Doctor Who: Shada (Fox Video, 1992). [Category: Outtakes & Obscurities]

"Shada" is the Great Lost "Dr. Who" Episode––due to a strike at the BBC, it was never finished. This was a shame, because it supposedly had an excellent script by Douglas Adams. This tape rectifies that situation. "Shada" has been reconstructed here, using the footage that was shot, and filling in the holes with narration. And the narration is done by none other than Tom Baker himself. Baker, although noticeably older than in his "Dr. Who" days, does an excellent job with the narration––it really looks like he's having fun. And the episode is no disappointment. An evil alien named Skagra gets ahold of an ancient Timelord book which was in the possession of Cambridge Professor Chronotis, who is really a very old Timelord himself. Skagra has the ability to steal peoples' minds through the use of a robotic sphere, and he wants to use the book to gain access to Shada, the Timelords' prison planet. There he plans to hook up with the infamous Timelord criminal Salievin, who has the power to invade peoples' minds, and use their combined technology to steal all minds in the universe and combine them into one infinite, all-powerful Universal Mind. Professor Chronotis is a wonderful absentminded professor character, and the story has lots of great twists and turns and surprises. Baker's narration is strong enough that the episode doesn't suffer from having missing segments. "Dr. Who" fans won't want to miss this. One of the best examples I've seen of piecing together a "lost episode" of a tv series.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

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