This book came as a bit of a surprise, and it comes with some backstory for you guys. Yay! Backstory!. I was being a lazy person, and my sister and my mother went out to the bookstore without me. When they came back, they brought Doctor Who: Shada with them, by Gareth Roberts
I have never read a Gareth Roberts novel. (Or, at least, I don’t think I have.) But the main reason why I was excited was because it brought together two of some of my favorite things, Doctor Who, and Douglas Adams. Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy (“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe”, “Life, The Universe, and Everything”, “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish”, and “Mostly Harmless” ), Yes, you read that right, there are five of them, proudly holds his spot with Timothy Zahn, Alastair Reynolds, and Rick Riordan as one of my favorite authors. This fine novel has only solidified my love of his writing.
Shada was originally written as a 6 part serial for the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker), but when filming started, it was plagued by accidents, strikes, and creative differences. The serial itself was never finished, but what was created was released on DVD. I haven’t watched it yet, but I plan to get my hands on it sometime or other.
The Fourth Doctor, Romana, and K9 are on their way to Cambridge, to visit their old friend Professor Chronotis. However, things get a bit more complicated when they find out that Chronotis has taken “The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey”, a book that holds a dangerous secret. When Skagra, a villain who has waited years for this all to go his way, arrives, searching for the book, he only makes things more complicated. With “The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey”, Skagra hopes to conjoin the entire universe into one Universal Mind. And that means that the Doctor has to stop him before he takes the collective freedom of the entire universe.
This book was re-written by Gareth Roberts, and as he says at the end of the book, it was a hard book to write, considering the lack of source material, and just bad luck surrounding his writing. I have to say that I’m glad that it all worked out. Shada is an amazing book, and it also holds the honor of being the first Doctor Who novel that I’ve read featuring the Fourth Doctor. There were some passages that were so ridiculous I had to read them over and over, and I still laughed out loud everytime. I started to hope that BBC would remake this for one of the new adventures with the Twelfth Doctor, slightly edited, of course. I can’t recommend this book as highly as it deserves to be. 10 out of 10.
Written in the canon of Doctor Who
By Gareth Roberts (Originally by Douglas Adams)
Published March 15th, 2012
10 out of 10 (The Fortress of Helixity), 4.24 out of 5 (Goodreads)