The Doctor: (to Chronotis) I’ll be back in two minutes. (to Romana) If I’m not back in two hours, you and the Professor lock yourselves in the TARDIS.
Sue: Brilliant. I really like Shada. We should have watched it sooner.

Skagra has changed into something less comfortable.

Sue: I never thought I’d be happy to see someone dressed like a geography teacher.

Skagra enters Chronotis’ office.

Sue: He should open a tea shop. All he seems to do is make tea.

Chronotis is attacked by Skagra’s sphere.

Sue: Oh no. I really liked him. Shouldn’t he regenerate or something?

ShadaAnd then K9 appears.

Sue: K9! I forgot that K9 was still around. Oh, this gets better and better.

The Doctor runs into Skagra in Cambridge.

The Doctor: I’m not mad about your tailor.
Sue: You should have seen what he was wearing five minutes ago!

Skagra’s sphere pursues the Doctor, who escapes on a bike.

Sue: His wheels could do with some oil.

The Doctor hurtles past some students who are singing Chattanooga Choo-Choo.

Sue: They are so into the song, they didn’t notice the silver ball flying past their faces, the posh twats.

The Doctor leaves his bike behind.

Sue: Does he know that the book has fallen out of his basket?
Me: I don’t think so.
Sue: SO WHY IS HE LEAVING THE BIKE WITH THE BOOK STILL IN THE BASKET? Even though it’s not in the basket. Oh, you know what I mean.

The Doctor is pursued into a back alley (which in my mind reeks of fish and chips), but his exit is blocked by a locked gate.

ShadaSue: Use your sonic screwdriver, you idiot! You’ve still got it at this point, haven’t you?

The Doctor tries to wriggle under the gate instead.

Sue: Is he taking the piss?

Cue credits.

Sue: I’d forgotten how ****ing stupid this Doctor is.


Part Three

Romana arrives in the TARDIS, which scares the sphere off.

Sue: How the hell did she know where to find him?
Tom Baker: Romana explained that K9 had traced the sphere after it had attacked the Professor.
Sue: I wish Tom Baker had been around to answer all my questions like this from the very beginning. Thanks for that.

Meanwhile, on a river bank.

Sue: He’s not a real angler. You can tell by the way he passed that line. He’s never fished in his life before.

ShadaSkagra’s sphere attaches itself to the faux-angler’s face.

Sue: You’d try to punch it out of the way, surely? That was badly directed.

The Doctor, Romana and Chris follow Skagra’s sphere to a field.

Sue: It reminds me of floating beach ball. I really hate beach balls.

The Doctor walks into the hull of Skagra’s invisible spaceship.

Sue: It would have been funnier if there were loads of unconscious cows dotted around the field.

K9 confirms that the spaceship is 100 metres long.

The Doctor: That should keep the cows guessing.
Sue: Best line so far. And there have been loads of good lines.

The Doctor notices something on the grass.

Sue: What’s the point of an invisible spaceship if you are going to advertise its presence with a red carpet? Is the bad guy holding an awards ceremony?

ShadaSkagra is back in his glad rags again.

Sue: He’s dressed for the after party. Jesus, he’s even wearing a medallion.

K9 and Chris Parsons are locked in the spaceship’s brig.

Sue: Why isn’t he asking K9 scientific questions to pass the time? He should be asking K9 questions about quantum physics and shit instead of moaning.

While Clare is exploring Chronotis’ empty office, she accidentally activates some hidden machinery.

Sue: Oh, he’s got one of those computers that Sarah Jane has.

And then the penny drops.

Sue: I bet this room is a TARDIS. If it is, it’s a very clever idea.

The episode ends with Tom Baker summarising thus:

ShadaTom Baker: With a fascinating display of illogical logic, I convinced the ship that I was dead in order to secure the release of my companions. The ship agreed, but shut down the oxygen supply. As I sank to the floor gasping for breath, the last thing I heard was the voice of the ship. Dead men do not require oxygen.
Sue: Oh, what a shame. I bet that would have been a great cliffhanger.


