One fat geek's SUCCESSFUL attempt to regenerate into a not-so-fat geek by watching the entirety of Doctor Who while walking on a treadmill

Crackers? Oh, sometimes.

Jan 04 2019
Crackers? Oh, sometimes.

You know what I learned today? Taking antibiotics causes weight gain because not only do they kill off whatever infection you are fighting (in my case, a middle-ear infection), they also kill off all of the helpful bacteria in your gut that helps you effectively digest food. I had finally been trending back downward in weight until mid-December, when it started to spike back up again. You know what else happened in mid-December? I had to do a round of antibiotics due to diverticulitis. So, there's at least a partial reason for spiking up again. On the upside, today not only did I do 200 push-ups, but I also managed over 4 miles on the treadmill for the first time in ages. So that was nice. Also today, I jumped back to finally start watching the infamous Shada for the very first time.

Shada - Parts 1 & 2 (roughly)

(TARDIS Data Core recap)

Back at the tail end of 1979 the seventeenth season of Doctor Who was supposed to culminate in a six-part story written by Douglas Adams. Unfortunately, due to a labor strike the story was only partially filmed before the entire production was shut down. Ever since then, it has been a kind of White Whale for the show. In the early 90's the existing footage was strung together with some narration by Tom Baker and released on VHS. Ten years later it was re-imagined again into a webcast by Big Finish Audio, with major rewrites in order to make Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor the lead of the story. Once again in 2013 it was released in an incomplete form on DVD. Finally, in 2017, the entire story as originally scripted (with minor changes and edits) was reconstructed with newly-animated sections as well as new voice work and even a few new live action shots. The reconstruction is very similar to how some of the lost stories from the first two Doctors have been done, and it works really well.

I have actually never watched it in any form, nor have I read Gareth Roberts' novelization from a few years ago, so this is all new to me as I watch it. The story centers around a professor at Cambridge who also happens to be a retired Time Lord and old friend of the Doctor's. When Professor Chronotis left Gallifrey he also took with him a very special book that belonged to Rassilon himself. That book, of course, falls into the wrong hands.

There is also some SpaceDude who wants the book, and I have to say he looks rather fetching wandering around the university campus in the 70's while wearing a sparkly white jumpsuit, full cape, and wide-brimmed floppy hat. It's a bold fashion statement to say the least.

The restoration is presented as a single feature-length film, with no episode or chapter breaks, so I am having to split it up into thirds by just pausing it at roughly the right time. I have no idea where the original second episode was supposed to end, and it is actually not as obvious as you might think. In any case I am quite enjoying it so far. It is so nice to get back to a slow-burner of a story, although we shall see if it starts feeling overly padded in the middle as the six-parters often do.

In any case, this is a very nice palate cleanser before I dive into the Australian K9 series next week. I am really not looking forward to that.


Doctor(s): Fourth
Companion(s): Romana, K9
Episode(s): Shada - Parts 1 & 2
Steps Walked: 7,616 today, 4,231,563 total
Distance Walked: 4.03 miles today, 2,215.11 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 0 today, 9,500 total
Sit-ups Completed: 200 today, 2,865 total
Weight: 263.92 lbs (five day moving average), net change -43.38 lbs

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