DVD cover for long lost Doctor Who episode 109, Shada

Tom Baker Shada Unvailable in US iTunes Store

This morning I was astonished to see an article in The Guardian stating that the BBC planned to release the completed version of the long lost Doctor Who episode ‘Shada’ today on the iTunes store. The episode from 1979 was abandoned (until now) due to a BBC strike and has been a sort of white whale for those of us who count actor Tom Baker as our favorite regeneration of The Doctor.

I didn’t rush out right away to buy a copy. No, I headed out to walk around the yard a bit to clear my head in the chill November air and then I ran back inside and sat down to purchase the episode on iTunes.

There was just one problem.

When I typed “doctor who shada” into the search bar, the only results that came up were audio books and theme music. No long lost episode.

Search results for "doctor who shada" in iTunes

So I went back and checked the article again and sure enough it said that the new episode would be released on 24 November 2017 – today’s date.

So I googled “shada itunes” and the first result was “Doctor Who: Shada on iTunes – Apple”, which gave me a preview of the iTunes screen and the very first episode listed is the one that I want.

iTunes preview page for "doctor who shada" in web browser

Clearly, I was on the trail – so I clicked the “View in iTunes” link off to the right of the episode description, which gave me this disconcerting warning.

The item you've requested is not currently available in the U.S. Store, but it is available in the U.K. Store. Click Change Store to view this item.

So naturally I clicked the “Change Store” button, and PRESTO there was my quarry!

Doctor Who Shada on the iTunes UK store.

Hmm. The only way to buy it is as part of a Series Pass, for £16.99, which at the time of this post converts to $22.69 in US Dollars. With Black Friday madness in the air I was committed to treating myself to some youthful nostalgia.

I clicked the button to purchase the series, and typed in all my confirmation codes.

And then this box popped up.

This Apple ID is only valid for purchases in the U.S. iTunes Store. You will be switched to that Store.

Guess what isn’t currently being sold in the U.S. iTunes Store? Exactly.

And that, my fellow fans from the USA, is why you cannot make a valid digital purchase of this restored episode online. I won’t get into speculation of the reasons why the BBC has not (or cannot) made the digital episode available to shoppers in the United States on what is said to be the busiest shopping day of the year, but I assume that it’s already being downloaded illegally as I type this.

How to see Shada if you don’t live in the UK

If you are a patient and law-abiding fan living in the United States, you can go ahead and order the DVD, which is expected to arrive sometime after Christmas.


Maybe you should stock up on jellybabies while you wait?

2 thoughts on “Tom Baker Shada Unvailable in US iTunes Store”

  1. I have encountered this issue more times than not with cd’s from bands that are from overseas that are not typically found in any brick and mortar record stores (not that there’s a lot in my neck of the woods either). All I have to say is AARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! In this day and age of technological “marvels” digital downloads from overseas shouldn’t be impossible to purchase unless the artist chooses to make them that way. This suck!!!!! I want my Doctor Who!!!!!

  2. And they wonder why people pirate stuff. I was extremely upset starting at midnight, then 300am and finally accepted US iTunes nor anywhere is going to have the most popular Doctor ever in the USA’s final unseen classic story anytime soon. I shall rebel against that stupid and thoughtless decision as I’m sure will many fans. Someone lost a ton of money with this lack of US availability, especially considering the Troughton B&W lost stories shot to number 1 on iTunes when they were simultaneously released in the US and UK at the same time!

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