Thursday 3 May 2012

528 Shada Part Three

EPISODE: Shada Part Three
TRANSMITTED: Unaired (planned for 02nd February 1980)
WRITER: Douglas Adams
DIRECTOR: Pennant Roberts
SCRIPT EDITOR: Douglas Adams
PRODUCER: Graham Williams
RATINGS: Unbroadcast
FORMAT: VHS: Doctor Who - Shada

Romana arrives in the Tardis, rescuing the Doctor. They return to Chronotis' rooms where Chris reports the professor's body just disappeared. The Doctor decides he needs to speak with Skagra. K-9 tracks the sphere to Skagra's ship. Clare, worried about the danger the book may represent, comes to Chronotis' rooms to find them empty. The Tardis materialises in an apparently empty field where Skagra's invisible ship is. They are allowed to enter the ship where Skagra takes them prisoner. Skagra tells them he was only interested in Chronotis' mind. He tries to force the Doctor to decode the book and sets the sphere on him to take his mind. K-9 is unable to blast his way out of the cell he, Romana and Chris find themselves in. K-9 picks up the sphere's signals and is able to detect the Doctor amongst it's voices. Romana is transported from the cell and taken to the Tardis by Skagra who forces her to take it. While searching the Professor's rooms for the missing book Clare finds a number of concealed control panels and she accidentally triggers an explosion. The Doctor awakens on the ship and explains to it's computer how he survived, with the sphere merely taking a copy of his mind. The College Porter comes to the Professor's rooms, but when opening the door doesn't find the room there but instead the swirling time vortex. The Doctor attempts to persuade the ship to release him and his companions but instead it decides the sphere must haves succeeded in it's task and killed the Doctor so to conserve resources it turns off the Oxygen supply......

For the first time this episode *really* flags missing some crucial material. Before there were just holes, now there's whole chunks of plot missing. I'd always been a bit confused by the narration at the end of the episode so I turned to the script book and it makes it a lot clearer, showing the Doctor trying to trap the computer into doing something silly. It's a typical piece of Tom fast talking and the narration in no way does it justice.

And still no sign of the Krargs!

It's in this episode that we first see Victoria Burgoyne as Clare Keightley which is a little jarring as she just appears from nowhere during the video version. If filming had bee completed she would have had scenes in the lab with both Chris Parsons & The Doctor during the second episode.

Having conducted location filming from 15th - 19th October 1979, the cast reconvened in Television Centre 3 from 3rd-5th November 1979 for the first studio book which included all the Think Tank material, the scenes in Skagra's ships brig/cell and the substantial number of scenes in Professor Chronotis rooms for all six episodes. On November 15th & 16th model work was done at Ealing before the second studio block on November 19th & 20th in TC6 and the third on December 1st - 3rd in TC1. This would included the lab scenes & those on the bridge of Skagra's ship, the most crucial pieces that are now missing from the two earliest episodes, plus material filmed inside the Tardis and at Shada in the latter episodes of the show. After conducting rehearsals on the morning of November 19th cast and crew returned to the studio and discovered they had been locked out as part of an industrial dispute between the unions and the BBC.

The dispute lasted until 30th November 1979 but by that time there was a rush for studio space to complete the BBC's Christmas programming for that year. Studio space could not be found until January, just before Shada was due to be aired (the first episode should have gone out 19th January 1980), which would not leave enough time for the post production work to have been completed. Reluctantly the production was cancelled.

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