Tom Baker Returns to Doctor Who in LiveAction Shada Scene

first_img HBO Max Scores Exclusive ‘Doctor Who’ Streaming RightsJo Tro Do Plo Plo No: ‘Doctor Who’ Welcomes Back Familiar Monster Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Tom Baker reprises his role as the Fourth Doctor in a new live-action scene filmed for lost 1979 story “Shada.”The oldest living Doctor, 83-year-old Baker threw on his stripy scarf and stepped back into the TARDIS to complete the serial—36 years after it was abandoned.Written by Douglas Adams, “Shada” was meant to mark the end of the classic program’s 17th series. But union strikes interrupted shooting, leaving only fragments of a fable—ironically, one of Baker’s “favorite” Doctor Who tales, according to the BBC.In the new scene, the Fourth Doctor delivers lines from Adams’ original script: “I expect that sometime in the future—in about 200 years’ time—someone will meet me and say, ‘Is that really the Doctor? He seemed such a nice old man.’”Nearly four decades later, BBC Worldwide is set to release a new version of “Shada” that blends original footage with new color animations and voiceovers by OG cast members Baker and Lalla Ward (who played companion Romana II).A two-disk DVD is scheduled for release in the US on Jan. 9 (you can snag a region-free Blu-ray via Amazon.co.uk as early as Dec. 4). A digital download hit the Web on Friday, available from iTunes and other outlets.The narrative revolves around the planet Shada, where Time Lords have built a high-security prison for some of the universe’s most dangerous criminals. (Think DC Comics’ Iron Heights Penitentiary, but with Daleks, Cybermen, and Zygons.)Trouble begins when Skagra (from the planet Dronoid) resolves to visit Shada, where he will extract inmates’ felonious knowledge. In an effort to find the hidden world, he calls upon a Time Lord—masquerading on Earth as Professor Chronotis at St. Cedd’s College in Cambridge—who, in turn, call on his old friend and protege, the Doctor.Location filming and the first of three studio sessions were completed as scheduled in 1979. But the second studio block was bollixed up by a technicians’ dispute at the broadcast company; the strike ended in time for the third recording session. But that was shelved to make way for Christmas programming.Despite attempts by new Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner to resume the episodes—scheduled to air Jan. 19-Feb. 23, 1980—production of “Shada” was formally dropped that summer.If the title sounds familiar, it’s because a number of versions have already been issued.The BBC finally completed the story—with new effects, a score, and linking narration by Baker—and six shortened episodes were given a 111-minute VHS release in 1992.In 2003, the broadcaster commissioned Big Finish to remake “Shada” as a 40th-anniversary audio play; Eighth Doctor Paul McGann joined original cast members Ward and John Leeson (the voice of K9).Elements of the story, meanwhile, were recycled by Douglas Adams in his novel “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” (readers might remember Professor Chronotis and his time machine). BBC Books later published a novelization of the serial, penned by Gareth Roberts.“When I was doing Doctor Who it was the realization of all my childhood fantasies,” Baker told The Guardian (video above). “So I took to it like a duck to water and I still do.“I loved doing Doctor Who because it was life to me,” he continued. “My real life was really rather drab. … I never left [the show] and that’s why I can’t stay away from it.”Baker starred at the titular Time Lord from 1974 to 1981, and has returned to the role a number of times since, appearing in TV shorts, video games, and 50th anniversary episode “The Day of the Doctor.”center_img Stay on targetlast_img read more

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