September 16th brings the release of one of Doctor Who‘s most unique adventures; Scream of the Shalka, featuring the alternative Ninth Doctor, Richard E. Grant.
At the time of Shalka‘s inception in 2003 it was believed that the animation, which was broadcast on the fledgeling BBC website, would be the first in an ongoing series that was to be the shows re-birth. But two months before it aired, the BBC announced that the show was to return to TV instead and after only releasing one adventure the Flash animations were unceremoniously scrapped.
But it seems that is not the end of the tale, for there is more, in script form at least. As horror author (and the man behind 2004’s The Dalek Factor novella) Simon Clark revealed to SFX;
I was told about the animated Doctor Who, and asked to submit a very brief outline. They liked what they saw and I was then asked to submit a more detailed synopsis. On the basis of this I was given a contract to write the scripts
The serial, to be titled Blood of the Robots, would have seen the show head into a darker place not too dissimilar to that of the classic Hinchcliffe and Holmes era of the 70’s
There would have been some frightening elements, and a dash of gruesomeness too… There was also scope to have things happen in the animated Doctor Who that couldn’t have been done in the classic TV episodes.
By the time Scream of the Shalka hit the Internet the next story was already well on its way to being completed. Clark states that he had finished the entire storyline and three of the six scripts. When asked if there was any chance of the story ever seeing the light of day he replied;
I guess that isn’t in my hands, but… It would just be a case of blowing away an accumulation of interstellar dust and work could begin on completing Blood Of The Robots.
Would you want to see more, or like Peter Cushing before him, do you think that the “Shalka Doctor” should be left as a stray thread in the web of time? As always, leave us a comment and let us know your feelings on the possibility of more from the animated Doctor.
Personally, I think with the classic DVD range beginning to slow down now everything possible (barring the forthcoming Moonbase and Underwater Menace and -fingers crossed- The Crusades) has been released, the BBC could do far worse than bring back the alternative Doctor and run with the series in the same way that Big Finish did with their amazing Unbound range.
Scream of the Shalka DVD is released on 16th September and you can pre-order your copy from Amazon UK for just £13.97!