College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters

Because Ideas Matter...

The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents

Recommended Readings

Doc .-Who Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams

by Gareth Roberts, Ace 2012

Reviewed by James F. McGrath

I recently finished reading Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams, completed as a novel by Gareth Roberts. The novel has all the comedy you would expect from a Doctor Who episode written by Adams and starring Tom Baker. For those who may not be familiar with it, the Doctor Who episode Shada was partially filmed in 1979 when a strike brought production to a halt, so that it was never completed and thus never aired. The book's opening paragraph indicates a "theological" theme in the book which is just what one might expect from Adams:

"At the age of five, Skagra decided emphatically that God did not exist. The revelation tends to make most people in the universe who have it react in one of two ways - with relief or with despair. Only Skagra responded to it by thinking, Wait a second. That means there's a situation vacant."

The story follows the attempt of Skagra to do just that - create a universal mind by extending his own mind into every other in the galaxy, forming "one godlike entity."

For longtime fans, the novel explores the show's mythology about the time lords and their history. But if you are not a regular viewer or fan of Doctor Who, but love Douglas Adams, you should still appreciate this novel. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy almost gets a mention in the novel at one point!

- James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature, Butler University.