Part Four

Sadly, we are unable to bring you Part Four of Shada due to technical difficulties. So here’s Nicol with a quick summary:

NicolNicol: My mother believes that the monsters look like owls. She then complains to Neil that there are too many gaps in this story and they should watch the animated version instead. Neil refuses to budge.
Tom Baker: I introduced the ship to new concepts including the conceptual geometer from analogue to digital mode…
Nicol: Mother is amused by the reference to an analogue spaceship. When the Professor reappears, she wants to know where Wee Willie Winkie has been all this time. At one point she is convinced that the Professor regenerated into his own body, and even I know that would be silly. My mother then complains that the gaps are covered up too quickly and she doesn’t have enough time to visualise what she’s missing. It’s probably her age.
Tom Baker: In the TARDIS, Skagra was pondering over the book.
Nicol: My mother believes that Tom Baker must have been short of cash when he recorded these links. She can’t understand how a room full of old men could survive for so long without anything to eat. She also believes that the Think Tank sounds like something out of Dollhouse, whatever that is. My mother becomes increasingly annoyed by the number of names beginning with S, and when the monsters turn up, she doesn’t think they were worth the wait. And then, right at the end, she turns to Neil and screams: “Keffing hell!”


Part Five

The Doctor, Chris and K9 escape from the advancing Krarg.

Sue: I don’t think much of the direction. That was a bit cack-handed. And Keff’s music sounds nothing like Dudley’s. This shouldn’t have been allowed.

Tom Baker plugs an exceptionally large gap in the narrative.

Sue: It’s becoming more and more difficult to keep up with what’s going on. Nice explosion, though.

Professor Chronotis and Clare bond in his office.

Sue: These two should have had their own spin-off series. She’s basically his Sarah Jane.

ShadaAnd then Chronotis’ eyes turn a funny shade of green.

Sue: Is he the Master?
Me: No, he’s the Great Intelligence.
Sue: Is he really?
Me: No.
Sue: Is he Saly-whathisface?

Damn, she’s good.

The Doctor and Chris rush into the Professor’s TARDIS.

Sue: That double-take was brilliant.
Chronotis: Cup of tea?
: Yes, please.

Sue has fallen head over heels in love with the Professor’s TARDIS.

Sue: This is what my TARDIS would look like if I had one. Lots and lots of wood and an endless supply of tea.

The Doctor explains the plot.

The Doctor: Skagra had the capacity to take minds out of people, but he couldn’t put minds into them. That’s why he needs Salyavin in his sphere, and that’s why he’s going to Shada.
Sue: That almost makes sense. I’m back on track now. Thanks.

ShadaAnd then we finally see Shada for ourselves.

Sue: What the hell is that supposed to be? I was expecting something a bit less shit after all that build-up.

And then Tom Baker plugs another huge gap.

Sue: I’m becoming more and more irritated that Shada wasn’t finished. Because I’m convinced that it would have been good.

When Clare and Chris leave the Professor’s room, we are treated to a reprise of Keff’s ‘Opening and Closing Doors’ theme.

Sue: What is it with Keff McCulloch and ****ing doors?

The episode concludes with another piece-to-camera.

Tom Baker: Chris and Clare entered the chamber and the young man rushed forward to try to help. A sphere absorbed Chris’ mind in an instant. The prisoners, including Chris, advanced menacingly towards me.
Sue: Irritating.


Part Six

ShadaRomana reminds the Doctor that a copy of his brain exists inside Skagra’s sphere, and he’s so pleased, he gives her a medal.

Sue: Awww, that was very cute. They are definitely shagging at this point.

In the space-time vortex, two TARDIS intersect.

Sue: That doesn’t look great, does it?
Me: God knows what it would have looked like in 1979.
Tom Baker: With increasing difficulty, I was able to reach the TARDIS in the time tunnel.
Sue: This is ambitious. I’m not convinced that they would have been able to pull it off.

Clare releases her switch she is holding down and the console explodes.

Sue: Sarah Jane wouldn’t have been that stupid. She’s got a lot to learn.
Tom Baker: I managed to lash up a helmet-like affair made with bits of electronic equipment and a chunk of a table top.
Sue: Aww, I really wanted to see that.

ShadaAnd then Tom Baker takes over for ages.

Sue: I’m sorry, but I can’t keep up with this. I’m completely lost. Slow down!

After all that, Skagra is deposited back on his ship.

Ship: Do you know the Doctor well? He is a wonderful, wonderful man. He has done the most extraordinary things to my circuitry.
Sue: So the spaceship has fallen in love with the Doctor? I’ve definitely missed something important.

Meanwhile, Ronnie Corbett has reported the theft of a college room to the police.

Me: (as Ronnie) I said to my producer, I said, “I’ve lost the whole room!”

But the room has returned, and the Doctor has turned the place into a book club.

Sue: Thank God he’s not reading 50 Shades of Grey to them.
Chronotis: Cup of tea?
Sue: Yes, please.

Sue is very happy that Chronotis is alive and well.

