Dirk Gently's Shada
By Paul Scoones
When Douglas Adams wrote his first non-Hitchhikers novel, titled Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, which was first published in 1987, he borrowed some material from Shada. More than one book about Adams' works claim that this novel was largely based on Shada with Adams reusing parts of the storyline and replacing the Doctor with Dirk Gently. In actual fact most all of the Dirk Gently novel is original, and the Shada connections account for little of the book.
One of the main characters in the book is Professor Urban Chronotis, the Regius Professor of Chronology, who insists on being called ‘Reg’. He is a Cambridge don, at St Cedd's College, Cambridge and has been living in the same rooms for over two hundred years. He has the same, absent-minded character as the Professor Chronotis who appears in Shada, though the Dirk Gently version does not share his secret identity as a former criminal and he is not a Time Lord. The Professor's rooms are however a disguised time machine (operated by an abacus), and when the time machine materialises somewhere it takes the form of the entrance door.
In addition to Professor Chronotis, his time machine and St Cedd's College, there are five short sections of dialogue lifted from Shada, all but one of which originates from scenes in the first episode: