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Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams (edition 2012)

by Gareth Roberts

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234849,373 (4.07)12
Member:Phoenix42
Title:Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams
Authors:Gareth Roberts
Info:Ace Hardcover (2012), Edition: Book Club Edition, Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Shada: The Lost Adventure by Gareth Roberts (Author)

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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This is Gareth Roberts' very fine novelization of the lost Doctor Who story Shada. Douglas Adams wrote the original scripts but was also busy with other things at the time, so there were delays, and he was unhappy with how they turned out, and a BBC strike halfway through filming ensured that it would never be part of the original run of shows. A cobbled-together TV version and a reworked audio version (produced by Big Finish) exist, but this is the first proper novelization. And what a rollicking romp it is! Told in six parts to mirror Adams' original idea of six episodes, it contains short, snappy chapters, breathlessly fun dialogue and clever narration that, while not quite on the same level as Douglas Adams, is close enough to be enjoyable for an Adams fan.

Anyone who's read Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency will recognize Professor Chronotis; after Shada failed to air as a Doctor Who story, Adams repurposed the character. Fans of the Fourth Doctor will particularly enjoy Shada, where he's at his goofball best, and those who like useful female characters in science fiction will appreciate Romana II and Clare, one of the humans who comes along for the ride, not to mention "The Ship"!

I thoroughly enjoyed this and would recommend it if you're a fan of the Hitchhiker's Guide, the Fourth Doctor or science fiction with a droll English twist. ( )
1 vote rabbitprincess | May 3, 2014 |
If you like Doctor Who and you like [b:The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy|11|The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1)|Douglas Adams|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1327656754s/11.jpg|3078186], prepare your fangirl heart. ( )
  AprilAnn0814 | Apr 15, 2014 |
In 1979, Douglas Adams wrote an episode of Doctor Who that was never finished, due to a strike at the BBC. The story has since appeared in various iterations: there was a video release featuring narration by Tom Baker to summarize the unfilmed scenes and, later, an animated webcast version featuring the Eighth Doctor in place of the Fourth. Adams himself also cannibalized bits of the plot, integrating them into Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. Well, here's the latest version: a full-length novel adaptation by Gareth Roberts, who has fleshed out Adams' script significantly, as well as making a few changes. (Reasonably enough, I think, especially as Adams apparently wrote the original script very quickly and was reportedly not entirely happy with it.)

I enjoyed this, honestly, rather more than I was expecting to. Roberts writes in an amusing, often noticeably Adams-eque style (complete with Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in-jokes), but he largely manages to avoid making this feel like a forced or overly imitative Adams pastiche. And some of the dialog is both pure Adams, and pure Doctor Who. The result is a lot of fun, even (or perhaps especially) for those of us already familiar with the story. ( )
2 vote bragan | Aug 16, 2013 |
The Doctor and Romana are in Cambridge visiting an old friend of The Doctors, Professor Chronotis, when a student accidently takes an important Time Lord book out of Chronotis’ office. The book is “The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey” a priceless artifact. At the same time, Skagra, an evil man bent on dominating the universe through mind control has arrived on Earth to steal the tome from Chronotis. The volume holds the secret to unlocking the Time Lord prison Shada, a forgotten place of confinement that keeps the worst criminals from Gallifreyan history in cryogenic freeze.

This book was a delight to read. I could see Tom Baker strutting about with his long multi-colored scarf. At the end of each section I could hear the Dr. Who theme song. The novel was just like watching the show. In fact the third chapter was a scene used in “The Five Doctors” episode.

Douglas Adams was the script supervisor for Dr. Who during the fourth doctor’s tenure. He pinned one of my favorite episodes “The Pirate Planet.” “Shada” was written by Adams and partially produced. The few scenes that were filmed were released on video tape, but the production was never completed. Gareth Roberts does a wonderful job filling out the story. If you are a true Whovian who has seen the Tom Baker doctor in action you have to read this book. ( )
1 vote craso | Apr 5, 2013 |
Well, first, you really need to be a Dr Who fan to understand the story. Second, I did not know that Douglas Adams wrote a number of Dr. Who stories. It is fascinating just reading the history of this one, and now I need to go back and watch a number of episodes that he wrote. And finally to the book. Very much classic Dr. Who. Gareth Roberts did an outstanding job working with the original and turning it into a novel. There are a couple of slow spots at the beginning but it is quite a ride once it gets going. Just about any Dr. Who fan will like this. ( )
  Bill.Bradford | Mar 9, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roberts, GarethAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roberts, Garethmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, DouglasOriginal Scriptsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ward, LallaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The radical evil: that everybody wants to be what they might and could be, and all the rest of mankind to be nothing, indeed, not to exist at all.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections
...flat eyes that only turned toward the stars to estimate their chemical tonnage.

Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's
Concern with other people is a mistake.

Quentin Crisp, Resident Alien
Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body?

I dunno...

The Smiths, 'Still Ill'
Dedication
For Clayton Hickman, whose role in the creation of this book was larger than Queen Xanxia's transmat engine, and whose role in my life is more precious than oolion.
And in memory of Douglas Adams.
First words
At the age of five, Skagra decided emphatically that God did not exist.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the 2012 novelisation. It should not be combined with the TV serial, the script, or the audio drama.
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The hands of the sinister Time Lord Skagra are unquestionably the wrongest ones possible. Skagra is a sadist and an egomaniac, bent on universal domination. Having misguessed the state of fashion on Earth, he also wears terrible platform shoes.

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