Sue: Is he definitely okay? He’s going to be all right?
Me: Well, he’s got his annual appraisal coming up, and loads of marking to do, but apart from that, yes, he’ll be fine.


The Score

Sue: What a shame. I bet that would have been good if I’d understood it.
Me: Just for fun – this doesn’t really count – but what score would you give it?
Sue: It’s impossible to judge it, there’s so much missing. I enjoyed what I saw, so I’ll give what I saw.





  1. Lewis Christian  April 20, 2013

    Nice to see Sue’s take on Shada! 🙂

    I only wonder why Tom didn’t put the costume on, since he’s talking in 1st person as the Doctor.

  2. Rosette Blayfoi  April 20, 2013

    Even back in the late ’80s/early ’90s, I cringed at this notion that Keff = modern. That racket always sounded dated and crass.

    I loved the meta Episode 4.

    I’m surprised nobody spotted Tony Stamp from The Bill at the start.

  3. Antti Björklund  April 20, 2013

    Wow, that was a fast thing to read!

    You’re right, I think we all can guess the next update…

  4. encyclops  April 20, 2013

    This was magical. Before I didn’t really care whether you did Shada. Now I don’t know how I could have lived without it.

    It’s true: so many great lines! The scenes in the TARDIS are by far the best and I’m glad they’re the ones we got. Loved Nicol’s synopsis; it reminded me of Terry Jones doing “The Show So Far.” Shada’s plot seems tedious even for this season, but I could watch these three Time Lords together all day long.

    Loved the McCoy wrapup too — just didn’t have anything to say in comments except that I was glad Sue liked my question. In hindsight what other answer was there?

  5. Kirk  April 20, 2013

    “Sue: Oh, get over it. These things happen.”

    Now what kind of an attitude is that, “these things happen”? They only happen because the whole country is just full of people who, when these things happen, they just say “These things happen”, and that’s why they happen! We’ve got to have control over what happens to us.

  6. Derek Handley  April 20, 2013

    Brilliant as always. The technical difficulties for Episode 4 were an inspired touch.

    I never realized there was an officially released version of Shada with narration so I’m looking forward to getting a copy.

  7. Dave  April 20, 2013

    Am so gonna miss this blog once it’s finished. I like that Sue saw the potential in Shada as I’ve been a fan of the McGann version for years. I wonder if Sue will get Who withdrawal….

    • Jason  April 21, 2013

      I loved the McGann version too. Why does it get flak?

      And the Gareth Roberts novelization was great, really well done humor and some great jabs and jokes aimed at the show itself. There was a great line in there about the Androids of Tara that had me rolling.

      • encyclops  April 21, 2013

        The McGann version isn’t awful — it just wasn’t written for him, and it shows, at least to my ears.

  8. Longtime Listener  April 20, 2013

    “When you have a break from someone you tend to miss them after a while, even if they were getting on your nerves at the time. You’ll understand once we divorce.”


    A simultaneous demonstration of why Neil would be well advised not to keep parking Sue in front of increasingly ropey scraps of Who-related material for much longer, and why the rest of us need him to keep doing so for as long as possible.

  9. Longtime Listener  April 20, 2013

    Incidentally, did Sue know wrote this? Especially given the track record with City of Death and all that, I would have expected fewer slightly surprised-sounding remarks about how great the dialogue was and more of a “well duh, it’s Douglas Adams” vibe about it.

  10. Longtime Listener  April 20, 2013

    Oh, and since opportunities to do so don’t come up that often, can I just say how much I love the whole “It’s just a horse in the bathroom” sequence in DGHDA?

    Thanks. I feel better now.

  11. Anonymous  April 20, 2013

    Play them off, Keyboard Keff.

  12. Dave Sanders  April 20, 2013

    Stroke of genius with part four there. 🙂

    Shada is a terriffic script with ideas much better realised in raw text form that they ever could be on-screen. It’s so much better in your own head – I vividly remember the script book in the VHS box set; but until this blog I couldn’t recall shit from the footage they actually made, or the McGann knock-off version.

  13. Chicanery  April 20, 2013

    Silly thing to ask, but does everything seem a bit bluer?

    • Frankymole  April 23, 2013

      Bluer in what way, Chicanery?

      • Neil Perryman  April 23, 2013

        The colour scheme, I think. Although they might be referring to Sue…

  14. Perry Armstrong  April 21, 2013

    Sue: “Does this bloke in the car think he’s pulled?”

