Lost Doctor Who episode?


Now that we’ve seen David Tennant’s final days as The Doctor and his subsequent regeneration into the newest incarnation of the time-traveling Time Lord, Matt Smith, _46874746_dr_who_shada_bbcthere comes word that some 30 years ago, back in December 1979, a six-part episode of Doctor Who, “Shada” with Tom Baker, was filmed but never transmitted. Seems inexplicable that an episode from what, at the time, was one of the most popular programs on the BBC would never see the light of day, but from what one professor writes, sounds like a classic ‘you-know-what’ match between the BBC and the unions. In this 1993 interview, Baker reveals what he believes is the reasoning behind the shelving of the episode.

imagesIf you caught the two-part Doctor Who “The End of Time”, it was cool to see the stellar performance by the great Bernard Cribbins in the recurring role of Wilfred Mott. Cribbins will be forever known and linked to the character of Mr. Hutchinson in the “Hotel Inspectors” episode of Fawlty Towers. His explanation as to why the hotel television set be tuned to BBC2 and why he never uses the telephone is genius writing and delivery.

Here’s the trailer for the never-before-broadcast episode that appeared on the previous weeks telecast back in 1979.

  • I’d forgotten that Bernard Cribbens played Mr. Hutchinson in “Fawlty Towers”! I remember the scene about the tv show, and also a scene in the dining room. He was in a ’95 episode of “Last of the Summer Wine,” which I vaguely remember. Like many viewers, I’m most familiar with his work in “Doctor Who.”

    • The reconstructed “Shada” was available on VHS for a while. We have a copy somewhere. Also, that episode was written by Douglas Adams, who recycled the Chronitis character in “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.”

      • @Julie: The great Douglas Adams. Is it just me or were the original Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy programs the best. Another example of a re-make that didn’t need to happen. Think I’m suffering from “good old days” syndrome.

  • Oh, I enjoyed the movie, but I went in with low expectations. I loved two bits of casting: Stephen Fry as The Book and Alan Rickman as Marvin. Now, I’ve really enjoyed the newer series of radio dramas from Big Finish. They do great stuff.