Home : Archive : Novelisations : Shada : Introduction

Doctor Who and Shada


By Paul Scoones

When I was a child I wanted to grow up to be like Terrance Dicks. I fell in love with Doctor Who through reading the Target novelisations and my ambitions as a young fan were both to write Doctor Who books and also to own a complete set of Doctor Who stories in print. Through writing an adaptation of Shada and filling what would otherwise remain a gap in the novelisation series, this book therefore represents a sort of fulfillment of both of those childhood dreams.

When I started writing my own Doctor Who stories in 1981, I set them all in an imagined gap between The Horns of Nimon and The Leisure Hive. I didn't find out until later that there was already an unseen story occupying that space. Later still, once it became apparent that Shada was unlikely to ever appear on the Target's schedules, I decided to have a go at novelising Shada myself.

This novelisation has been through various incarnations, each of which is an improvement on its predecessors. Pre-dating the first published edition, I made a few abandoned attempts at adapting the story (using the extended Archive synopsis from an early issue of Doctor Who Monthly), none of which progressed beyond Part Two. When I met Jon Preddle in 1987 I showed him the last of these failed attempts. Jon deserves much credit for providing the encouragement I needed to have another go at it, and also for writing the video transcript that enabled me to finally finish the book - and in doing so realise my childhood ambition.

Since the first edition was published in 1989, the novelisation has twice been reissued in print. Each time the text has been revised and improved with the provision of additional source material that had not previously been available. In 1991 I completely rewrote the novelisation using a set of rehearsal scripts (again sourced by Jon) and in 2001 I produced another revised edition that was informed by being able to view a much better quality copy of the story following its release on BBC Video.

This e-book version (released just over twenty years after my first attempt), is the text of the 2001 edition with only a few small revisions. The new material this time around is in the form of the e-book equivalents of DVD 'special features', in the form of a 'making-of' feature, an image gallery and a commentary - which also includes 'deleted scenes'.

Paul Scoones
July 2006