When the Classic Capitology team told THT Supremos the news that their next addition would be a story they had ‘never seen before’ was met with a collective shrug. After all Doctor Who is a big canvas so almost any fan has gaps in their collective memory. But when they dropped that no one had ever seen the newest cap contribution, at least in a completed form, that attention was finally paid.
That story was Shada.
In many ways Shada is the ‘mystery meat’ of classic Doctor Who, a unique story which, by the very nature of being incomplete, fans can impose whatever hopes and aspirations they may have had for the story, especially if you LOVED City of Death. Certainly all of the elements are there. An interesting setting (Cambridge instead of Paris), a Douglas Adams script, and Tom and Lalla in top form. Throw in an unusually generous allotment of location filming, a floating sphere, a dotty Professor, and it should have been an enticing mix.
As most reading know an ‘industrial action’ (read that strike) took out the last two studio sessions and ultimately Shada (with the exception of of a Paul McGann audio which is worth a listen) was never remounted. Hence Shada is a story which continually disappears (linking narration from Tom Baker notwithstanding) as the story wanes onward. Still what does exist tantalizes. It’s certainly more than what could have been gleaned from The Five Doctors. The new caps are especially good though.
Next time Classic Capitology finishes off yet another wing of the Tour. Or does it?