Doctor Who and Shada

Author's Notes by Paul Scoones

Chapter 6: Dead Man

All of the scenes located in Skagra's ship's prison cell were recorded; all other scenes aboard Skagra's ship were not. In the first scene of this chapter when Romana says ‘Oh blast it’ and K9 responds by firing at the wall, there's a line from K9, ‘Please duck’, that appears on the BBC Video release that isn't in the script or the fan video edit of the story. I suspect this line was devised for the video release and I've resisted adding it to the novelisation.

Revisiting the novelisation for this e-book version, I have made relatively few changes to the text of the 2001 edition, however when taking a fresh look at this particular chapter I saw an opportunity to rearrange the scenes to improve the narrative flow. So I've brought forward the prison cell scene with Chris and K9 alone to flow on from Romana's disappearance. The ‘join’ comes after Chris says ‘No, good dog.’ This alteration also allows all of the Romana and Skagra scenes within this chapter to run together as one sequence. The relocated scene originally appeared at the point at which Romana and Skagra leave the ship. These two scenes are joined just after Skagra's line ‘Or I shall use the sphere on you too!’ I have also slightly revised the text around the points where these scenes have been merged.

I cut a scene from this chapter, which appears in the script at the point described above when Romana and Skagra leave the ship. Since this brief scene was just a repeat of the earlier shot of the Doctor motionless in the ship control room without any action or dialogue it seemed to me that whilst it may have served an important function onscreen to re-establish the Doctor's predicament, it was unnecessary repetition within the novelisation.

The scenes in which Romana and Skagra walk from the ship to the TARDIS and the TARDIS dematerialises were recorded, but there are no notable dialogue changes. The scenes with Wilkin and Clare in the college were also recorded, and again these closely followed the script.

The last scene of the chapter in which the Doctor first converses with Skagra's ship, deviates slightly from the script. A short script extract from this scene appeared in a UK fanzine, Proteus issue three, published in 1990. The extract included handwritten alterations by director Pennant Roberts, who had crossed out a few lines of dialogue and written in some additional lines. I chose to stick with the original script but added one of Roberts' lines, which has the Doctor saying, ‘I've never met a talking ship before - a talking dog, yes, but a talking space ship, no.’ This first appeared in the 1991 edition.

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

Return to Chapter 6.
Chapter 7 Notes