The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey isn't a book for Time Tots. It is one of the Artefacts, dating from the dark days of Rassilon. It must not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. The sinister Skagra most definitely has the wrong hands. He wants the book. He wants to discover the truth behind Shada. And he wants the Doctor s mind....
Shada was written by fan favorite Douglas Adams and based on the scripts for the original TV programme.
© Gareth Roberts 2012
Listening to Shada has been a delight from beginning to end. First there is the fun of getting to enjoy a well-paced and exciting classic Doctor Who adventure. The characters are all wonderfully portrayed, and performed. Then there is the fun of having it read by the Time Lady Romana herself (aka Lalla Ward), who gives a terrific performance with each of the different character voices. On top of that, as a big fan of Douglas Adams, it was like uncovering a new novel from the late author. Gareth Roberts' novelization does a remarkable job of keeping so much of Adam's classic sci-fi style and humor - it will feel very familar to anyone who's read Adams before, even if you've never encountered The Doctor until now. Particularly since many characters and ideas from this lost script later ended up as inspiration for Adams' later Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.
I like Douglas Adams' humor. But what makes this audiobook really special is Lalla Ward's reading. She is a great story-teller. And some of her characterizations are priceless. I wish Lalla would do more fiction audiobooks.
I was pretty excited about this audiobook, but after reading some reviews about the quality I was worried. Poor audio quality can ruin even the best audiobook. However, I just don't see what all the fuss is about. The quality isn't bad, it may not be the best but it's far from the worst. Certainly the audio quality didn't detract from my enjoyment of the audiobook at all. Perhaps other listeners don't like the narrator. While nothing would be better than to have this story performed by Tom Baker himself, the narrator was still good. The story was excellent, at least as good as Adam's other Who stories in my opinion, perhaps better because I felt like some of the material would certainly have been edited out. Overall I really enjoyed this audiobook and I believe it to be a must listen for any old school Who fan, or Adam's fan.
Drama teacher and Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan
I still consider myself "New to Who," since I only started becoming obsessed with the modern series. However, I have watched 8 seasons of the original DOCTOR WHO and I continue to enjoy the older series as well. This novel, as I'm sure you're aware, is based on a script written by the immortal Douglas Adams. Although impeccably plotted and enjoyable, do not expect much of the Adams' HITCHHIKER wit. It's THERE, but it's subtle.
I applaud Gareth Roberts for bringing this to a mainstream audience. He's done a great job puzzling out the pieces and putting it together. This is an accessible Fourth Doctor adventure, but you don't necessarily have to be a veteran of Doctor Who to enjoy it. You will meet old friends if you are familiar with the original series, or you will meet new ones if you are not.
Read by Lalla Ward, the original series' Romana II, the audio is produced in a way to resemble a BIG FINISH audio production. Full of sound effects, musical score, and even a cameo from K-9. Ward does a great job immitating Tom Baker, and her other voices are fine without being cartoonish. This has more of a "radio drama" feel to it rather than an audio book. I enjoyed it packaged the way it is, but I understand that some listeners may want a more straight forward audio book.
This was an enjoyably fun audio adventure.
yes indeed, any chance to visit the works of my favorite author is a must.
engaging and entertaining
just as good as the rest. It is a delight to hear her voice.
I don't know what is to complain about with the audio quality, it sounds EXCELLENT on my ipod and phone. the humor is wonderful, the story is engaging and for fans of the Dirk Gently series it's a delight to hear where the original ideas and characters came from. I'd love to hear it as a full radio production with Tom Baker and Lalla Ward performing it.
I've read reviews of people who were not happy with this because it wasn't Hitchhiker enough but if you like Adam's style and Doctor Who characters I think you'll enjoy this book
This book is comparable to the quality seen in Douglas Adams other works like "The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy".
Probably when I realized the true identity of the professor at the same moment as Chris. Fantastic plot twist...
Bigger on inside
Professor Chronotis, who seemed like such a nice old man...
Her range of voices was outstanding, and she varied the pace nicely to correspond with parts of the story.
I love all of the little quirky descriptions and asides that are classic Douglas Adams.
This is a lot longer and more involved than many of the Doctor Who audiobooks, with twists and turns that are quite unexpected.
the narrator, Miss Lalla Ward, was the best I've listened to. Bravo. I enjoyed that for the story she paired sound effects with voice effects, it added to the already fantastic read
I read a lot of non-fiction, and sometimes I need something light and airy and just fun. This was perfect - a space and time adventure with the witty Dr. Who and smart and loyal companions - and, of course, evil villains to be thwarted.
The woman narrator took a few chapters to get used to. In the beginning, as she voiced the elderly professor "he" sounded just like an old woman, and the odd lilt to the "bad guy's" spaceship's voice never quite settled, but the rest of the tale flowed nicely and after a while I was deep into the story and not observing from the outside.
The story characters could have been a little deeper, but the plot had some nice curves and twists and I love it when the author(s) find a way to connect events or characters early in the story to the middle or end via clever turns.
As complexity of plot goes, this would be maybe a 6 out of 10. But, it's good enough for light-hearted fare as a pleasant break from serious reading or life's stressful moments.
"Disappointing adaptation of a lost story (audible)"
It pains me to criticise this book as I have waited for this lost Douglas Adams Doctor Who script to be novelised for many years.
I believe the noveliser has failed to understand how DW stories from the classic TV series should be adapted or is it that he is a fan and has lost his objectivity while writing it. He has expanded on the Adams script but has not enhanced it, making the story ponderous and overloaded with superflous detail that merely slows the story pace. He has also split the book into several parts and there are over seventy chapters - I am unsure what his reasons for this are but it adds nothing to the story structure and in the audible format becomes irritating. The background detail the noveliser has added appears forced, unnecessary and often anachronistic to the TV programme. The ending goes on for ever - way past the stories dramatic conclusion. As I am reviewing the audible version I should mention that Lalla Ward in my view doesn't have the vocal aesthetics to engage and her delivery comes across as haughty. The sound effects are fine and John Leeson contributes the voice of K9 which at least gives brief respites for the listener from LWs voice (her interpretation of Chronotis's dialogue is cringe making - was the producer listening?). I drifted away so many times from listening to this dull adaptation.
Apologies to all involved and it is just my opinion but it only gets 2 stars because I still think the Douglas Adams script was potentially amazing!
SHADA is one of the best books I have listened to so far. And with Lalla Ward narrating made it even more special for me, as she played Romana 2, alongside Tom Baker in the classic series.
At first I wasn't sure with the sound effects used, but after the first couple of chapters it grew on me, and it adds that extra bit to the book, as I felt it helped with the moods you should be experiencing at that point, and that makes the listening experience much more enjoyable and immersive.
"A great story lost"
This story could only be one for the fourth Doctor, the writers have captured the character created by Tom Baker and the story is all the better for it. Lala Ward reading as Romana also adds to the book. It is just a shame that the BBC lost the TV version.
"Very good story with excellent narration"
Within the top 25
The twists and turns
She brings the story to life, I really liked the voice she used for the space ship
Made me laugh
Lalla Ward should narrate more books as she brings them to life
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