In the seventies, before the magazine and BBC videos, much of what we knew about Doctor Who came from Terrance Dicks. In the first formative years of our enthusiasm for Doctor Who, the monthly trek to W. H. Smith's to pick up Terrance's latest Target book was time travel. A chance to relive favourite adventures or experience tales told before we were even born.
That is why this feels so strange. We've been asked to write an introduction to Terrance's latest book — time travelling once again into the New Adventures of the Doctor. Why us? Because of the straight-to-video film we made last year — unsurprisingly enough called Shakedown — The Return of the Sontarans.
Tired of waiting for the Doctor to return to our television screens, we thought it would be nice to do a spin-off using elements of the series. Having been kindly permitted by the estate of the late, great Robert Holmes to use the Sontarans, albeit updated for the nineties, director Kevin Davies asked Terrance to write the script. This he was very happy to do, and threw himself into the production wholeheartedly (despite only having two weeks in which to complete it).
Thanks to a fun, exciting script, and the dedicated hard work of many, many people too numerous to mention, Shakedown the video has been a resounding success — enjoyed by fans and press alike. (The Evening Standard called it ‘an action-packed sci-fi thriller’!)
Understandably, this book contains more than just the script for a fifty-minute action drama. There's the Doctor to be accommodated for a start. To make Shakedown a Doctor Who book, Terrance has effectively done both a prequel and a sequel to the video and you are holding the result. The video itself forms the middle section of the book, and we are just as intrigued as you are to discover the before and after — because Terrance won't tell us!
Enjoy the book. Please buy the video, so we can make another one (see advert at the end of the story for details on ordering). Let us know which monster you would like to see on the screen again.
And don't forget the critically acclaimed Making of Shakedown video, which contains exclusive interviews with the actors, as well as hilarious out-takes and a look behind the scenes of filming on HMS Belfast and at Pinewood studios.
Meanwhile, it looks like it's time to travel with Terrance again ...
Jason Haigh-Ellery & Gary Leigh
Associate & Executive Producers