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

by Gareth Roberts

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3181834,897 (4.03)14
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 14 mentions

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Given a choice all I would ever do is read books, drink Diet Vanilla Coke, pet cats, and nap. Not surpisingly, Professor Chronotis is one of my favorite characters, a dotty old Cambridge don who makes endless cups of tea. His rooms are filled with well-loved books. Bliss.

This is a script for several episodes of Doctor Who that never actually got filmed, due to a strike, before Douglas Adams was off doing all the other successful writing that he did. He was working on this amidst the recording of the first Hitchhiker���s Guide to the Galaxy radio series, and while writing the novel of same. So, Gareth Roberts had a task going through various versions of the scripts and trying to figure out what to retain and how to use it, and he had to make it sound like Douglas Adams and he had to make it sound like Tom Baker as well. I don���t envy him the task, but I commend the result.

I absolutely adored this book, despite the lack of cats.

Birthday present from an astute child
  Kaethe | Oct 16, 2016 |
The fourth Doctor, Romana, and K-9 answer a call from Chronotis, an aging and befuddled Time Lord, who is living out his retirement as a Cambridge professor. Unfortunately, Chronotis has forgotten why he called, although it soon becomes clear that it is for the Doctor to save the universe (again).

This time, the threat comes from Skagra, an overly ambitious fellow from the vacation planet of Dronid. He wants to be God, or the closest thing possible. To achieve this goal, he needs to absorb the mind of the legendary Gallifreyan criminal Salyavin who had the ability to replace or augment the minds of others with own. Salyavin, though, was reportedly placed in stasis and imprisoned thousands of years ago on the now lost and forgotten prison planet of Shada. The key to finding Shada is the book The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey, which Professor Chronotis stole from the Time Lords’ archives and subsequently misplaced.
Got it? Good. Because that’s about as much of the plot as I’m going to try to summarize.
The story was originally written as a TV script by Douglas Adams, the late, great author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galxay, and novelized by Gareth Roberts, a writer of other Doctor Who novels and TV scripts.

To me, the beginning sounds like Adams. See if you don’t agree.

‘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 -- with relief or with despair. Only Skagra responded to it by thinking, Wait a second. That means there’s a situation vacant.’

Now I don’t know if Adams came up with this opening or if Roberts did, but it has a lot of Douglas Adams’ irreverent wit and whimsy. And so does the rest of the book. Now, I won’t say it reads exactly like a Douglas Adams book because it doesn’t. There are bits that do, probably because Adams wrote them as part of the script, but in other parts, the imagination is noticeably more constrained. It’s still quite good, enjoyable, and it hangs together very well. The melding of Roberts and Adams is virtually seamless.

The portrayal of the Doctor is exceptional, often sounding more like the later Doctors from the new series than the fourth Doctor from the 1970s/1980s. I don’t consider this a bad thing. (Don’t get me wrong, all of the Doctors were fun, but the new series has more polish.)
There was a certain element of nostalgia for me reading a ‘new’ Doctor Who adventure set in the 1980s featuring the Doctor’s campy, robot dog, K-9. I enjoyed it very much. I would recommend this book to all fans of Douglas Adams and Doctor Who. If you are not a fan, what’s wrong with you?
( )
1 vote DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
Not much to say really. Classic Dr Who, Romana, K9 and a worthy villain, in equally classic Adams style. Gareth Roberts did a great job, it's not easy to see the seams, and with someone as distinctive as Adams that is quite a compliment.

As daughter who gave it to me for my b'day said "I saw this and had a nerdgasm".

Definitely reminiscent of Dirk Gently, which is actually my favourite Adams book, but shades of H2G2 as well (and a homage in the second to last chapter that truly made me smile.)

Very close to a 5, only not getting one because it's not quite up to Dirk or H2G2. But it's darn close. ( )
1 vote krazykiwi | Aug 22, 2016 |
Shada, the Doctor Who story never seen and only glimpsed (Nerd Alert!in the Five Doctors - Tom Baker and Lalla Ward punting on the River Cam)I know the there was a video released with Tom Baker narrating the missing bits but I'm supposed to be reviewing the book.

Professor Chronotis is living in Cambridge and sends a message to the Doctor, but he can't remember why. Turns out he stole a book from Gallifrey and Skagra wants it. Thing is Chris gets the book first and it also attracts the attention of Clare,(Chris is attracted to her too). With all the main characters chasing a book you would this this story would be dull, but it isn't you can read it at a cracking pace.

Gareth Roberts has done a superb job in being faithful to Douglas Adams, there are nice touches all the way through and it was a pleasure to read. ( )
1 vote paperlesspages | May 18, 2016 |
Meh. I remember being really underwhelmed by this book ( )
  Courtney_Anne | Jan 7, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roberts, GarethAuthorprimary 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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