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Doctor Who: Shada

(Doctor Who by Douglas Adams #1)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  4,801 ratings  ·  638 reviews
From the unique mind of Douglas Adams, the legendary "lost" Doctor Who story has been completed at last by Gareth Roberts and narrated by Lalla Ward.

The Doctor’s old friend and fellow Time Lord Professor Chronotis has retired to Cambridge University—where nobody will notice if he lives for centuries. But now he needs help from the Doctor, Romana and K-9. When he left Galli
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Hardcover, 416 pages
Published March 15th 2012 by BBC Books
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Peter No need to worry. Go ahead and read it. (It's excellent!).

As far as I know, the story was actually written for the original TV series, back when Tom…more
No need to worry. Go ahead and read it. (It's excellent!).

As far as I know, the story was actually written for the original TV series, back when Tom Baker was playing the Doctor (late 70's I think). Due to a strike, the episodes never got finished so they were never aired. This is a novelisation of that original screenplay.

There are a few minor references to incidental things (like the 4th Doctor's ridiculous / fabulous scarf), but they aren't essential to the story. Other than that, you really just need a minimum of background knowledge about the Doctor Who universe, such as what a TARDIS is.(less)

Community Reviews

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4.25  · 
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 ·  4,801 ratings  ·  638 reviews


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Alejandro
One of the best Doctor Who's novels that you'll ever read!


WHO

The Doctor: The Fourth Doctor

Companions: Romana II & K-9


WHERE

Cambridge University, 1979


WHAT

The Fourth Doctor visits his good friend and also a Time Lord, the Professor Chronotis, on his office at Cambridge, responding to a message by him. However, first, Chronotis doesn't remember having to call them; second, he has a powerful and dangerous item with him; third, a crazy villain is after that item.


At the age of five, Skagra
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Dan Schwent
The Doctor and Romana receive a mysterious distress signal, leading them to Cambridge University, home of The Doctor's old friend and fellow Time Lord, Professor Chronotis. Chronotis inadvertantly lets a Time Lord artifact, a book entitled The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey, pass into the hands of a clueless young student. Unfortunately, an egomanic called Skagra also has designs on the book and will do anything to get it. Can The Doctor find the book, stop Skagra's nefarious scheme, an ...more
Jaya
Read Count:Lost track
Rating: Glorious 5 x n times 🌟
What did you enjoy: Everything
Recommend it to:: Everyone

⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃⌃
My most/all time favorite Doctor Who story
No wonder it is written by Douglas Adams , realized it the first time I'd heard its BBC adaption and the post-production audios.
Since I wasn't satisfied just listening to the audio, got myself a copy of the book. Its truly awesome. No matter how many times I'v read this one stopped counting after reading it the ini
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Apatt
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, sci-fi
“The stranger looked between her and the spectrograph and seemed to come to a decision. He smiled suddenly and unexpectedly, with teeth like two rows of great gleaming tombstones. ‘Hello, I’m the Doctor,’ he said, extending a hand.”

Dum-dum-dum-dum-dum-dum-dum (etc.)… Ooo-ee-ooo OooEEooo… oooooEEooooo… OoooEoooo… oooeEoooo… Du Du Du Du… Du Du Du Du…

Sorry, I always get the urge to do that when I review a Doctor Who book (this is only my second one*, perhaps I can refrain from doing this by the thi
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Melanie
Mar 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: DW-fans, Douglas Adams fans, people who love quirky stories
Shelves: doctor-who
Okay, some coherent thoughts ... THIS BOOK WAS BRILLIANT. Nothing really struck me as boring, silly or un-Doctor-Who-ish. I laughed, I cheered, I was excited and most important, I felt I was in the middle of the action of the book.

