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Shada was the ‘lost’ Doctor Who serial that never really went away. But for actor Daniel Hill and production assistant Olivia Bazalgette, the story would prove to have an even more remarkable legacy
Chris Parsons (Daniel Hill) tries to escape from Skagra’s spaceship in one of the scenes recorded for Shada in 1979.

Unfinished business is never good,” says Daniel Hill, sighing. And he should know, having spent 38 years indelibly tied to one of the most famous bits of unfinished business in television history. Daniel was just 23 when he was cast as Cambridge student Chris Parsons in Shada, the six-part Douglas Adams epic that was set to bring the curtain down on Doctor Who’s 17th season in early 1980 – until an industrial dispute forced it to be abandoned mid-shoot.

“Sometimes shows are really special,” the actor, now 61, tells DWM. “Sometimes television comes and goes, and there’s nothing to hold on to. But some have a real meaning to you, a real emotional bond. Shada was very formative for me as an actor. To be in Doctor Who – to be the guest assistant – was such a surreal event. To get inside that phone box on location was as exciting for me as for any child. So to not have it completed, and for my family not to see it… It was a real body blow.”

Shada was 22-year-old production assistant Olivia Bazalgette’s first job in television. “It was obviously very exciting being put on a Doctor Who,” she recalls. “I can remember being somewhat in awe of Tom Baker, because I was only a young thing.”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

This festive edition of Doctor Who Magazine includes an exclusive preview of this year's Christmas Special, Twice Upon a Time, plus there are exclusive interviews with Christmas Special stars Pearl Mackie (Bill Potts) and Mark Gatiss (the Captain). Doctor Who Magazine 520 also includes: • A in-depth look at the making of BBC Worldwide's new version of Douglas Adams' 'lost' 1979 Doctor Who story Shada • Actor Daniel Hill and production assistant Olivia Bazalgette chat to DWM about how they met on Shada... and how they later went on to marry • Rare and previously unseen photographs from the Cambridge location filming of Shada in October 1979 • DWM's first ever interview with 100-year-old Earl Cameron, who played the doomed astronaut Glyn Williams in the 1966 story The Tenth Planet • A tribute to Paddy Russell, Doctor Who's first female director and a television pioneer • We look back on Doctor Who’s first Christmas specials – the feature-length omnibus repeats that were specially created at Christmas time • Part two of The Phantom Piper, our new comic strip adventure featuring the Doctor and Bill • A festive Fact of Fiction explores the 2011 Christmas Special The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe • Previews, book and audio reviews, news, the DWM Christmas Quiz, The Blogs of Doom, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!