Tuesday, 23 December 2003

Shalka Update


December 23, 2003  •  Posted By Shaun Lyon
BBCi's webcast animated serial The Scream of the Shalka, starring Richard E. Grant, Sophie Okonedo and Derek Jacobi, concluded last week, with episode six uploaded to the BBCi website. The serial will be available on BBCi for at least the next couple of months, pending a release on DVD. According to James Goss, BBCi producer, posting on the Outpost Gallifrey forum, BBC Worldwide has indeed licensed the rights to release "Shalka" on DVD from BBCi: "We're rather puzzled by the number of people who are querying the DVD release. We've not said much about it, 'cos we didn't think much needed to be said." Of course, Goss does point out that whether Worldwide does something or not with the material is up to them, but it looks very likely for DVD release. Meanwhile, "Scream of the Shalka" will be broadcast on the BBC's new interactive TV service starting on December 30 beginning at 7:30pm; viewers on the Sky Digital platform "will only have to press their red button" to watch the story. The schedule for the show is as follows:
  • Episode One: 30 December, 7.30pm - Midnight
  • Episode Two: 31 December, 7.30pm - Midnight
  • Episode Three: 1 January, 7.30pm - Midnight
  • Episode Four: 2 January, 7.30pm - Midnight
  • Episode Five: 3 January, 7.30pm - Midnight
  • Episode Six: 4 January, 7.30pm - Midnight
Says Goss, "This will be an enhanced version of the webcast... All the animation is 25 frames per second, with various lovely features that are slightly tricky to explain (um, for instance, when the house explodes in episode two, there's a lovely rippling 'whoomph' effect). Soundwise, this is also going to be a stronger experience than on the web - one thing that will have been largely lost through the compression used for the webcast are the various subsonic sounds used whenever the Shalka approach in the early episodes - a lovely, chest-rattling vibration." As of this time, this presentation will NOT be available on Freeview or Digital Cable. Make sure you check it out! (Thanks to BBCi, James Goss)