Gareth Roberts managed to write as funny as Adams without trying to imitate him and failing horribly. You really felt the presence of Douglas, but it was at the same moment not some bad imitation of his funniness and genius. That's no insult to Gareth Roberts, though.
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Terence
Jun 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Dr Who fans (esp. the 4th)
Shelves: sf-fantasy
As a rule I don’t read Doctor Who novels. I enjoy (mostly) the new series, and I loved the old series when the PBS station in St. Louis aired them when I was a kid. When I was that kid, I got a three-in-one volume of the Fourth Doctor’s (my favorite’s) adventures written by Terry Nation from the Science Fiction Book Club, and I know (but can’t remember the titles) of a few other novelizations I read. I can’t say that I ever acquired a taste for them, however. Certainly not one that equaled my yo ...more
Nicholas Whyte
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, doctor, who, 2012, 1204, 4th, signed, romana
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1924079.html[return][return][return]We've waited a long time for this, the lost novelisation of the lost Doctor Who story, brought to life from the final version of Adams' script by one of the best-placed of the current Who authors. And it is pretty damn good. Having watched both the 1992 video of the surviving parts of the original 1979 filming, and the webcast version with Paul McGann, and also read a previous fan-produced novelisation, the single most important t ...more
Branwen *of House Targaryen*
"One thing I've learnt from being the Doctor's friend is that the universe is full of wonderful things, amazing opportunities. And you have to grab them with both hands. And hope they never end."

Best. Doctor. Who. Book. EVER.

For real and for true. This is the cherry on the top of the sundae, the warm blanket and hot mug of tea after a long wintry day, it is a wonderful and incredible book and I never wanted it to end!

I did start out having high hopes for it, since I have listened to the Big Fin
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Beth
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Doctor Who and Douglas Adams, what's not to love? Gareth Roberts did a terrific job in cobbling together scripts that Douglas Adams wrote for a 6-part Doctor Who series into a witty and wonderful novel. Such fun!
Robin
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-in-12
I don't mean to be crude here, but I'm going to be. Please look away if your sensibilities are easily insensibled.

HOLY SHIT! A DOUGLAS ADAMS DOCTOR WHO THAT FEATURES REG? It's over. The world is over. Douglas Adams won. Reading this is actually going to be anti-climactic now.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled Goodreads post.

Done!
that was good. if you've read Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, this story will be a little familiar, but I still recommend it.
aside from the Doctor, R
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Trish
Gareth Roberts has finally managed to complete Shada - and done so still maintaining a very Douglas Adams-like style, so it isn't as clear as I thought it might be which bits came from the original Adams scripts for the series, and which bits Roberts created from the notes to those scripts. The overall result was laugh-out-loud funny, and I enjoyed it a lot.
Harold Ogle
Aug 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Doctor Who fans
"Shada" is the name of a "Doctor Who" serial from 1980, written by Douglas Adams right around the time he was becoming famous for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Shada is the novel that Gareth Roberts based on the "Shada" story, using the remains of what Adams wrote as a starting point.

Roberts does a convincing job writing Adams, perhaps even more convincing than what Colfer did with And Another Thing... a few years earlier. The story of the TV serial is pretty interesting in itself, whic
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David Sarkies
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Doctor Who freaks
Recommended to David by: My friend Paul
Shelves: sci-fi
A Doctor Who serial that was never completed
29 December 2012

I can't actually call this the famous lost episode of the original Doctor Who namely because there are actually a number of episodes that have been officially lost. While some have resurfaced over the years since the BBC went about destroying these episodes, there are still quite a number of them from the first and second Doctors that are missing and will probably never be found. This particular episode, though, was only half made and
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Jared Millet
Here's a fun bit of fluff: New-Who writer Gareth Roberts' novelization of Old-Who writer Douglas Adams' famous unfilmed screenplay that was axed by a strike at the BBC. As evidenced by Roberts' afterword, the novel Shada is an expansion and reworking of the original story into something a little grander and truer to the ideas that the late Adams was trying to squeeze by on limited 1980's TV production values.

