Doctor Who: Tin Dog Podcast
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TDP 29: DVD Box set review and  Scream of the Shalka

Scream of the Shalka was a flash-animated serial based on the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was produced to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of the series and was originally posted in six weekly parts from 13 November to 18 December 2003 on BBCi's Doctor Who website. Although it was intended to be an "official" continuation of the television series that had ended in 1989, the revival of the programme in 2005 relegated it, and its "Ninth Doctor", to unofficial status.

The serial was scripted by veteran Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell, with Richard E. Grant providing the voice for the Ninth Doctor and Derek Jacobi as the voice of an android made in the image of the Doctor's old enemy, the Master. This performance followed years of rumours that Grant would play the Doctor in a film or new series, and indeed he had appeared as the Tenth "conceited" Doctor in the Comic Relief special Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death in 1999. The Doctor's companion for this adventure, Alison Cheney, was voiced by Sophie Okonedo who a year later would be nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Hotel Rwanda.

Previous Doctor Who webcasts had had limited animation and were little more than a series of illustrations. Earlier in 2003, BBCi had had some success with the original animated webcast Ghosts of Albion. The animation for that story was provided by Manchester-based animation studio Cosgrove Hall, who were also hired to animate Scream of the Shalka.

This story was the first officially-licensed, fully-animated Doctor Who story.


Synopsis

The Doctor confronts Prime, War Chief of the Shalka Confederation, and her minions
The Doctor confronts Prime, War Chief of the Shalka Confederation, and her minions

The TARDIS materialises in the village of Lannet in Lancashire, disgorging an annoyed Doctor, who has apparently been transported here against his will. He discovers the village silent, its inhabitants all living in fear except for a barmaid, Alison Cheney. An alien race calling themselves the Shalka have taken up residence beneath Lannet in preparation for a wider invasion. Despite his initial reluctance to get involved, the Doctor finds himself having to save the world again, aided by Alison and an old enemy who has become an ally.

Cast

Continuity

  • Grant's incarnation of the Time Lord (often referred to as the "REG Doctor" or the "Shalka Doctor" by fans) has since appeared in an online short story, The Feast of the Stone by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright, although no further stories are planned.
  • Major Kennet looks over a UNIT file with the Doctor.
  • Toward the end of the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel range, the "expanded canon" began to consciously diverge, with the audio plays and novels intentionally contradicting each other. In the final Eighth Doctor novel, The Gallifrey Chronicles, the idea is put forward that each of the separate narrative threads — presumably books, comics, and audios, as implicitly suggested in Zagreus — has led to a different ninth incarnation of the Doctor. The implication here, though not explicitly stated, is that the three Doctors are the televised Ninth Doctor, Rowan Atkinson's Doctor from The Curse of Fatal Death, and the Shalka Doctor. Some fans have used this "expanded timeline" theory to fit Scream of the Shalka into overall continuity.[citation needed]

Shalka

Doctor Who race
Shalka, with the leader Prime on the left.
Shalka
Type Bioplasmic entities
Affiliated with Shalka Confederacy
Home planet Unknown
First appearance Scream of the Shalka

The Shalka appear to be a serpentine alien race made of living rock and magma, but they are actually bioplasmic entities, living plasma, their physical appearance merely a "crust" concealing their true forms. They breathe volcanic air and prefer high temperatures, being most comfortable underground where lava meets metamorphic rock. They communicate through high-pitched screaming, which they can use for a variety of effects, like tunneling through rock or mentally controlling other life forms. They also use sound as a part of their technology.

The Shalka arrived on Earth via meteorite, initially landing near Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand, subsequently establishing a beachhead for their planned invasion of Earth beneath the Lancashire town of Lannet. They also created a stable wormhole for landing their invasion force, which could also be converted into a black hole to dispose of their enemies, as they tried to do with the Doctor.

As they claimed to have done to billions of planets before, they intended to implant Shalka larvae into key segments of the population, mind controlling them into emitting a scream that would destroy the ozone layer. In this way, the Shalka intended to raise the surface temperature of the planet to the point where the human race would perish but the Shalka could thrive. The Shalka would then live beneath the surface, with the rest of the universe believing that Earth's inhabitants had died of self-inflicted ecological damage. The Doctor defeated their plans with the help of the British military and a Lannet barmaid named Alison.

