Andy and Michael Nixon of Game of Rassilon Podcast talk about the 1979 Doctor Who series Shada, written by Douglas Adams! Listen in to their discussion!

Shada Serial


The Doctor answers a distress signal from Professor Chronotis, a Time Lord posing as a professor at St. Cedd’s College, Cambridge who loaned a Gallifreyan tome to his student Chris Parsons. The Doctor retrieves the book while Chronotis dies after his mind was extracted by the sphere of a mad scientist named Skagra, living long enough to warn Romana, Parsons, and K9 of them and Shada. The Doctor locates Skagra’s cloaked spacecraft, only for his companions to be captured while Skagra has his sphere extract the Doctor’s mind to decode the book before taking Romana in the TARDIS to his carrier ship and Krarg creations. But the Doctor survived his ordeal with his mind intact and has ship’s computer release Chris and K9 and take them to a space station Skagra previously occupied. The group find Skagra’s discarded colleagues and learn he is after a Time Lord named Salyavin.

Back on Earth, Clare Keightley accidentally revives Chronotis whose chambers are revealed as a TARDIS, the Professor explaining the book is a key to the prison planet Shada where Salyavin is held. Chronotis and Clare repair the TARDIS to reach Skagra’s carrier, saving the Doctor and Chris after Skagra decoded the book and reveals his intent to absorb Salyavin’s mind and use its telepathy to unite all life into a single Universal Mind. The group reach Shada as Skagra releases the prisoners, Chronotis revealed as Salyavin with Skagra extracting his mind and turning the prisoners and Chris into his thralls. Reminded that the Universal Mind contains a copy of his brain, the Doctor builds a telepathy helmet to wrestle control from Skagra while the Krarg are destroyed. Skagra ends up a prisoner in his own ship while the Doctor returns the restored prisoners to Shada and parts ways with Chronotis, musing over Chronotis’ exploits being exaggerated while expecting a similar treatment within two centuries.

Via Wikipedia


Directed by Pennant Roberts (original)
Charles Norton (2017 version)
Written by Douglas Adams
Script editor Douglas Adams
Produced by Graham Williams (original)
John Nathan-Turner (1992 version)
Paul Hembury (2017 version)

  • Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)

  • Lalla Ward (Romana)
  • David Brierley (Voice of K9 Mk. II)

Meet the Grand Whovians:

Host:  Andy Nordvall

Andy Nordvall graduated with high honors from Wesleyan University, where his short fiction won a prestigious Olin Fellowship. He was also the lead singer and lyricist for the Viking band Nördvall, which featured exploding car parts and songs such as “Valkyrie Love Slave,” “No Sleep ‘Till Reykjavik” and “Dead Viking Mama.” After college, Mr. Nordvall worked as a music journalist and movie critic for FLAGPOLE MAGAZINE. Then worked as a actor, voice actor and travel writer in Chengdu and Taiwan. Upon returning to America, Mr. Nordvall completed UCLA’s MFA Screenwriting program, where he won a Professional Program Screenwriting Award, UCLA Showcase, a Screenwriting Expo Award for Best Fantasy Script, 3 Carl Sautter awards (for feature, TV drama, and sitcom), and was a finalist in the Humanitas, Industry Insider, and Slamdance Pilot Competition. Mr. Nordvall writes the weekly webcomic MY ROOMMATE, THE INTERNET, which Reddit has called “sorta funny, I guess,” and published the fantasy novella SIREN’S SONG about a pirate cabin boy who befriends a siren.

For more information on Siren’s Song, check out our IndiMini!

Michael Nixon

Michael Nixon is a writer, podcaster, and time travel aficionado based in Los Angeles. His work includes writing / starring in parody web series Drunk Hawk Man, co-hosting the three-season Having a Friend for Dinner: A Hannibal Lecter Podcast, and interviewing the likes of Grant Morrison and Brian Michael Bendis for the official DC Nation magazine. He’s excited for you all to realize that he isn’t just the podcast’s audio engineer.

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