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Scream of the Shalka
Series: Doctor Who - Webcast
Number: 4
Doctor: Ninth Doctor (Scream of the Shalka)
Companions: The Master
Alison Cheney
Enemy: Shalka
Setting: Earth
Writer: Paul Cornell
Director: Wilson Milam
Producer: Muirinn Lane Kelly
Animator: Cosgrove Hall
Broadcast: 13th November 2003 – 18th December 2003
Format: 6 Episodes - Flash Animation
Prod. Code: BBCI-4
Previous Production: Shada
Following Production: The Feast of the Stone (online short story)

Scream of the Shalka was a flash-animated serial based on Doctor Who with Richard E. Grant as the voice of an alternative Ninth Doctor. Its animation was produced by Cosgrove Hall. The serial was webcast by the BBC's official Doctor Who website in November and December of 2003.

As of 2009 it is the most recent webcast production of this nature.



The Doctor's TARDIS materialises in the village of Lannet in Lancashire. An annoyed Doctor, who has apparently been transported here against his will. He discovers the village silent, its inhabitants all living in fear except for a barmaid, Alison Cheney. The alien Shalka have taken up residence beneath Lannet in preparation for a wider invasion. Despite his initial reluctance, the Doctor finds himself having to save the world again, aided by Alison and an enemy who has become an ally.


to be added

Cast and Characters


Story Notes

  • When first broadcast this Doctor was advertised by the BBC as the 'Ninth Doctor'.
  • Appearing in a cameo role in the serial was actor and Doctor Who fan David Tennant, who in April 2005 was announced as the Tenth Doctor. He was not originally cast in the production, but Tennant happened to be recording a radio play in a neighbouring studio, and when he discovered what was being recorded next door managed to convince the director to give him a small role. Tennant had several roles in Doctor Who productions by Big Finish (though not as the Doctor) before he was cast as the Tenth Doctor on television.
  • If the viewer right clicks and selects play after the end of episode 3, an altenate version of the closing credits plays (followed by the final part of the episode).

Production background

Scream of the Shalka was produced to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of Doctor Who. It was originally posted in six weekly parts from 13th November to 18th December 2003 on BBCi's Doctor Who website. Although it was intended to be an "official" continuation of the television series that had ended in 1989, the revival of the programme in 2005 relegated it, and the Richard E. Grant's Ninth Doctor, to non-canonical status.

Previous Doctor Who webcasts had had limited animation which was little more than a series of illustrations. This story was the first-ever officially licensed animated Doctor Who story. Doctor Who had suspended production in 1989, and aside from charity specials, had only resurfaced as an American-funded television movie in 1996, which did not garner enough ratings to go to a regular series. When Shalka was announced in July, 2003 for planned broadcast in November, the possibility of Doctor Who returning to television screens still seemed remote and BBC Worldwide were continuing to shop around for another possible movie deal. As a result, BBCi announced, with BBC approval, that the Doctor appearing in Shalka would be the "official" Ninth Doctor. However, events rapidly overtook this.

In September, Lorraine Heggessey, the Controller of BBC One managed to persuade BBC Worldwide that as their plans for a Doctor Who film were nowhere near fruition, BBC television should be allowed to make a new series. A deal with Russell T Davies to produce the new series was quickly struck, and on September 26, the BBC announced that Doctor Who would be returning to BBC One in 2005, produced by BBC Wales.

As a result, the "official" nature of the Shalka web cast was in doubt from even before it was web cast. After the web cast, in February 2004, plans for sequels were indefinitely shelved. For a period, it was unclear if the new television Doctor would be the Ninth or Tenth Doctor, but this was ultimately settled in April 2004 when in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine, Davies announced that the new television Doctor (played by Christopher Eccleston), would be the Ninth Doctor, relegating the Richard E. Grant Doctor to unofficial status.

Grant's incarnation of the Time Lord (often referred to as the "REG Doctor" or the "Shalka Doctor" by fans) has since appeared in an online short story, The Feast of the Stone by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright, although no further stories seem planned.

Original Website Release/Broadcast

  • Episode 1 - 13th November, 2003
  • Episode 2 - 20th November, 2003
  • Episode 3 - 27th November, 2003
  • Episode 4 - 4th December, 2003
  • Episode 5 - 11th December, 2003
  • Episode 6 - 18th December, 2003


to be added

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • What is the Android Master's purpose?
  • The cut on Allison's forehead originally appears on her right, but later appears in the middle.
  • When the Doctor creates his TARDIS from a mobile phone he says he "just needs a door handle" before he can open the doors. Technically, as the TARDIS doors open inwards, he shouldn't have needed to worry about that and could have dashed inside when the doors appeared. The door needs to be complete for it to lead to the TARDIS, otherwise it would just be a door.


  • Derek Jacobi appears in DW: Utopia, again playing the Master, however the Master depicted in Scream of the Shalka actually resembles the Roger Delgado incarnation of the 1970s.
  • The Grant version of the Ninth Doctor has some similarities to Christopher Eccleston's version of the character. Both Doctors are depicted as loners and emotionally damaged due to some unrevealed event in their (possibly recent) past. Both, however, ultimately realize they need a companion. In the Grant Doctor's case, it is hinted that he is reluctant to take on a new companion, possibly due to the (recent?) loss of one -- a theme later followed by David Tennant's Tenth Doctor after the loss of Rose Tyler.
  • In EDA: The Gallifrey Chronicles Marnal notes that the Eighth Doctor has three ninth possible next regenerations, the Richard E Grant version, the Christopher Eccleston version and another version (quite possibly the one portrayed by Rowan Atkinson in The Curse of Fatal Death).

DVD, Video and Other Releases

  • Although there has been no official announcement from the BBC, the British Board of Film Classification has cleared all six episodes of the serial for release on DVD.
  • A DVD release of the story was planned, but the release was cancelled in the wake of the BBC announcing the pending return of Doctor Who as a live-action TV series and the relegating of Grant's Ninth Doctor to unofficial status.


Main article: Scream of the Shalka (novelisation)

Paul Cornell wrote a novelisation of Scream of the Shalka, which was published by BBC Books. This marked the first publication of a novelisation under the BBC Books paperback line since Doctor Who: The TV Movie was so adapted in 1996, and the first novelisation of a non-televised Doctor Who story since The Ghosts of N-Space in 1995; it is also the only webcast to be so adapted. The book was augmented with a section chronicling the making of the webcast.

Behind the scenes

  • Around the time of providing the voice of Alison, Sophie Okonedo also filmed a role in the movie Hotel Rwanda, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award; this makes Okonedo, to date, the only companion actor to have been nominated for an Oscar.

See also

External links

  • Scream of the Shalka, on the BBC website
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - Scream of the Shalka Webcast
  • Scream of the Shalka theme music (mp3)
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Scream of the Shalka. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the TARDIS Index File, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

This article uses material from the "Scream of the Shalka" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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