Skagra is an underused enemy in more than one sense – because quite apart from not yet appearing in Nu Who, this evil mastermind was deprived of his sole appearance in the classic series when industrial action led to the cancellation of Shada. But what an appearance it would have been – I have no hesitation in saying that the glimpse we get of Christopher Neame as Skagra leaves the viewer in no doubt that he would have been a villain par-excellence, to round off a story I have huge appreciation for. He displays a cold arrogant ruthlessness that is often missing from Doctor Who villains, an appreciation you gain all the more when one reads Gareth Roberts’ novelisation of Shada.
Now, I will not spend time lamenting the absence of Shada – that will come when I review the serial! Instead let us consider what a triumphant return the character could have. I alluded in my post on the Yeti that there was another contender besides the Great Intelligence to be master of the Yeti. Given Skagra’s aim of a universal mind, using a sphere to attack his victims, there are obvious parallels to the control sphere for the Yeti – and we know from his alliance with the Krargs that Skagra is not averse to calling in the heavies to do his bidding. If Moffat and his team were minded, he could bring back two classic villains in one fell swoop.
Skagra of course also has the great advantage that when we leave him in Shada he is most definitely not dead – only imprisoned. It would not be difficult to bring him or the Yeti back if Christopher Neame was willing; nor difficult for a bright and creative writer to get around the apparent demise of Professor Chronotis, and with him, the key component of Skagra’s plan for universal domination. Moreover, to bridge the link between old and new, the viewers would of course need to understand who this Skagra bloke is. So if the BBC felt inclined to animate the missing parts of Shada to contribute to a Nu Who storyline featuring Skagra and the Yeti I would be utterly delighted.
One can, alas, only dream …