“They want to punish me for being me!”

As the celebrations for the Doctors fortieth draw to a close, the UNBOUND series follows suit with EXILE. This series has been a breath of fresh air, invigoratingly full of new ideas and fascinating premises. FULL FATHOM FIVE was a great piece of drama, whilst DEADLINE was a tragi-comedy of the first degree, played to the hilt by Sir Derek Jacobi (recently ?een?as the Master in The Scream Of The Shalka on BBCi. EXILE finally explores that most contentious of points- the lady Doctor. Ok there are views on both sides of the debate, but I really think the Doctor is a bloke- as it was stated during the Doctor Who @ 40 weekend, its like a female James Bond- it just doesn? happen. However, EXILE presents us with Arabella Weir as our favourite Gallifreyan, and its an interesting ride.

Presented more in a comic vein that a serious one, we never really see the Doctor ?eing?the Doctor- no one on ones with Davros, Daleks, Zygons, Yeti or Quarks. She uses the odd bit of technology, but she? basically a frumpy, often drunk woman with some knowledge of other places. Its odd that these UNBOUND serials seem to have dropped the ?hat if?thread- the question that could be asked here isn? really specified. The BF web-site says the question is what if the Doctor escaped the justice of the time lords? and this seems to be vaguely in the context of the end of the second Doctors era in The War Games (we hear the death of the evil War Lord) prior to Spearhead From Space. In this parallel UNBOUND universe, the ?econd?Doctor is played by Nick Briggs (you feel he? wanted to that for a long, long time) so that would make the lady-Doc the equivalent of Pertwee (suitable, lets face it, he was a big flouncy girl). The basic plot of this tale is, the Doctor got away from Gallifrey, committed suicide on Earth (this causes a sex change don? you know) and wham bam- he? a maam. The time lords have eventually tracked her/him down and want to finish the trialU

The comedy here is either really good or pretty dull. The Doctor mistaking a bearded man for the Master, explaining most aliens look like men in rubber masks and everything with the two inept time lords sent to catch here is brilliant. But characters like Cheese (and the reason for his nickname) are really poor. The banter between the second/third docs is nice, and overall EXILE is a nice attempt at something lighter than normal. It? the opposite to the depressing drivel that was HE JESTS AT SCARSU – bright and breezy. Its been a good year for WHO- an excellent slate of DVD releases, great new audio? from BF and the BBC and, the best news ever ?that the show is on its way back. One more time- HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO WHON?


NEXT UP: No more UNBOUND for now, but as hinted in a recent Scifind exclusive, there could be one more, at a later date. Next up for the BF mini series, GALLIFREY, with Louise Jameson, Lalla Ward and lil old K9N. ]]>

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