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Reviews for Doctor Who Unbound: Full Fathom Five

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Laughable ...

By:Phil Ince, Highbury, London
Date:Sunday 28 December 2003
Rating:   1

... if it wasn't so witless. A bafflingly crude piece of humourless, teenage jizz. Shows an almost autistic lack of comprehension of human behaviour. Way beyond awful, this is an insult to the intelligence. Crud.


By:SeverusD, Reigate, Surrey
Date:Thursday 5 February 2004
Rating:   9

A controversial piece because the Doctor's character has been quite dramtically changed. It works wonderfully, though, and Collings' performance is truly exceptional.


By:Stephen Carlin, Bangor, Northern Ireland
Date:Wednesday 12 May 2004
Rating:   9

I must admit to not being a great fan of the Big Finish productions. Usually they are bland and uninvolving.

This Unbound story grips from the start. David Collings demonstrates how good an actor he really is. Although I enjoyed Sylvester McCoy's dark Doctor, David Collings how well a dark Doctor can be done. There can be no accusations of ham or "r" rolling. His performance is subtle and intelligent.

As to the story itself - the build up is excellent as the Doctor, stranded on Earth for many years, prepares to dive beneath the sea and return to an underwater facility he escaped from all those years ago. The Doctor's overriding urge to return to the TARDIS and escape Earth is very reminiscent of the early Pertwee stories - with that added Cartmel era twist.

And that's where the controversy starts and it seems that some people have misunderstood the principle of the Unbound stories - to go beyond the expectations of the series. Collings's Doctor is definitely not bound by the expectations of the TV Doctor - as I said, here is a truly dark Doctor and yet it is easy to understand his resentment.

Only the ending disappoints - without giving away too much, I refer to the confrontation between the Doctor and the entity in the underwater base. The reaction of the Doctor's companion is perhaps harder to understand and begs more background to the prior relationship between this companion and the Doctor. Evidently it was strained - think of Ace constantly forced by the Doctor to confront her fears (a la Ghost Light).

Overall - a sterling effort, generally well written with a brilliant performance from David Collings.

An interesting experiment

By:Siskoid, Moncton, NB
Date:Saturday 15 October 2005
Rating:   6

This Unbound plays with the Doctor's personality ("What if he was a right bastard?") and probably feels like the least Whovian of all the Unbound stories. It is the lesser for it, though I do appreciate the experiment.

Part of the problem is that the story, though well told through two timeframes, is rather unartful. There's nothing really new about it, it doesn't really refer to anything else in Who, it's just... average. Furthermore, you get some of the most repetitive musical cues ever in Big Finish. Unartful remains the best word to describe the whole package.

David Collings does a good job with the role, don't get me wrong, and I sometimes think it's worth a listen for the eye-popping last scene, but the buck stops there.

Overall: It's not Doctor Who, and though that's the point, the story around the idea doesn't quite elevate it enough.

Excellent and well realised

By:Matt, London
Date:Friday 9 November 2007
Rating:   10

Well done Big Finish! I have to admit to getting a little bored of the DW audios and so I wanted to find something to temporarily replace my interest. Thank God for this one. The Unbound series is such an excellent concept and this CD is a good twist to the mythos of DW. No spoilers here - just get it and trust me, you'll enjoy it.

Interesting Experiment

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Tuesday 5 December 2023
Rating:   7

The Doctor Who Unbound series brief of "What if..." with Doctor Who goes for "What if The Doctor really did believe in the greater good moral philosophy?" The idea here is that if we take criticisms of Doctor 7 literally, that he is just a manipulator with an "ends justify the means" mentality, what would he really be like? David Collings is The Doctor here, played exceptionally well. The story involves The Doctor trying to solve a problem he left unresolved many years earlier. An experiment in human genetics, paid for off the books by the US military, "must be stopped." So, a fairly typical kind of Doctor Who story, seemingly. Yet, as the story progresses, The Doctor's behavior becomes more erratic and questionable, and he gets more self-righteous than moral. There are a few too many coincidences and improbabilities to make the story totally effective. Yet, writer David Bishop pursues the logic of the main idea with gritty determination. This is definitely not for every Who fan.

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