Thursday, 4 February 2016


From November 1984: the sixteenth issue of DOCTOR WHO BULLETIN (aka DWB).

The campaign to see the partially-shot-and-subsequently-abandoned SHADA completed didn't pay immediate dividends (and DWB soon decided they didn't want Producer JNT to have any involvement with any aspect of the show... even after it was cancelled) but it was eventually completed (on a budget of £5 or thereabouts) in the next decade when new bridging material was shot, for a VHS release, to bridge the gaps between the completed location work and partially finished (before a strike Halted shooting) studio sessions. 

The VHS only specials were overseen by JNT (calm down DWB!) and this, along with the "years tapes" remain one of the few releases and projects not revisited in the DVD era. Payments to the estate of writer Douglas Adams may have helped nix any proposed projects. 

Clips from SHADA were recycled for THE FIVE DOCTORS (ensuring Tom Baker's partial participation) and the rushes were subsequently shown at the BFI. They vary from the quite good to the cringey.   

1 comment:

  1. I think a lingering general resistance to JNT from individuals involved in BBC Video is probably why much of his "years tapes" material, and some of the cast introductions/on-screen narrations to two serials with missing episodes ("The Reign of Terror" and "The Tenth Planet"), have never made it to DVD.

    The ill-feelings towards JNT from some quarters didn't diminish even after the television series was eventually cancelled. The original slate of proposed VHS releases in 1993 for the series' 30th anniversary included further JNT-originated productions such as "years tapes" for the remaining Doctors, a Documentaries tape (presumably including "Whose Doctor Who" and "Resistance is Useless"), and the aforementioned two partly-missing serials with fill-in narration from original cast-members. At least, that was the plan until he was driven away from BBC Video earlier that year.

    A belated use of some of Carole Ann Ford's on-screen narration of "The Reign of Terror" was used on that story's original VHS release, but notably was not included as an extra on the DVD edition of the story. Michael Craze's links for "The Tenth Planet" (pretty much his last official involvement in the show) were never given an official release at all.

    JNT took particular exception to Special Edition release of "The Five Doctors" in 1995 as he wasn't consulted in any capacity. (Even the original director Peter Moffatt wasn't consulted, which clearly irritated him years later). I think one only has to see what names were involved in the production of that Special Edition to get an idea of who was keen for JNT to no longer be involved in the VHS releases.


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