There's nothing explicit in the script to suggest that the voice of Skagra's Ship should be smooth and seductive, but it seemed a good idea to me; I wanted to get away from the idea of a harsh, metallic computer voice and go for something with a bit of attitude.
A mature, sexy voice seemed perfect not only for the Ship's rather flirtatious relationship with the Doctor, but also for its indulgent attitude to Skagra, rather like a mother soothing a petulant child. I drew up a shortlist of honey-voiced actresses, and I think Hannah Gordon was the first name I scribbled down! Owing to her busy schedule Hannah could only be with us for a few hours on the Tuesday afternoon, so the very first thing she did on arriving in Bristol was to join the cast for the publicity photographs.
All her scenes were then recorded en bloc, which was quite a marathon for Hannah, locked away in a booth so that we could isolate her voice for the subsequent effects treatment. Needless to say she was a consummate pro, and her contribution to Shada is immense: what might have been an emotionless computer voice has become one of the most vibrant characters in the story.