Another model on display at the recent Smallspace event was the Think Tank space station used for some of the newly created special effects scenes for the updated 1979 un-aired Tom Baker Doctor Who story, ‘Shada’.
As most classic Doctor Who fans will know, Shada had a major make over last year, using animation voiced by the original actors, as well as newly filmed scenes, and was released in the UK on Blu-ray. It was also recently shown on TV in the United States, as part of the build up to the new Jodie Whittaker lead Doctor Who series which airs in the autumn.
Special Effects man, Mike Tucker who has the distinction of working on both the classic and updated versions of Doctor Who, was on hand to answer questions. His company did the new model effects for Shada, and although no actual original effects footage exists, he was able to recreate the station from photos taken in 1979 in which he was able to identify kit parts from the Airfix Eagle Transporter and others, and scale it from them.
I’d imagine most Doctor Who fans will be fully aware of the Shada, and the story behind it, but for those who don’t, here’s a brief run down. Shada was the intended final six-part story for season 17, and would have been the final story written for the series by the late Douglas Adams, the man behind The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Location filming and the first studio recording had been completed for the serial. However, before the second studio recording could take place BBC technicians went on strike. This meant that things were put on hold, and eventually shelved.
Selected scenes were used for The Five Doctors in 1983, when Tom Baker decided not to reprise his fourth Doctor role for the anniversary special.
In 1992, existing footage was used for a Home Video release with Tom Baker, filmed at the Blackpool exhibition, providing linking narration for the missing scenes.