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Monday, May 19, 2014

Doctor Who: 50 Years in Space & Time (Part 10)

Here's the next part of my look back at the Best of the Bunch from Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary:

  • The November DVD release of Scream of the Shalka

10. Scream of the Shalka

This November DVD release almost slipped by unnoticed in the midst of the 50th Anniversary celebrations, but is worth a place on any Doctor Who fan's shelf.

Originally produced during the "wilderness years" when Doctor Who had been off the air for quite a long time, Scream of the Shalka was intended as a celebration of Doctor Who's 40th Anniversary (there was little else happening to celebrate it).

Using then state-of-the-art flash animation, and first broadcast in six parts on the classic BBC's Doctor Who website from 13th November - 18th December 2003, Scream of the Shalka was the first true Doctor Who web animation. Up until the surprising return of the live TV series, web animation was generally accepted by many to be the future of Doctor Who.

The return of Doctor Who to television in 2005 relegated Scream of the Shalka to the level of a mere historical curiosity. But Doctor Who fans just love that kind of thing, and this DVD is worth getting for the excellent extra features on the disc alone.

The main story, written by Paul Cornell, is also pretty good, and the excellent performance of Richard E. Grant as the Doctor showed that he'd have been perfect for the role, if he'd been selected for the live series. It's a great pity that he only had this one bite at the cherry. I bet he thought he'd last a little longer as the Doctor!

To Be Continued...

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