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You may wish to consult Shada (disambiguation) for other, similarly-named pages.

Produced to mark the 40th anniversary of the Doctor Who franchise, Shada was a remounting of the television story of the same name, which was originally planned to end Season 17 in 1980, but abandoned before completion due to industrial action at the BBC. When the original episode was completed in 2017 and released on Blu-Ray, the webcast, which was included in the boxset as a special feature, was re-titled The Return to Shada and referred to as a sequel.

While the original version featured Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor, the webcast was rewritten to feature Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor, with Lalla Ward and John Leeson returning to voice Romana II and K9 Mark II respectively, with their own characters modified to coincide with the continuity established in the Big Finish Productions audio drama range.


Where the Fourth Doctor left off, the Eighth Doctor comes to finish the job. With Romana and K9 by his side, they have to stop the evil Skagra.


to be added





Foods and beverages[]

  • Various characters drink tea, with or without milk and sugar.


  • K9 states that Skagra's home planet was the planet Dronid.

Time Lords[]

The Doctor[]



  • The Doctor goes vortex walking between Chronotis' TARDIS and his own.

Story notes[]

  • Gary Russell effected alterations to accommodate the new format and style. He wrote a prologue incorporating the footage seen in the television story The Five Doctors, which explained that the Doctor and Romana being taken into the time eddy caused them forget why they visited Cambridge and leave for Brighton.
  • This webcast attempts to fill in the holes left by the unfinished serial Shada. The Eighth Doctor recalls only the early events of the story. This would suggest that due to the events of TV: The Five Doctors, the Fourth Doctor and Romana were left with partial amnesia and the adventure was prevented from concluding the first time around. Romana says she remembers being in stasis for a time, while K9 states that the Doctor and Romana had left him alone for approximately two hours before returning and abruptly changing destination to Brighton, suggesting that TV: The Leisure Hive takes place immediately after the aborted events of the original Shada and the Doctor and Romana's abduction in The Five Doctors.
  • As an "extra feature" to the webcast, the website created an animated video of Kylie Minogue's song "Can't Get You Out of My Head", with Romana, the Eighth Doctor, Skagra and Krargs dancing to the tune.
  • Romana is Lord President of Gallifrey. This is in keeping with her character's continuity as featured at the time in the various Big Finish audios. This adventure happens after her years of imprisonment by the Daleks in AUDIO: The Apocalypse Element, thought she is illustrated in Shada looking somewhat more mature than the image used to represent her on the cover of The Apocalypse Element. She has never met the Eighth Doctor before, as she remarks on his new body.
  • The Doctor mentions that he and Chronotis spent a weekend with Mary Shelley and Lord Byron at Lake Geneva. Since Chronotis is not present with the Doctor and Mary in AUDIO: Mary's Story, one must presume that the Doctor and Mary met Chronotis near Lake Geneva in another visit.
  • Among the cast and crew interviews in the special features area of the story's page on the BBC website, a short interview of K9 was included.

Original website release/broadcast[]

Production errors[]

  • Due to the limited animation in the webcast, the character images are frequently mirrored, reversing details such as clothing and hairstyles, to make it look like they are facing different directions.
  • Chronotis' smiling mouth frequently extends beyond the boundaries of his face.
  • At exactly 9:48 into Episode 3, a random blue dot appears in the centre of the screen, and quickly disappears.
  • The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey is described in dialogue as a "red book," but the webcast illustrations show book is brown in colour.

Deviations from the television story[]

  • Due to the webcast being presented as the Eighth Doctor revisiting an adventure his fourth incarnation left unfinished, certain changes were made to the story to reflect this; Romana is depicted as her more mature Presidential self from the Big Finish Productions audios, the opening scene of punting on the cam is omitted and replaced by the Doctor recruiting Romana and K9 from Gallifrey, and Romana is able to give Chronotis a presidential pardon for his crimes at the end.
  • Due to his lines being rerecorded for the webcast, K9 is voiced by his regular actor John Leeson, instead of his voice actor at the time of the original's recording, David Brierley.
  • Due to the limited animation, the Sphere's pursuit of the Doctor on his bike is omitted. The Doctor and Skagra also have their first meeting on the main road instead of on a bridge, and the Sphere attacks the Doctor there and then.
  • While all the guest characters are given redesigns, Professor Caldera is made to look more alien as opposed to a human; he has purple skin and two antennas on his head.
  • As opposed to already having him hooked up the Sphere, the first scene shows Caldera being forcibly linked to the Sphere.
  • Due to the punting being removed from the narrative, the Doctor and Romana instead hear the Sphere from afar when they enter St Cedd's College.
  • Skagra's meeting with the motorist is extended, with the motorist almost running down Skagra in the road, instead of Skagra approaching him from the street.
  • Chris's birth year is changed to 1957.
  • Skagra has additional scenes with his Ship and Romana, and mentions he required his second outfit from the motorist he killed.
  • Other omitted scenes include the death of the fishing man and the Doctor giving Romana a medal.


CD and other releases[]

  • Big Finish released an extended release on CD, which, due to copyright laws, could not be released as a download.
  • The webcast was included on the 2013 DVD release of the reconstructed TV version of Shada. However, due to resolution limitations, rather than being included as a TV-playable feature, the webcast is accessible in a folder on the disc's file system, with a browser-based Flash viewer supplied for both Mac and PC.
  • The webcast was included as a TV-playable feature on the bonus disc of the Limited Edition Blu-Ray steelbook for the animated 2017 version of Shada and in the 3-disc Australian release.

External links[]