That’s great news for Douglas Adams and Dr Who fans. “Shada” is a lost story written by Douglas (it was partly filmed but it was stopped because of a strike). In 1992, its recorded footage was released on video using linking narration by Tom Baker to complete the story (with a booklet of the full script). Part of the shada storyline was included in the first Dirk Gently book.
According The Guardian, “Large parts of the story had already been filmed on location in Cambridge before industrial action at the BBC brought production to a halt. The drama was never finished, and in the summer of 1980 Shada was abandoned – although various later projects attempted to resurrect it.
Douglas Adams’s Doctor Who series are among the very few which have never been novelised, reportedly because the author wanted to do them himself but was always too busy. Gareth Roberts, a prolific Doctor Who scriptwriter, has now been given the job.
Publisher BBC Books declared the book “a holy grail” for Time Lord fans. Editorial director Albert De Petrillo said: “Douglas Adams’s serials for Doctor Who are considered by many to be some of the best the show has ever produced. Shada is a funny, scary, surprising and utterly terrific story, and we’re thrilled to be publishing the first fully realised version of this Doctor Who adventure as Douglas originally conceived it.”
Ed Victor, the literary agent representing the Douglas Adams estate, said: “The BBC have been asking us for years [to allow a novelisation of Shada] and the estate finally said, ‘Why not?'” Having Roberts novelise the Adams script was “like having a sketch on a canvas by Rubens, and now the studio of Rubens is completing it,” he added. The book will be published in March 2012 as a £16.99 hardback.”
Good news is that Gareth Roberts is an experienced writer who already wrote a lot of doctor who stories and who also worked a little in comedy for the Fast Show.
Last october, 2|entertain announced that they will release Shada on DVD.
Big Finish has also released an audio version in 2003 with Paul McGann as the doctor.