Saturday 14 June 2014

Doctor Who in Cambridge

In October 1979 the BBC began filming location scenes for a new six part Doctor Who adventure called Shada in Cambridge, but due to strikes it was never broadcast..This is it's story ...


Doctor Who - Shada

Story Synopsis

(c) BBC
The story revolves around the lost planet of Shada, on which the Time Lords built a prison for defeated would-be conquerors of the universe. Skagra, an up-and-coming would-be conqueror of the universe, needs the assistance of one of the prison's inmates, but finds that nobody knows where Shada is any more except one aged Time Lord who has retired to Earth, where he is masquerading as a professor at St. Cedd's College, Cambridge. Luckily for the fate of the universe, Skagra's attempt to force the information out of Professor Chronotis coincides with a visit by the professor's old friend, the Doctor. 

  • The Doctor - Tom Baker
  • Romana - Lalla Ward
  • Voice of K9 Mk II - David Brierley 
  • Chris Parsons - Daniel Hill
  • Clare Keightley - Victoria Burgoyne
  • Professor Chronotis - Denis Carey
  • Skagra - Christopher Neame
  • Wilkin - Gerald Campion
  • Dr. Caldera - Derek Pollitt
  • Voice of the Krargs - James Coombes
  • Passenger - David Strong
  • Police Constable - John Hallett
  • Voice of the Ship - Shirley Dixon
  • Krarg - Harry Fielder, Lionel Sansby,James Muir, Reg Woods & Derek Suthern

  • Writer - Douglas Adams
  • Assistant Floor Manager - Val McCrimmon
  • Costumes - Rupert Jarvis
  • Designer - Vic Meredith 
  • Film Cameraman - Fintan Sheeham
  • Film Editor - Tariq Anwar
  • Make - Up - Kim Burns
  • Production Assistants - Olivia Bazalgette & Ralph Wilton
  • Production Unit Manager - John Nathan-Turner
  • Special Sounds - Dick Mills
  • Studio Lighting - Mike Jefferies
  • Script Editor - Douglas Adams
  • Director - Pennant Roberts
  • Producer - Graham Williams

(c) BBC
Shada ended up being an unbroadcast story planned the 17th series of Doctor Who ( 1979-80), Which featured Tom Baker in the role of the Doctor.

The story was written by Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and contained 6 episodes. It is estimated that only 50% of the story was filmed because of strikes at the BBC.

In total only the full location filming in Cambridge was completed and one of three studio sessions.

The location and filming dates in Cambridge were...

Monday 15th October 1979 - The Backs, Clare Bridge, St. Edward's Passage, Botolph Lane, King's Parade & Trumpington Street.

Tuesday 16th October 1979 - High Street, Grantchester & Grantchester Meadows.

Wednesday 17th October 1979 - Emmanuel College & Free School Lane.

(c) BBC
Friday 19th October 1979 - Blackmoor Head Yard, Bridge Street, Garret Hostel Lane, Portugal Place, Portugal Street & Trinity Lane.

If filming had been completed 'Shada' would of followed on from the story 'Horns of Nimon' and been the final story in the 17th series. It would also have been the last story to have the original version of the theme tune and Tom Baker's original title sequence first used on 28th December 1974.

These where the planned broadcast dates...

Episode 1 - Saturday 19th January 1980
Episode 2 - Saturday 26th January 1980
Episode 3 - Saturday 2nd February 1980
Episode 4 - Saturday 9th February 1980
Episode 5 - Saturday 16th February 1980
Episode 6 - Saturday 23rd February 1980

1992 VHS release with script
2013 DVD Release
In the story The Doctor visits Professor Chronotis at St. Cedd's College, this is of course a fictional college and filming was done at Emmanuel College. For more information on St. Cedd's College click HERE.

Even though filming was not completed it was released on VHS in 1992 and DVD in 2013.

An attempt was made on creating an online animated version of Shada in 2003 with the 8th Doctor ( Paul McGann ) taking the place of the 4th Doctor ( Tom Baker ) and that can be watched HERE