Production

Doctor Who had suspended production in 1989, and aside from charity specials, had only resurfaced as an American-funded television movie in 1996, which did not garner enough ratings to go to a regular series. When Shalka was announced in July, 2003 for planned broadcast in November, the possibiliy of Doctor Who returning to television screens still seemed remote and BBC Worldwide were continuing to shop around for another possible movie deal. As a result, BBCi announced, with BBC approval, that the Doctor appearing in Shalka would be the "official" Ninth Doctor. However, events rapidly overtook this.

In September Lorraine Heggessey, the Controller of BBC One, managed to persuade BBC Worldwide that as their plans for a Doctor Who film were nowhere near fruition, BBC television should be allowed to make a new series. A deal with Russell T. Davies to produce the new series was quickly struck, and on September 26, the BBC announced that Doctor Who would be returning to BBC One in 2005, produced by BBC Wales. As a result, the "official" nature of the Shalka webcast was in doubt from even before it was webcast.

After the webcast, in February 2004, plans for sequels or a DVD release were indefinitely shelved. For a period, it was unclear if the new television Doctor would be the Ninth or Tenth Doctor, but this was ultimately settled in April 2004 when in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine, Davies announced that the new television Doctor (played by Christopher Eccleston), would be the Ninth Doctor, relegating the Richard E. Grant Doctor to unofficial status. Davies later commented that Grant had never been considered for the role in the television series, telling Doctor Who Magazine: "I thought he was terrible. I thought he took the money and ran, to be honest. It was a lazy performance. He was never on our list to play the Doctor."[1]

Production notes

  • The working title for this production was Servants of the Shalakor. This original story outline is included in the BBC Books novelisation (see below).
  • Appearing in an uncredited cameo role in the serial as a caretaker was actor and Doctor Who fan David Tennant, who in April 2005 was announced as the Tenth Doctor in the television series proper. He was not originally cast in the production, but Tennant happened to be recording a radio play in a neighbouring studio, and when he discovered what was being recorded next door managed to convince the director to give him a small role.
  • Derek Jacobi would later play the Master again in the 2007 episode "Utopia".
  • In the pub scene, the Cosgrove Hall Studios logo can briefly be seen on beermats, advertising "Volunteer Ale."
  • The font used in titles and end credits (Industria) was the one used on the BBC's lines of Doctor Who video releases and spin-off novels at the time. It continues to be used on the classic series DVD releases.
  • In 2006 Cosgrove Hall was again to create a Doctor Who related animation, the two missing episodes of The Invasion for that serial's DVD release. In 2007, some of the animation staff from these two productions went on to develop The Infinite Quest, a 13-part serial to be aired as part of the second series of Totally Doctor Who. A behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the Invasion episodes entitled Flash Frames includes footage from Scream of the Shalka -- the only footage from the production to see DVD release.

In print

Doctor Who book
Book cover
Scream of the Shalka
Series Past Doctor Adventures
Release number 64
Featuring Shalka Doctor
The Master and Alison
Writer Paul Cornell
Publisher BBC Books
ISBN ISBN 0-563-48619-8
Set between Unknown
Number of pages 288
Release date February 2004
Preceded by Deadly Reunion
Followed by Empire of Death

The novelisation of Shalka was written by Paul Cornell, the first novelisation of a Doctor Who serial (the 1996 television movie notwithstanding) in nearly a decade (and the last so far, although novelisations based upon episodes of the spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures were announced in 2007). The book also includes a feature on the making of the webcast, as well as the original Servants of the Shalahoa story outline. Given that the BBC and the producers of the televised Doctor Who have discounted Scream of the Shalka as being part of the franchise's continuity, this is one of the few Doctor Who novels for which the canonicity (or in this case, lack thereof) has firmly been established.

