Doctor Who and Shada

Author's Notes by Paul Scoones

Chapter 4: The Sphere

The first scene in the laboratory was largely my own improvisation for the 1989 first edition, prior to the acquisition of the script, as the on screen text description was very slight. Here's the scene as it appeared in the first edition:

The Doctor burst into the Physics Lab, startling Clare, who was trying to clean up the damaged Spectrograph. ‘Hello, I'm the Doctor,’ he said before Clare could open her mouth. ‘I'm looking for Young Parsons.’

Clare eyed this smiling stranger for a moment, and then shook the hand he extended in greeting. ‘Clare Keightley. I'm afraid you've just missed Young - I mean Chris Parsons.’

The Doctor's face fell for a moment, and then he spied the book still lying on the lab bench. ‘Ah! That's what I'm looking for!’ he declared, striding forward to claim the book.

‘You know about it?’ asked Clare. ‘What's your field of speciality?’

The Doctor looked up from carefully examining the recovered volume. ‘Sorry? This belongs to a friend of mine,’ he explained.

‘You said you were a Doctor - of what?’ Clare persisted.

‘Oh, practically anything,’ replied the Time Lord.

‘Then perhaps you can tell me why the Spectrograph blew up.’

The Doctor's eyes widened. ‘It did what?’ He moved over to the machine and began to examine it.

The scene with Romana, K9 and the bottle of milk in the TARDIS was not recorded and was improvised for the 1989 edition:

After a long walk from the TARDIS kitchen, Romana entered the console room carrying a bottle of milk. Moving to the console, she bent down beside K9, who was still attached to the console plinth by his probe.

‘K9,’ said Romana.

His probe retracted. ‘Mistress?’

‘Analyse this, please K9.’ Romana held out the bottle, and K9 extended his probe to it. His ears whirred.

‘It is a bottle of milk, Mistress. Composed of two main substances -’

‘No, no,’ Romana interrupted his stream of chatter. ‘I know it's a bottle of milk. How fresh is it?’

‘Perfectly fresh, Mistress,’ replied K9 promptly. ‘It has been in the Stasis Preserver for only thirty years.’

Romana nodded, satisfied with this prognosis. ‘Come on, K9,’ she said, and both left the TARDIS.

When Romana first meets Chris, her line ‘Are you whatsisname’ is from the script. She then calls him ‘Chris Parsons’ in both the script and on screen, but I've changed this to ‘Christopher Parsons’ as this is the name she's heard from the Professor in the previous chapter.

Romana's directions to find the TARDIS medical kit include from the script the information that the kit is in a metal case.

K9's line ‘No response, Mistress’ just before Chris re-emerges from the TARDIS was accidentally omitted from both the 1991 and 2001 editions, and has been restored for this e-book edition.

Chris's question to Romana just after he emerges from the TARDIS, about whether she has a patent and her response asking if he has the kit, comes from the script.

The second laboratory scene in this chapter is a unique example in the novelisation of an unrecorded segment which still uses the fan video on-screen text as its source. This is because the script and the script book issued by BBC Video are both missing the second page of this two page scene. The first page ends with the Doctor's line ‘Exactly the opposite function of a book. Therefore...’ The remainder of the scene is sourced from the fan video text, which was clearly adapted from a version of the script with that elusive missing page present.

K9's line ‘Another few seconds’ is from the script.

Chris's little speech justifying his use of the word ‘good’ is slightly different in the script. He says ‘you’ rather than ‘one’ as on screen. I've gone with the scripted version.

Romana's line ‘He can't talk, but he's interfering with the collar’ is from the script.

The last part of Romana's translation of Chronotis' code, ‘The... Secret... Is... In... The...’ was again accidentally omitted from both the 1991 and 2001 editions, and has been restored for the e-book edition.

When Skagra introduces himself to the Doctor on the bridge, this is the first time Skagra is identified in the novelisation. Up until this point, whenever Skagra appeared I referred to him as ‘the stranger’ or ‘the man’. As mentioned in previous chapter notes, this was an innovation for the 2001 edition; in the 1989 and 1991 editions I identified Skagra from the outset.

The Doctor's question ‘Who are you?’ and the end of his next line, ‘...I'm afraid. I've hidden it’, are both from the script.

Skagra's line ‘Hidden it?’ is from the script. On screen he says ‘You attempt to hide it from me?’ This line is absent from the 1991 and 2001 editions but I've reinstated it for the e-book.

The Doctor's quip about Skagra's tailor isn't in the script and may very well have been a Tom Baker ad-lib.

As the Doctor is chased by the sphere, he passes a group of college students singing in the street. The song, ‘Chattanooga Choo-Choo’ caused some difficulty for the first edition in 1989. As the performance by the Cambridge Choristers is one of the often-mentioned facts about this story, Jon and I were keen to quote the lyrics in the novelisation. The lyrics were quite indistinct on the fan video version, and despite Jon's best efforts at working these out, neither of us thought these were quite right. We both tried to hunt down the lyrics but without success. In the end I used just one line from the song in the first edition. In 1990 David Bishop heard about the problems we'd had with the lyrics and came up with an off-air recording of the 1953 movie The Glenn Miller Story, which includes a performance of Chattanooga Choo-Choo (written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren and first performed by Glenn Miller in the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade). This enabled us to work out the indistinct lyrics and include them in both the 1991 and 2001 editions. What's heard in Shada, and reproduced in the novelisation, is the complete second verse of the song. These days of course it takes just a quick Google search to come up with the song lyrics. In the course of compiling this e-book I did just that and consequently I've made some minor corrections to the lyrics for this edition.

The conclusion of this chapter marks the end of Part Two.

Return to Chapter 4.
Chapter 5 Notes