Book Review: Doctor Who: Shada by Douglas Adams and Gareth Roberts

This month I stumbled across the surprising in the moment, but totally logical in hindsight, fact that Douglas Adams was one of the writers for the original Dr. Who TV series. Several of his episodes, Shada, City of Death, The Pirate Planet, and Dr. Who and the Krikketmen, which he wrote for Tom Baker's Doctor (The Fourth Doctor), were never produced on the TV show. Gareth Roberts has taken Adams' original scripts and transformed them into a series of Dr. Who novels.  I grew up watching Tom Baker's doctor, and my daughter is growing up reading The Hitchhiker's Series. This happy blending of fandoms was an event not to be missed in the BostonWriters household. 

Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams and Gareth Roberts

Publisher: Ace, 2012
Genre: Adult (possibly Young Adult?), Science Fiction
Format: Paperback

Shada opens with a visit to Cambridge University in England, where a young scientist hoping to impress a potential girlfriend borrows an unusual book from one of his professors. The book, of course, turns out to be an ancient Time Lord Artifact, and the usual Fourth Doctor high jinks and almost-universe-ending chaos ensue.

As you saw above, I hesitate to truly call these Young Adult novels. On the one hand, Tom Baker’s version of the Doctor is pretty young adult friendly stuff, as a rule. But this is Douglas Adams we’re talking about, and as with all Douglas Adams novels, there are moments here and there that I profoundly hope flew right over my daughter’s head. My daughter, by the way, tells me that she recognizes a few of the plot points from these Lost Episodes as later cropping up in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker series. We’ll have to take her word for it, as she has read the Hitchhiker series many more times than I have at this point.

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Note: I had originally posted this review as part of a round-up of several reviews from last October, but after looking at my blog's front page recently, I realized that it would be much easier for my visitors to find reviews of books they are interested in if I stick to a one-book-per-post-no-matter-how-short-the-review-is policy going forward. That way readers can scan the book covers on my blog's home page as if they were browsing a book store. So I reposted this as a solo book review.  

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