A lost 'Doctor Who' episode featuring Tom Baker is finally here

Danny Woods
November 27, 2017

I used to dread the end of rehearsal because then real life would impinge on me.

The episode was written by Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams and, due to its incomplete nature, has gained mythic attention amongst devout Doctor Who fans.

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Daniel Hill, who was at the beginning of his acting career when he was cast in Shada, said he was thrilled to see it on screen at last.

The oldest living Doctor, 83-year-old Baker threw on his stripy scarf and stepped back into the TARDIS to complete the serial-36 years after it was abandoned.

The episode was partially filmed in 1979, but an engineering strike prevented the episode from being finished.

The missing parts of the show that were omitted from filming in 1979 will be completed using animation, which Baker will voice, and the veteran actor has also filmed a live-action scene.

     CUT IT OUT Paul Anderson hates his haircut on Peaky Blinders
BBC CUT IT OUT Paul Anderson hates his haircut on Peaky Blinders

Almost four decades later, BBC Worldwide is set to release a new version of "Shada" that blends original footage with new color animations and voiceovers by OG cast members Baker and Lalla Ward (who played companion Romana II).

However, it will include footage of Baker as he is today, filmed using 1970s cameras.

To mark the memorable episode, the BBC will opt to avoid its broadcast, but will instead make the special available as a digital download and also a DVD release. Together, they will defeat the alien, Skagra, who has an evil plan of trying to steal intergalactic secrets to the prison planet of Shada.

Mr Baker, voted the nation's favourite Time Lord, was the fourth doctor and played the role between 1974 and 1981.

"When I was doing Doctor Who it was the realization of all my childhood fantasies", Baker told The Guardian (video above).

"That's why I can't stay away from it, it was a lovely time of my life", he said.

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