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< I. Real Time
III. Her Final Flight >

II. Shada

Rating Votes
10
24%
22
9
23%
21
8
36%
33
7
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6
6
7%
6
5
2%
2
4
1%
1
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Average Rating
8.4
Votes
92
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User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
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Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
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Reviewed By: Drew VogelReview Date: 7/13/17 5:15 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This story is a bit of an odd duck. It's most similar to the Lost Stories range that Big Finish would launch in 2009. Those were audio adaptations of unproduced television scripts. That's what this is, except for the fact that "Shada" was uncompleted rather than unproduced, and the story has been available (with linking narration) since 1992. Was there really any need for an audio adaptation in 2003, featuring Paul McGann instead of Tom Baker (who was not involved with Big Finish at the time)? Strictly speaking, no, but it was still a fine candidate for getting the online animation treatment.

Other than some minor continuity hassles, the result is very successful. The script stays largely true to Douglas Adams's original, and this audio version has the benefit of not having to worry about visual effects. (The biggest letdown of the original "Shada" is that it has the same cheap, shoddy look that much of Season Seventeen had.) Good casting, too.

It's also an interesting example of how the character of the Doctor comes more from the performance than it does from the writing. When Paul McGann reads a script written for Tom Baker, it sounds like the eighth Doctor in a particularly goofy mood. The lesson is that, in audio, you don't have to cater as much to a specific Doctor. That's different from prose, in my opinion, where the writer has to evoke the actor's performance in the writing. But for a performed piece, you can just write for "the Doctor" and which Doctor it is will come out in the performance.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 7/15/15 2:53 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Shada fully dramatizes a story that was killed by labor difficulties during Season 17. This production makes a few minor changes to the story so that it fits comfortably with the Eighth Doctor, most notably there's a brand new prologue.

Overall, the story works quite well. In my opinion, it's a notch below City of Death and Pirate Planet (Douglas Adams' other Doctor Who stories) as the six part length adds some filler, and this feels like it could have been an episode shorter. Still, the story delivers mystery, wit, and the sort of clever science fiction you expect from Adams.

Andrew Sachs is great as the villain and James Fox delivers the charm of eccentricity that makes Professor Professor Chronotis such an interesting character. Paul McGann turns in a very beautiful performance, as he gets to perform some absolutely luscious material here and he shows great comic timing throughout Shada.

Overall, a solid script and great acting make this full dramatization of Shada a great listen.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
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NR
Acting Rating:
NR
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Reviewed By: GcookscotlandReview Date: 5/11/13 4:19 am
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Really great story. This story must be in my top 5 doctor who audiobooks.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
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Reviewed By: ChrisJWReview Date: 8/29/10 7:19 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

After watching the Loose Cannon re-creation of the original, I didn't particularly have high-hopes for this, especially as I also knew some of the bits that Douglas Adams recycled and placed into Dirk Gently.

So I was pleasantly surprised at how well this work. Cracks along at a decent pace, and McGann and Lalla Ward sound like they've been adventuring together for years, and the rest of the cast throw themselves into the story with glee.