“If I told you the truth, I’d have to kill you. . .”

The anniversary year is really turning out well- the audio’s enter celebratory mode this month with OMEGA, the raft of excellently remastered dvd’s keep on coming, and the format is reworked in great style in the form of the UNBOUND series. Being new to the idea, I admit I was sceptical- its not DOCTOR WHO without the REAL Doctor, not some other bloke/blokette. To add to my scepticism, was the casting of David Collings as the time lord. Geoffrey Bayldon and David Warner I could accept, but Collings seemed. . . bland. I was very, very wrong. FULL FATHOM FIVE, is a triumph, a brilliant adventure different from anything else BF have yet put out.

The basic plot is excellent- The Doctor and his friend Ruth (Siri O’Neal) travel down to the Deep-sea Energy Exploration Project (D.E.E.P) 27 years after its apparent destruction by dirty bombs. Now the radiation has cleared, the pair have unfinished business on the station- Ruth wants to find out what happened to her father all those years ago (he worked on the D.E.E.P base) and the Doctor. . .? As they delve further into the secrets of the D.E.E.P base, truths are uncovered- such as the fact that a police box has been down in the depths for all those years since the base’s ‘destruction’ and the Doctor isn’t there to help Ruth in her fathers quest- infact he knows a little too much about what happened down there all that time agoU

To say too much would spoil the excellent story, especially the sting in the tail ending- it really, really is a shocker folks. The cast is excellent, Collings makes his Doctor distinct from any other incarnation before him, with his temper flaring up in moments, always only just controlled. Siri O’Neal as Ruth has a tendency to go OTT at times, but this is tempered by the last few minutes of the play. . . A familiar face (or voice) from tv past returns in the form of Ed Bishop of UFO and Captain Scarlet (he did Captain Blue’s voice don’t you know). Bishop is excellent, as to if his character is really a villain. . . well. . . for this story, you could just say the bad guy was the Doctor himself. . .

To reveal the ‘what if’ for this story is to give too much away, but it plays on what we as fans and listeners EXPECT the Doctor to do and not to do, and turns it on its head. This is a truly incredible piece of drama, that works on so many levels, even for non WHO fans- if all the UNBOUND cd’s are like this, 2003 is an even better anniversary year than anyone could have hoped for.

4.5 out of 5.


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