Scream of the Shalka
by Paul Cornell

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 48619 8


    When the Doctor lands his TARDIS in the Lancaster town of Lannet, in the present, he finds that somehing is terribly wrong. The people are scared. They don't like going out onto the streets at night, they don't like making too much noise, and they certainly don't like strangers asking questions. What alien force has invaded the town? Why is it watching barmaid Alison Cheney? And what plans does it have for the future of the planet Earth?

    Pg 13 "This form was his ninth." It's the ninth Doctor, but subsequent events mean this will likely be relegated to an unbound Doctor.

    Alison Cheney, the robotic Master.

    Pg 12 On a street corner opposite a pub called The Volunteer, Lannet, Lancashire.

    Pg 103 Inside Major Kennett's office, a converted classroom in the primary school, Lannet.

    Pg 138 Barlon Warehouse and Storage (identified on page 128), near Lannet.

    Pg 156 Inside the Shalka's cavern, beneath Lannet.

    Pg 189 An English field around the corner from the school, Lannet.


    Pgs 38-39 "A multi-bladed knife of alien design with a strange symbol on the hilt..." Presumably the seal of Rassilon.

    Pg 49 "The Master was a long-time acquaintance of the Doctor." We get a brief history of the Master.

    "But now they travelled together, thanks to the events of the last time they had met." This might be a reference to the Telemovie. It's been hypothesised that the Master's consciousness was trapped inside the TARDIS at the end of the telemovie and the Doctor here builds a robotic form to house it in.

    Pg 50 "And he wished for a moment that he could retreat to the safety of his grandfather clock." It's not clear whether the clock that stands in the control room is the Master's TARDIS or just a reminder of it. (The Deadly Assassin, The Keeper of Traken.

    Pg 79 "Though you'd probably have to take a turn cleaning out Wookey Hole." This might be a reference to Revenge of the Cybermen, but it probably isn't.

    Pg 158 "We take the weakest of the herd: Soltox, Duprest, Valtanus..." Uncertain references.

    Pg 187 "The Doctor had rushed her to an ornate bathroom, which seemed to be connected to some sort of swimming pool" The Invasion of Time.

    The Master, now inhabiting a robotic form.

    Major Kennet, Joe Latham, Sergeant Greaves.

    The Shalka.


    PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]

    Pg 34 The Shalka, snakelike aliens who can swim through rock. They communicate and distort matter via their screams.

    Pg 69 A giant green worm with only a mouth full of gigantic teeth. It's joined together from dozens of Shalka as a colony creature.

    Pg 5 New Zealand, 2003 (the year is identified on page 14).

    Pg 16 Lannet, Lancashire.

    Pg 131 The village of Ranjintsi, India.

    Pg 134 Tinton Falls, New Jersey.

    The former Korchov Collective Farm, Siberia.

    Pg 160 The east coast of Britain.

    Pg 161 The seas off Japan.

    The Australian desert.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    As a novelisation, Scream of the Shalka is a bit of a pale shadow of its former (animated) self, but it's still a fabulous story. The Master isn't quite as fascinating without Sir Derek Jacobi's silky delivery of the lines, but otherwise it's a decent read. The Doctor works fabulously, possibly even better than on screen and the original plot and characterisation is more than adequately served by this novelisation. The "Making Of..." essay in the back is fantastic, although far too short and the original plot synopsis we get tacked on to that feels too much like padding to get to the required page count. With talk of the proposed DVD release having quietly disappeared and the webcasts's online days probably numbered, this might well be the only surviving relic from the entire Shalka experience.