    With Skagra dressed like that I shouldn’t be at all surprised 😉

  15. Jazza1971  April 21, 2013

    This version of “Shada” is okay, a bit annoying with the narration the way it is delivered. I know JNT looked at remounting it but it wasn’t possible, but I can’t help but think they could have come up with something better than this, like Tom Baker in character telling the story to an old friend or something with the footage coming in as flashbacks.

    I loved the episode 4 comments.

    • Erik Pollitt  April 21, 2013

      I think that was one of the original plans to finish it. At one point, it was going to be linked using a conversation between Doc 6 & Peri. I know Douglas Adams called Shada a “patchwork quilt”, but it certainly didn’t need someone dressed in one narrating it.

    • Gavin Noble  April 21, 2013

      From what I remember they didn’t originally write the narration links in the first person – it was Tom who suggested they put them in the first person.

      Can anyone confirm something to me who has access to the VHS and DVD versions – I no longer have the VHS so can’t check myself, but I am sure that on the VHS version there is a scene of the Doctor and company entering Skagra’s ship with K9 going up the ramp and the Doctor saying heel and flicking his heel out. That scene for whatever reason isn’t on the DVD. Did I imagine it or confuse it with something else? To quote Rodney Bewes: “I can’t stand the confusion in my mind!”

      Enjoyed the write up and I do like the bits of Shada that we can see. Some of the script is great but I worry that had it been completed back in 1979 some of the stuff that is missing would have dragged it down overall. I remember the VHS release and the sodding script book having the diamond logo shape cut out on the front and then for some reason the page behind it not having the logo on it – which was irritating!

      • Anonymous  April 21, 2013

        You didn’t imagine it. If you type Shada DVD Mistake in that there popular online video tube site, you’ll see that someone has pointed it out 🙂 From the look of it, it’s because the original footage shot looked a bit ropy with the CSO, but if they were going back and re-editing in alternative footage, the least they could have done is to de-Keff it at the same time.

        • Gavin Noble  April 21, 2013

          Thank you. That clears up the confusion in my mind!

          So like Silver Nemesis – we have a DVD release of a story that is worse than the VHS! Knew I should have kept my VHS…

  16. John Miller  April 21, 2013

    Great to see that Sue enjoyed (what there is of) Shada. 7/10 seems fair.

    But is it “canon”? Answers in 1300 words or less, and extra points for mentioning ‘The Death of the Artist’…

  17. John Miller  April 21, 2013

    Hang on. What did Sue think of the “one lump or two?” joke?

  18. DPC  April 21, 2013


    I personally did not care for this story, much less the VHS release featuring, and I excerpt:


    The sound effects for the doors were ripped from “Time and the Rani”, which seemed cheesy as well…

    Keff had his moments in the show, but for “Shada” the music was cringing…

    Of course, the one lump or two joke was bad… and repetitive…

    Loved the comments for ep 4 as well… 🙂

    If I recall, they had to make Shada from scratch for ep 5 as no f/x work had been done… that’s pure 1992 f/x to savor, as I sit here typing this out and puking ever so slightly over how wrong that model thing looked…

    I know JNT ordered the footage kept for possible completion (which didn’t come about), but without him none of it would exist at all. And if it didn’t exist, most people would put it on a pedestal for being oh-so-great when, at least to me, what’s filmed is 5/10 at best. The season-ending stories of Tom’s era, which try to be epic, always seem to fall flat…

    • dpc  April 21, 2013

      Oops – between the brackets were this:

      Me – It’s Keff trying to be Dudley Simpson.
      Sue – FOR ****’S SAKE!

    • John G  April 21, 2013

      “The season-ending stories of Tom’s era, which try to be epic, always seem to fall flat…”

      I think that only applies to the season closers of the Williams years, though I do get more enjoyment out of Shada than Invasion of Time or Armageddon Factor.

      • Polarity Reversed  April 21, 2013

        Fair observations.
        Seeds and Talons were knockouts.

  19. John G  April 21, 2013

    “The sleeping arrangements in the 200th season of Big Brother leave a lot to be desired.”

    Just one of many superb lines from Sue in this very funny post, with the part 4 write-up the definite highlight! However, I can assure Sue that you don’t have to have a double-barrelled name or a public school education to get into Cambridge – they let me in, anyway…

    I quite enjoy what exists of Shada, especially the location filming, though I’m a bit disappointed they didn’t film anything around St John’s, my old college (and Douglas Adams’). Although Skagra is far too camp to take seriously, Chronotis is a great character and Sue is right, there is a strong Troughtonesque quality to him. The typical big Adams ideas are also present and correct, though I am one of those who do wonder if the budget could really have done full justice to the script – in the absence of the complete story, I am glad that it is the more manageable Earthbound scenes that were completed.

