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  1. #1
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    Default Unbound 6: Exile

    Exile
    Starring Arabella Weir

    What if... the Doctor had escaped the justice of the Time Lords at the end of The War Games?

    I'm going to be controversial about this. Most people seem to hate this one with a passion - while I really enjoyed it.

    Perhaps it was knowing that this isn't, and never will be, a canon adventure, I was able to take it for what it is - a whimsical and comic alternate adventure with a Doctor who never was, and never will be.

    As a comedy, the whole thing works. From the old and blundering Time Lords, through to the borderline-alcoholic Doctor who works in Sainsbury's as a cover story. At best, this story is crass and silly. Filled with toilet humour and things you just wouldn't expect (who'd have thought that we would EVER hear a Time Lord utter the words "oh shit!"?)

    Likewise, the stereotypes involved are so ridiculous that they're brilliant. You have the War Lord's ridiculous Welsh accent, and then the characters of Cheese and Cherrie - absolute stereotypes of what some see as working-class Brits today. Then, there's the wonderful stereotyping of the Quarks, with lines like "The Quarks were rubbish! They couldn't even go up stairs!" and other comic references to the show's past, like "The Master? He said his name was Bob!"

    And then there was the casting. Obviously, Arabella Weir was just dead on with her Doctor. Then, there was David Tennant as the more amusing and bumbling of the two Time Lords, with his character in this play probably being one of my favourite Time Lords of all time - who'd have thought that he'd get to play two of them!? Everyone else was just brilliant, clearly absolutely loving the whole silliness of the play. A special mention must go to Nick Briggs, who wonderfully played the previous Doctor, and his scathing critique of what the new Doctor has become, in comparison to what he had been.

    Finally, I must say something about the ending. I didn't see that coming - I honestly saw the Doctor escaping. I was thinking that even if - worst case scenario - the Doctor had been recaptured, then she'd be merely imprisoned or exiled again. Like Full Fathom Five and He Jests at Scars... before this play, this one ends on a wonderfully grim note.

    I loved it. Easily gets 8/10 from me, and probably is the second-best Unbound audio in my books.

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  2. #2
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    I enjoyed this - not as much as the Valeyard story I know. It was a wierd beast, but helped not to take it too seriously, and just go along with the ride.

    Arabella Weir makes an absolutely useless Doctor - which I mean as a compliment. She just messes everything she does up - like thinking the Sainsbury's car park is built on a booby trap. And I think that's part of this episode's charm - the Doctor "slumming it".
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  3. #3
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    I didn't hear this one till quite some time after it was released, so when I finally got round to it, it was in the knowledge that this was one of the most hated audios ever. So I was dreading it.
    But its not too bad. If you can get over the fact that it breaks loads of Who rules (surely the point of these audios) what you get is a daft whimsical comedy that actually quite fun. There's nothing groundbreaking about it. Most of the comedy is of the fish out of water kind which is done to death, but despite that the Time Lords are funny and Arrabella Weir is a great Doctor given the situation. I always thought it was a shame she didn't do it again in another more traditional daft story. I think she would have been fab.

  4. #4
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    And I think that's part of this episode's charm - the Doctor "slumming it".
    I think thats exactly why its hated so much!

  5. #5
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    I hate trolleys, they're just Daleks without the interesting bit

    This story is something of a curate's egg for me. I like the interaction between "Susan", Cherry and Cheese and the Supermarket stuff is all quite fun. Even 8 years later it still evokes memories of my only brief period of working for Sainsbury's (although turning up for Saturday shift hung over was not one of my regular habits I hasten to add!)

    Great to hear Pre-Tenth Doctor David Tennant having great fun alongside Toby Longworth as the pair of Time Lords.

    However, I really don't like the ending. I grant that it's a surprise twist and having the Doctor escape would be the predictable ending.Unfortunately due a scheduling issue which saw Deadline get released ahead of this, the original run of Unbound stories ends with this story and I would have liked to had more of a satisfactory conclusion to it as it's possibly this ending which is the reason I've never relistened to most of these plays until now.

    What we get is a fourth "death" ending in a row. Full Fathom Five justified its shock ending and to lesser extents the endings of He Jest At Scars and Deadline were also worked in the contexts of the finished plays. If I thought Deadline was a bit of a sad and futile story at least that had some great dialogue, I might at least describe that play as "my favourite waste of time".
    By contrast, despite some funny moments, Exile didn't really go anywhere just leaves me wondering what the point actually was.

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