Doctor Who and Shada

Author's Notes by Paul Scoones

Chapter 3: In Search of the Book

The list of book titles reeled off in this chapter's opening scene excludes Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, which was mentioned by Romana on screen, but added instead from the script is Eric Von Daniken's controversial book Chariots of the Gods, which as specified in the script directions, Romana flings away in disgust. The mention of Alternative Betelgeuse is undoubtedly a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in-joke as the character of Ford Prefect comes from Betelgeuse.

The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey is described as one of the Artifacts of Rassilon. This is from the script; on screen Rassilon isn't mentioned in this particular scene.

Romana's comment ‘My history books always made the old days sound very exciting’ is from the script.

The ‘B, B...’ ‘C?’ joke on screen isn't in the script and I've omitted it from the novelisation as I don't think the joke works quite as well when written down.

Writing the novelisation was at times quite educational as Douglas Adams' script is peppered with cultural references. For example when Chris and Clare talk about ‘our Mr. Dalton’, I looked up who it was that they were talking about and included this detail in the book. I remain stumped however by Chris's line ‘Well that's the brooms thing to do I suppose.’ What's a brooms thing? I think it's an obscure reference but even with the aid of Google I've been unable to locate it. In the 1991 and 2001 editions I've substituted the word ‘brooms’ with ‘best’. I think I assumed that this was a typographical error, but since the word appears in both the script and the script book issued with the video (which notably has corrected other typos), I think it is actually meant to be ‘brooms’, so I've changed it to that for this edition.

When Professor Chronotis finally remembers Chris Parsons, on screen he gets right through the alphabet to the letter ‘Y’ before remembering him as ‘Young Parsons’. I've instead gone with the version as scripted where the Professor gets to the letter ‘P’ and then says ‘Parsons, Christopher’. This side-steps a continuity error in the story because both the Doctor and Romana both later seem to know Chris Parsons' first name without the Professor ever mentioning it. The dates the Professor gives for Chris's birth and graduation are 1951 and 1975 in the script, and 1956 and 1978 on screen. In this case I've gone with the on-screen dates. The mention of ‘Post Graduate studies’ is from the script.

How does the Doctor know his way around Cambridge well enough not to require directions to Chris's lab? As established in Chapter 1, the Doctor has visited Cambridge University on a number of previous occasions. I reasoned that some of those visits would have been during his exile on Earth, although the closest he seems to get on screen is in The Time Monster.

There are several more segments included from the script that didn't make it on screen. These include the Doctor saying he'll be careful crossing the street; telling Romana to wait for the cavalry, and to wait for an hour (on screen it's two hours). The Professor's words of reassurance after the Doctor has left are also from the script.

Where does the Doctor get his borrowed bicycle from? I decided that he'd have asked Wilkin to lend him one. I mention that the Doctor is out of practice at riding a bicycle. When indeed did he last ride one prior to this story?

When Romana offers to fetch milk from the TARDIS, the Professor's comment about the complaint about the kitchens in the Type Forty is from the script; on screen he simply mentions that ‘the kitchens are too far from the control chamber.’

Return to Chapter 3.
Chapter 4 Notes