The Shalka Doctor (or the REG Doctor) is the common fan name given to the character that appeared as an alternative incarnation of the Doctor in the flash-animated serial Scream of the Shalka in 2003 and the later short story The Feast of the Stone which were based on the British science fiction television series, Doctor Who. He was voiced by the actor Richard E. Grant.
|The Shalka Doctor|
|Doctor Who character|
|First regular appearance||Scream of the Shalka|
|Last regular appearance||"The Feast of the Stone"|
|Portrayed by||Richard E. Grant (voice)|
|Preceded by||Eighth Doctor (alternate regeneration)|
|No of series||1|
|Appearances||1 story (6 episodes)|
|Companions||Android version of the Master, Alison Cheney|
|Series||Scream of the Shalka & "The Feast of the Stone"|
Scream of the Shalka was designed to be an official continuation of Doctor Who. At the time, there were no plans for a continuation of the television series and plans for another film were progressing very slowly. The Shalka Doctor was intended to be the ninth incarnation, as two lines in Scream of the Shalka imply: the Doctor mentions that Andy Warhol once wanted to paint "all nine" of him, and comments that a dead cat has used up its nine lives, like he has. The Shalka Doctor's claim to being the "Ninth Doctor" was also backed up by BBC press releases.
However, the 2005 series was announced in September 2003—about two months before the webcast could meet its 13 November release date. This led to immediate controversy about the "official" status of the animated Ninth Doctor. Martin Trickey, executive producer of The Scream of the Shalka, noted these concerns when he was interviewed at the time of Shalka's release: "The BBC said it was the ninth Doctor, so that's great. Is it part of the canon? I don't know. There's a big argument raging on the message board. I just hope people enjoy it. That's the main thing. Whether people choose to see it as the official Ninth Doctor or not is really up to them."
As of 2005, Christopher Eccleston was established as the definitive Ninth Doctor, with BBC press releases, advertisements, and episode material have firmly established Eccleston as "the Ninth Doctor".
To date the Shalka Doctor has appeared in four officially licensed Doctor Who products: the original webcast, the novelisation of the webcast by Paul Cornell which was released by BBC Books, the DVD release and the short story "The Feast of the Stone" by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright which has to date only been published on the BBC's "Cult Vampire Magazine" webpage.
A further series was commissioned by the BBC. It was called "Blood of the Robots" and was being written by Simon Clark. Three episodes had been written before it was cancelled because of the imminent return of the live series.
Appearance and characterisationEdit
The Doctor is visually modelled on Grant himself. Grant has described his interpretation of the Doctor as "Sherlock Holmes in space." The Shalka Doctor has an aristocratic bearing. He is resentful of an unseen power directing his travels. He refuses, at first, to intervene in the Shalka invasion of the village of Lannet until the death of a homeless woman raises his ire, and is abrasive with the military characters who ally with him in the Shalka story. He seems haunted by some undisclosed past event, to the point where he actively opposes the notion of Alison becoming a companion. The android which contains the consciousness of the Master (voiced by Derek Jacobi) hints that the Doctor's previous companion may have met an untimely end.
Scream of the ShalkaEdit
- Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka on IMDb
- Scream of the Shalka, on the BBC website
- Scream of the Shalka at The Doctor Who Reference Guide
- Scream of the Shalka theme music mp3 file
"The Feast of the Stone"Edit
- McCracken, Edd (9 November 2003). "Richard E. Grant's emergence as the ninth Doctor Who". The Sunday Herald.
- BBC-written copy for the release of the novelisation of Shalka
- "Net première for Dr Who"/ BBC News. 12 November 2003
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3140786.stm "Doctor Who returns to TV". BBC News. 26 September 2003.
- "The Ninth Doctor's character page at the BBC's official webpage".
- "BBC's Cult Vampire Magazine webpage".
- "The Simon Clark story that never was". sfx.co.uk. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- Extract of contemporary interview with Richard E. Grant