"Shada" was to be the final story of Season Seventeen (1979-1980) and was to be the usual 6-parter. The script was written by
Douglas Adams (who was also Season 17's script-editor) and was Graham Williams's last story before stepping down as Doctor Who's Producer and
give the task to John Nathan-Turner who was to produce the programme through the 1980s.
The recording dates for the story was to be from Mid-October to Early-December 1979 for a transmission date of Mid-January 1980. The
location filming was completed where the story was set - in Cambridge (Douglas Adams studied there in his youth and hence was the natural place
to set the story.)
Recording a programme like this was done in three basic steps - Location, Rehearsal and Recording. This means that the filming for all the
scenes on Location was done first, mainly to trim down travelling money and recording by filming all of the location footage first. This would
allow the production team to save on money and time and the cast and crew wouldn't have to travel from London to Cambridge for each episode to be recorded.
Next comes the Rehearsal for the studio scenes and then finally recording the serial in the studio in certain "blocks" - that is all the
scenes in certain places are recorded to save the BBC from keeping setting up and taking down sets all of the time.
The location filming for Shada was completed on time and the three studio blocks was for scenes set in:
Block 1: Professor's Room, SKAGRA's Brig, and Space Station (different time zones.)
Block 2: Carrier Ship, Chris's Lab and TARDIS scenes
Block 3: Skagra's Ship and Shada.
Everything was recording normally and the first block was completed but suddenly the BBC Unions called a strike in Mid-November 1979.
This was due to the amount of money that some people was getting paid more than others. This mean that everything the BBC was producing and
making at the time was either put on hold or cancelled altogether. The strike caused massive damage. When the BBC started to produce programmes
again in early December 1979, higher priority was (and is usually given in situation like these.) given to Christmas programmes and so regretfully
Graham Williams had to cancel the rest of SHADA before leaving the show. (The same happened for THE INVASION OF TIME in late 1977 but Graham
Williams was able to record that serial on location.)
The new Producer, John Nathan Turner, tried to trim it down for a Christmas 1980 showing but it was impossible as some of the actors was
already engaged in other projects and so the story was again shelved. (Also JNT thought that it was the opposite of the stories he was currently
making - the more serious Season Eighteen - and didn't want viewers to be reminded of the silliness of Season Seventeen.) But a recording of all
shot footage was bootlegged out of the BBC and was available for several years.
In 1992 John Nathan-Turner decided to release on Home Video the completed (so far) work of SHADA (the first recording block and the
location filming) with a script book so that buyers could read what was due to happen. This book, however, was only made for UK buyers and wasn't
sold with the NTSC version of SHADA in the USA for example.
Therefore, since this is the Missing Script Page and some of Shada was completed, I thought that I should have a go at trying to
complete it. All the transmitted stuff on the video is here and copies of the unmade scenes. Tom Baker's links from the Home Video are there (but in
certain places I have trimmed the link down so that it doesn't spoil your reading.)
I would like to thank Steven K Manfred at Steven.K.Manfred@uwrf.edu for allowing me to use some of his
"book" version of SHADA for helping me describe some of the unmade scenes of Shada and to David Herrick, Bruce Robinson, and personally to Leslie Styles
and my girlfriend Rebecca Moody for keeping me at it.
Finally I would also like to say a big "Thank You" to my uncle Frank Dicker who sadly died while I wrote these scripts. He was a great
fan of the work on the missing episodes and of the reconstruction. It was his idea that I do SHADA so I hope that you enjoy it whever you are Uncle.
Rest In Peace.
I hope you enjoy it. I had great fun making it.
Lee Horton - 25/9/1997 (LeeH@tcp.co.uk)