The result is something that's fun to read on a Sunday afternoon, but doesn't quite meas
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Mark
Oct 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Douglas Adams or/and Doctor Who
Recommended to Mark by: The incredible Tom Baker
This book always starts as an abandoned tv serial that never came to completion due to a strike. So one of Douglas Adams tales never got the treatment it deserves and was wanted by the fans of the show. And in a brilliant world he himself would have written this book but alas he did not and can no longer do it due to his being no longer among us living, as we like to call ourselves.

SHADA the book as written by Gareth Roberts based upon Adams material is a hoot and then some.

It is about a book th
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David
For fans of the classic Doctor Who, Shada was a story of legend, even before this novelization. Written by Douglas Adams and intended to be a six part series for Tom Baker's fourth Doctor, the series was never finished because of a strike. Some of the footage shot for the series did eventually surface as part of The Five Doctors special.

Now, thanks to Gareth Roberts, himself a veteran of the new Doctor Who series, we can finally see what this unfinished series might have looked like.

The story, i
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Ali The Pep Rally
This was my first Doctor Who novel, despite being a dedicated Whovian. I have to say, I enjoyed it much more than I expected! I loved it just as much as I love watching the show. I'm also a huge fan of Douglas Adams, so it was great to see these two combined. I highly recommend this book if you love the show!
Roxana Chirilă
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doctor Who is magic. It isn't always a particularly *good* TV show. It can be too silly at times, or too boring at other times - or entirely underwhelming, particularly when you want to introduce your friends to it and you sit in your chair and think "oh, dear lord, they'll think I'm a nerd now and no mistake".

But then your friends love it anyway and you're bewildered and grateful about it. For some reason, they got it. They fell in love with the idea of a madman traveling around space and time
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Ben Babcock
I don’t often read novels set in my favourite television or cinematic universe any more. I have fond memories of when I was much younger, and I had the time and freedom to virtually camp out in the library, of borrowing whatever Star Trek novels they happened to have available that day. After I became more comfortable with original SF and fantasy, I started to shy away from media tie-in novels. As I grew up and started to follow those television series with more interest, I found it difficult to ...more
Eddy
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Probably my favorite version of Shada, this feels comprehensive and evocative of Adams' work. Also just a great Fourth Doctor adventure in it's own right.
Mike
Sep 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
In the past (thank you WGBH) I had the chance to watch Dr. Who. By the time I learned of it, the programme was more than a decade old and Tom Baker was taking over the role of the Doctor. I remember thinking that the whole concept was brilliant and ludicrous in roughly equal parts. Given its small budget, the often cheesy effects were tempered by the imagination of the writers and the fun that obviously was designed in. Dr. Who was a Children’s program yes, but one that did not pamper the audien ...more
Stef
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am a die hard devoted Doctor Who fan. My father used to rock me to sleep with repeats of the Tom Baker years playing on PBS. I have read almost every hardback book written about the last three doctors (and if I haven't read them yet, they are probably piled up on my bookcases). When I saw that Gareth Roberts had completed Douglas Adams' Shada I was extremely interested and excited, and purchased it right then.

Yes, you read right, Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Adams. He was a
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Donovan
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comedy, sci-fi
What can I say...Dr Who meets The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In all my years as a fan of both, I had no idea that Douglas Adams wrote any Dr Who episode. And now I find he wrote three. This on, Shada and two others being The Pirate Planet and City of Death.
Unfortunately Shada was not finished and the versions that were released are only dumbed-up versions. Then along comes a VERY capable man by the name of Gareth Roberts who (was hoodwinked by his capabilities, ego and love of Dr Who) wa
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Mel
Mar 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So when I first heard they were novelising Shada I couldn't think why. It seemed almost disrespectful to Douglas Adams and really who would be able to do it justice? Then I went and read some of the novels that Gareth Roberts had written about Doctor and Romana and knew he was exactly who should be doing this! This book was brilliant! It was hilarious. The characterisation was perfect. The first half was definitely my favourite. All the jokes about Skagra looking like a disco queen were perfect. ...more
Bradley
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plus4
If you are going to not film a Doctor Who story at least make from the pen of a second rate mind.

