Scream of the Shalka

After finally watching Scream of the Shalka for the first time the other day, I decided it would be enjoyable to discuss it with you a little bit.

Scream of the Shalka is a flash-animated Doctor Who adventure in six parts, written by Paul Cornell and produced by Cosgrove Hall. It was released in late 2003 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who. At the time, it was intended as the official continuation of the TV show, with Richard E. Grant playing the 9th Doctor.

Have you watched it? And if so, what are your thoughts on it? Have you read the novelization and the short story? What do you think of Richard E. Grant’s portrayal of the Doctor, and how do you find the Shalka Doctor as a potential ninth incarnation? What about his companion Alison and the new take on the Master? Or the Shalka themselves?

How do you find the animation style? And how do you think Paul Cornell captured the Doctor, the companion, and the overall atmosphere? Does Shalka feel more like Classic or New Who? How well or badly has this aged?

For those of you who watched it when it was originally released, how did you feel about this being touted as the official continuation of the show, especially since the return of Doctor Who under RTD was announced shortly before Scream of the Shalka was released? Would you have wanted to see more adventures with this TARDIS team, told in this style?

Did you catch the David Tennant cameo?


Personally, I was surprised at how enjoyable this story is. It’s surprisingly modern and fast-paced, but with clear influences from Classic Who. Grant is a great Doctor, and he feels like a slightly darker version of Eight. He has a rash side, but also a warmer and more humorous side. Derek Jacobi is superb as a Delgado-coded take on the Master, while Sophie Okonedo is okay as Alison. I didn’t feel much for her as a companion, though.

The supporting cast can sound a bit wooden at times, but I like the wannabe Brigadier working with the Doctor here.

The flash animation is sharp and expressive, but it has its weaknesses. The editing can be somewhat jarring at times, so the story jumps between scenes and locations in confusing ways.

The story itself is fine. The Shalka are an interesting alien race used well, while the Masters inclusion feels very random, and Alison’s part in the story barely develops. I do like how they set up a potential continuation at the end.

I would rate this a 7/10.


I was exciting at the time to have what was ‘officially’ new Doctor Who - until it wasn’t. But tha said, I didn’t really take to the story or the Ninth Doctor. It’s difficult to get a performance through that sort of animation and Richard E Grant seemed rather monotone throughout. I liked Alison but I thought the idea of an android Master in the TARDIS was a weird and silly idea (even if he was played by Derek Jacobi). I would have happily watched more but I don’t think I’m sorry the new TV series came along and relegated this to a ‘what if’.

That said, though I haven’t watched it since broadcast.


I did watch it a few weeks ago, and thought it was fun, though I was a bit distracted.

It was enjoyable. Would have liked a Shalka story explaining how the Master ended up in the situation he was in in this one.

I also added 3 quotes from it in while watching…


I’ve seen this story once. I remember finding it pretty dull, and the stuff with the Master being the best part. I adore Sophie Okonedo (especially as Margaret of Anjou in The Hollow Crown, she’s incredible) but Allison didn’t do much for me, feeling a bit generic. Richard E. Grant is a good Doctor and it’s unfortunate he mostly only has this story to shine in, but he doesn’t blow me away like Paul McGann did with only the TV Movie.


I do really have a big soft spot for that Story. Always liked the idea of Richard E Grant playing the Doctor and while obvious not as good as many of the canon ones (mainly because it’s his first outing and fairly rarely do the Doctors get me in their first outing), I still very much enjoyed this one. I think Cornell is a great Writer, yes this might be lower in comparison to his other Who Outings, but the Idea of the Shalka and how it gets defeated is absolutely lovely. I do think the limited Animation are pretty solid too, even through I much more prefer Cosgroves later Who Outing with the Invasion Animation. Overall it’s definitely an oddity, I do think with maybe more Outings, E Grant could have found more of his footing in the role, because while as I said I really like this Story at parts it’s fairly obvious that Richard hasn’t fully found his way in the role yet.
I guess the Story would have benefit more from having more follow-ups fleshing out this Incarnation, because there would have been definitely some great Potential in it (at least in my eyes).