    I’m looking forward very much to the next post – perhaps the Albert Square nostalgia on offer will make it easier for Sue to stomach…

  20. Richard Lyth  April 21, 2013

    I haven’t seen this version of Shada, but it sounds like a pretty frustrating experience. The McGann version is okay, but suffers from a lack of Tom Baker, and I imagine Ian Levine’s version would have the same flaw. Gareth Roberts’ novelisation is really good though, so I guess that will have to stand as the definitive version for now.

  21. Rassilon  April 21, 2013

    (which is my mind reeks of fish and chips)

    (which is why my mind reeks of fish and chips)


    (which in my mind reeks of fish and chips), in my mind that lane smells of impatience (Another DNA classic line) & discarded curry trays.

    Enquiring minds need to know!

    Ok Back to Part 3.

  22. Smaller on the outside  April 21, 2013

    Me: It’s Keff trying to be Dudley Simpson.
    Sue: FOR ****’S SAKE!

    I couldn’t stop laughing at that, sorry!

    BTW, I liked the McGann version. I love his audios and I found the animated Shada good

  23. Rollocks  April 21, 2013

    Glad you did Shada after all. Also, I agree that it makes sense watching this one in video release order rather than chronological.

    Maybe he’s cropped up while I read your post but isn’t any mention of Shada on this blog usually swiftly followed by Polarity Reversed posting a comment telling us how cr*p it is?

    Good luck with the next installment, you really will need it.

    • Polarity Reversed  April 21, 2013

      I thought it was cr*p.
      (there you go, would have hated to disappoint you)

      Only my opinion of course, and I’m fine that Shada seems to give so much Freude to so many.
      I really should like it – the era, cast, style and much else are among my favourites. And I like DNA too, but I just feel that here he’s let down (again) by what is arguably his greatest strength. The ideas are good, but there are just too many of them tumbling over each other and the story descends into a bonkers jumble as a result. IMHO.

      As to what seems to be coming next…. Doof doof. Neil and Sue have thrown a fantastic party for all of us, but I fear that the next one is a bit like that point where you reach for a can of lager, find there’s a fag butt in it but decide to drink it anyway.

      • charles yoakum  April 23, 2013

        bloody apt description that on the (guessing) next video…

        and thanks for articulating my one problem with Adams, not enough money to make his amazing jumble of ideas either 1) coalese or 2) be filmable. City of Death is the only one that pulls it off.

        • Polarity Reversed  April 23, 2013

          City of Death seems to have been someone else’s plot, buggered about by committee over budgets, production issues and holiday plans, then subject to an emergency rewrite. It may have a lot of DNA DNA in it, but I don’t think it’s fair to regard as _his_ story.

          IMHO alert —

          Adams had an extraordinary sort of hyperactive extrapolatory imagination that generally didn’t result in good storytelling. If a solid story is supposed to steer the audience from A to, say, F, he’d be whizzing on to K, N, X and questioning the validity of the alphabet at all, before we or the protagonists had come to terms with C.

          He was famously difficult to tie down to production schedules, deadlines, etc. Ironically, for my triganic pu, it was precisely when he was reined in by those sorts of gridlines that his talents really shone. Eg: City of Death, and his brief tenure as script editor.

  24. Frankymole  April 22, 2013

    “They are so into the song, they didn’t notice the silver ball flying past their faces, the posh twats.”

    Now I’d buy a T-shirt *and* a mug of that!

  25. John Reid  April 22, 2013

    Role on next week,see what a non fan thinks, either -1 out of 10 or 11.

    • Dave Sanders  April 22, 2013

      I vote for Big Wrong, just like the production team did.

  26. Smaller on the outside  April 22, 2013

    BTW, Nicol is great, you should start another experiment when this one finishes where Nicol broadcasts what are Sue and Neil doing in front of the TV, LMAO

  27. Steve WHite  April 22, 2013

    You know… When it comes to Shada, I’ve never understood what all the fuss was about?

    Its really not Adams best script, Theres a lot of good ideas, but for me at least, none of them seem to hang together very well…

    People refer to it as a “Lost Classic” but I can’t help but think that if it had ever been made it would probably been viewed as a “Marmite” story like Nimon…

    Are you planning on showing Sue the Paul McGann cartoon version after you watch the TV Movie?

  28. John Miller  April 22, 2013

    Hey, since this is a flashback to the fun of 1992, this bloke called Roger Barrett may have found something really important… 🙂