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Reviews for Doctor Who Unbound: Deadline

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Best BF audio ever

By:Siskoid, Moncton, NB
Date:Saturday 15 October 2005
Rating:   10

Deadline asks "What if Doctor Who had never been made?" and spends more time with the washed up writer who missed with it than with his Doctor, whom he's still writing in his head as he goes progressively mad.

The play's well written, and the flights into fantasy play fast and loose with reality, as the Who mythos is added on little by little, remaining flexible. But it all really hinges on Derek Jacobi's performance.

And what a performance. Now, I've loved everything I've seen this actor do in the past, and he has a great voice. He really makes you go through all the emotions as his character isn't necessarily likeable, and is often pathetic. It's as touching as it is impressive a piece of acting.

For Doctor Who historians, there are plenty of references to the people who made it happen back in the 60s, and some lampooning of the true fanatics, with a policewoman series taking the place of Doctor Who in the hearts of fans. This is where it may get broader, but it still works. Finally, there's a greater message about what Doctor Who has brought to society as a whole.

Overall: The best audio play Big Finish has produced to date, even if the Doctor isn't really in it. It takes a big chance, but succeeds beautifully. (And wraps up the line started in Auld Mortality better than Exile.)

Not Doctor Who?

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Monday 4 September 2023
Rating:   8

For the Doctor Who Unbound what if this time, it's: What if Doctor Who had never been produced? The story is about writer Martin Bannister, played superbly by Derek Jacobi. Bannister lives in assisted living, by himself. He has alienated all the people in his life: his three wives, his adult son, his former co-workers, and the other residents in his facility. He's disillusioned and self-centered, the type that mistakes cruelty for honesty. However, he does have one remaining dream: to finally complete his pilot script for an unproduced BBC serial called Doctor Who. Bannister incorporates those around him into his imaginary script, taking on the role of the irascible time traveler in his own mind. As events go along, Bannister finds it harder and harder to separate fantasy from reality, especially because reality is a bore that requires from him an emotional effort he has no desire to expend. Writer Robert Shearman has some fun rejiggering elements from the original series, thinking of how they might have been different. The story itself fits with Shearman's pattern of plotting: characters get trapped in the imaginary worlds of madmen, such as in the Big Finish Doctor Who stories The Holy Terror and Jubilee. I think some listeners may have trouble with this story because it is not really a full reimagining of Doctor Who and not really Doctor Who at all. As audio drama, though, it is quite good, very well structured, and consistent. What brings it down just a bit for me is that Martin Bannister is too difficult a character to sympathize with.

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