DVD release

The British Board of Film Classification has cleared all six episodes of the serial for release on DVD, but the BBC has made no announcement about release of the story. As of March 2007, only clips from the serial have been released to DVD, as part of Flash Frames, a documentary on the DVD release of the restored The Invasion.


Scream of the Shalka webcast


Scream of the Shalka novelisation

Direct download: 9th_Doctor_31st_OCT.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:03am UTC

TDP 28: 8th Doctor Overview (inc. Big Finish)
TitleSerialSerial #Broadcast
Doctor Who: The Movie 8A * 160 27 May 1996 1

BBCi Webcasts
Shada

Big Finish Audios "Season 27"
Storm Warning
Sword of Orion
The Stones of Venice
Minuet in Hell

Big Finish Audios "Season 28"
Invaders From Mars
The Chimes of Midnight
Seasons of Fear
Embrace the Darkness
The Time of the Daleks
NeverLand

Big Finish Audios "Season 29"
Zagreus
Scherzo
The Creed of Kromon
The Natural History of Fear
The Twilight Kingdom

Big Finish Audios "Season 30"
Faith Stealer
The Last
Caerdroia
The Next Life

Big Finish Audios "Season 31"
Terror Firma
Scaredy Cat
Other Lives
Time Works
Something Inside
Direct download: PAUL_OVERVIEW.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

TDP 27: Seventh Doctor Overview

The Seventh Doctor

Sylvester McCoy 1987-1989

Spoons. Braces. Cartmel masterplan. Panama hat. Umbrella. Ace! Rrrrrolling rrrrrrs. Professor! Wicked! Cliffhanger. Pullover. Dark and mysterious. Burnt toast.

Season Twenty-Four - 1987

Time And the Rani
Paradise Towers
Delta And the Bannermen
Dragonfire


Season Twenty-Five - 1988

Remembrance of the Daleks
The Happiness Patrol
Silver Nemesis
The Greatest Show In the Galaxy

Season Twenty-Six - 1989

Battlefield
Ghost Light
The Curse of Fenric
Survival
Direct download: SLY_1.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:00am UTC

TDP 26: Sixth Doctor Overview

The Sixth Doctor

Colin Baker 1984-1986

Brash. Cat badge. Video nasty. Cancelled. Hiatus. Doctor in distress. Valeyard. Carrot juice. Carrot juice. Carrot juice

Season Twenty-One - 1984

The Twin Dilemma

Season Twenty-Two - 1985

Attack of the Cybermen
Vengeance On Varos
The Mark of the Rani
The Two Doctors
Timelash
Revelation of the Daleks

Season Twenty-Three- 1986

The Trial of a Timelord:

The Mysterious Planet
Mindwarp
Terror of the Vervoids
The Ultimate Foe
Direct download: colin_b_1.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:00am UTC

The winner is... the Winner is...

Not The Fox Theme...

The winner is a version I just found after posting the others.
its a mix from an unused Dr Who project. mixed again with my the Dalek time
machine fx

id like to thank you all for emailing me with
your comments and thoughts.

I will be using these themes in future but
as I record so far in advance you may not
hear it for a month or so.

it really means a lot that people took time
out of their day to email me.

regards

TD

ps.

6th Doctor review goes live Saturday 6th Oct.


Direct download: 32000_Altmusic_31_Oct_2007.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:51pm UTC

Choose My New Theme Tune I have uploaded a new podcast (the review of the 6th Doctor will be live later in the week... don't worry) but I need your feedback about this episode.

You see I think I need a theme tune.

So ive edited 5 and put them into tonights cast and I'd like you to listen to them and email me with your thoughts.

1) the sound FX im already using

2) An edited version of the Fox Movie/8th Doctor Music

3) Edited version of the Fist 9th doctor ie Richard E Grants Music from Scream of the salkra (kind of funky)

4) My own creation using bits of ALL the theme tunes I had access too...

5) Mark Gatis lovely version of the tune from Dr who night.

come on guys... I trust your opinions.

tin-dog@hotmail.co.uk

what do you think? which should it be?
Direct download: TD_Theme_Quest_1.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:24am UTC