Unfortunately the BBC didn't agree so ended up not filming Shada  by Douglas Adams,  a strike leaving the series incomplete.  Douglas not as unhappy as you might imagine.

Lucky for us all then the BBC at least allowed Gareth Roberts the opportunity to write the book of this effectively lost adventure.

Originally intended for TV in 1980 it took till 2012 to appear in book form.

Douglas Adams holds a very
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Robert Davis
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, doctor-who
What a treat it was to listen to Lalla Ward give voice and character to this "lost" story of Shada. One additional star is awarded in the rating because of her narration. John Leeson also provides the voice of K-9, which adds even more fun.

This novelization proves that Shada had the promise to become a true classic story from the golden age of Doctor Who. It's truly a shame that a strike at the BBC derailed what promised to be a unique and significant story in the canon of the Doctor Who univers
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Mary
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great book kept me guessing the whole time on the edge of my seat most of the time couldn't put it down once i began it the characterizations of the Doctor and Romana were perfect and interesting look at the history of timelords legends and into there nightmares and Gallifray most wanted
Brayden Raymond
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: doctor-who
There are so many things I love about this book its not even funny. Okay it is funny. The whole book is hilarious. However it is also very touching - particularly a specific part near the end regarding a certain book being alike in size and binding to the one a large portion of the plot revolves around.... The reviews in the front pages told me this would be good however they were wrong. It was great. This was my first 4th Doctor novel and I know now that it will surely not be my last and with t ...more
April Mccaffrey
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
My ratings: 3.5/4 stars.

Drinking game idea; drink how many times Professor Chronotis was references to as a 'Nice old man'.

I've listened to the big finish Shada audio version last year and have seen the remaining live episodes and the animation for it so it was nice to read it in a book format.

It was as camp as you expect it to be coming from a Douglas Adams book and Gareth Roberts writing. I liked the insights you didn't get in the audios or the T.V serials and I LOVED the time-lord insults. Sa
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Michael Mills
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The irony is through all the adaptations (official and unofficial), I'm probably more familiar with this 'lost' Doctor Who story than I am most of the ones that actually made it to TV. Still, it's a cracker and Gareth Roberts does a good job of expanding on the original story, delivering some extra gags and filling in the plot holes (as well as making you realise quite how many of those there are).

A bit too much padding (especially obvious to those who've read/seen/listened to previous adaptati
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How about for kids? 7 37 Jun 08, 2014 05:45AM  
Not on US Kindle? 2 11 Dec 05, 2013 12:50AM  
La Stamberga dei ...: Diario di lettura di Daniele: Shada 1 5 Nov 23, 2013 08:11AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Shada 1 3 Aug 26, 2012 04:11PM  

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Gareth Roberts has written TV scripts for various soap operas (including Brookeside, Springhill, and Emmerdale), Randall & Hopkirk (deceased), the revival of Doctor Who, the Sarah Jane Adventures, and Wizards vs Aliens.

Also for the Doctor Who universe, he has written the interactive adventure Attack of the Graske, the mobile phone TARDISODEs accompanying the 2006 series, several Big Finish aud
...more

Other books in the series

Doctor Who by Douglas Adams (4 books)
  • Doctor Who: City of Death
  • Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet
  • Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen
“At the age of five, Skagra decided emphatically that God did not exist. This revelation tends to make most people in the universe who have it react in one of two ways - relief or despair. Only Skagra responded to it by thinking - 'wait a second. That means there's a situation vacant!” 27 likes
“To avoid detection, the Doctor had attached a device called Randomiser to his TARDIS, his plan being to outfox the Black Guardian by popping up randomly all over the place. Neither Romana nor K-9 had the heart to tell the Doctor that that was pretty much what he did anyway.” 6 likes
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