Monday, July 30, 2012

Doctor Who: Shada Book Review

Shada the incomplete Doctor Who story from Tom Baker’s Era has been finally released in book form.  The season 17 story that was partially filmed but was scrapped due to a strike at the BBC is now a getting an update by writer Gareth Roberts.  The remaining footage has been released by the BBC in a VHS special way back in 1992 and Big Finish did a version of it with Paul McGann taking over for Tom Baker in the role of the Doctor. 

So now we have the book and the question is does Shada keep the charm and quirkiness that original writer Douglas Adams had intended?

Well after reading this book I have to conclude that Gareth Roberts did indeed capture the feel of Douglas Adams in Shada.  In fact it appears at times he tries too hard to channel him.  At times it felt forced but in reality if this was the worse that happened then that’s pretty good.  In fact I thought this book was very enjoyable.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The book had the feel of season 17 and the characterization of The Doctor and Romana were spot on.  I like the way Skagra was handled.  The right amount of silliness for the villain just like his contemporaries during that season. 

Not to give much away but hardcore fans will already know what goes on in this book.  I believe they will finally have a version of Shada that is true to the original screen play and very true to Doctor Who of that time period.  From Professor Chronotis the retired Timelord living at Cambridge to the Timelord Prison of Shada everything that was lost way back in 1979 is all there for you to discover again.   

So if you love the Tom Baker era and always wanted to know what Shada was all about and if you are a fan of Douglas Adams then this book is for you.  If your one of those newbie fans then this is a good book to read to get a feel of what classic Doctor Who from season 17 was all about.  A fitting tribute to Douglas Adams and a fitting novelization of the aborted Doctor Who story Shada.   A fun book that was truly entertaining.

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