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5. Deadline


It's been forty years since Martin Bannister encountered the Doctor. They were different men back then. Martin was young and talented and The Times' seventh most promising writer to watch out for. The Doctor was mysterious, crotchety and possibly oriental. It was an encounter that destroyed both their lives.

Pity poor Martin now... His career is in ruins, all forgotten. His... (more)

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Latest Reviews

Review By adamelijah 3/23/15 6:18 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
10
Reviewer Says:
No previous stories required.
One of only two sequels to the alternate Earth scenarios posed by the Doctor Who Unbound series, Masters of War finds the alternate Third Doctor (David Warner) and his companion retired Brigadier Lethrbridge Stewart landing on Skaro, the homeworld of the Daleks and the Thals to once again find the Daleks are ruling the planet, but these Daleks are acting very differently. The Doctor seeks to once again free the Thals, but soon both Daleks and Thals will have to cope with a far greater threat.

The one complaint critics have raised is that this is a very long production, essentially being two one-hour episodes. For my money, it merits every minute of it. This story explores a lot of themes and presents an alternate take on the Genesis of the Daleks. At the end of Genesis of the Daleks, Davros is destroyed by the Daleks because he didn't program them with pity. But in this world, Davros gave some Daleks pity and these remained with him and while the Daleks were still fascists, they were benevolent fascists who came back to protect the Thals by taking over Skaro and forcing the Thals to aid in their own defense. In essence, the main universe Daleks are more like Nazis, these are like a well-intentioned colonial power subjugating native peoples "for their own good".

This take on the Daleks is fascinating and it allows you to see the Daleks and Thals in a new light. These Daleks seem more courageous and less like xenophobic. We also see the Thals great weakness and that is their lack of courage. The Thals seems less like well-meaning peaceniks we met in the very first Dalek serial and more like people who simply lack the nerve to protect their own freedom which led them to conscript the Kaleds to fight their alien enemies, which led to Davros' crippling which led to the creatuibDaleks.

David Warner is great as the Doctor, although kept out of action, a fact the Doctor himself acknowledged in the second episode and of course Nicholas Courtney stepped into being Alistair Lethbridge Stewart with ease. The Daleks really make this story shine, and it's a fascinating world that Eddie Robson's crafted. Overall, the Masters of War is a materful story and a must-hear program.
Review By adamelijah 3/23/15 6:12 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
8
Reviewer Says:
No previous stories required.
In an alternate universe, what if the Third Doctor didn't serve as U.N.I.T. scientific adviser in the 1970s (or maybe 80s depending on how the show portrayed it) but instead began his exile in 1996 leaving U.N.I.T. to muddle through on their own against the Silurians, the Autons and all the creatures the Third Doctor battled in the mainstream whoniverse. The decisions were left to Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart who the second Doctor met twice. The brigadier made the necessary choices that kept the Earth in one piece and was pushed out of his job at U.N.I.T. and been a bit of a laughing stock in the eyes of the military community and now spends his days running a bar in Hong Kong. The Doctor arrives on the eve of the British handover of Hong Kong to the Chinese.

Overall, this was a well-produced story with a decent enough plot. David Warner steps into the role of the alternate Doctor. David Tennant ads gutso in the role of Colonel Brimmicombe-Wood, U.N.i.T's pushy new Commander.

However, this is a story has a steady focus on the Brigadier. He's a fascinating character in that outwardly he's become quite cynical, but he's still the Brigadier with what some would call "outdated morals" and is a true gentleman. I like the idea that he saved the Earth in the Doctor's absence only not in such a neat way however he did the best he could, saved the world, and people were not happy. There's a bit of a Casablanca motif working with the story of the Brigadier, a man who has left adventure and fighting for what's right and settled down to run a bar and escape from the world. And the last line at the end of the story ties in to that motif.

The program is a bit more PG-13 than traditional Doctor Who with some barnyard expletives thrown in and a minor adult situation but other than that, it stands a solid examination of an alternate Doctor Who timeline.
Review By Parallax 4/24/14 11:20 am
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.
7
This is a certainly a story that gets a lot of flack. While it does have it's flaws, it has some great moments, and when Arabella Weir gets to the heart of The Doctor's character, she pulls it off with aplomb.

While The Doctor and a her friends are heavy drinkers, the hangovers and vomiting that accompany it are more than what was necessary, they could have been toned down while still getting the idea across.

A shout out goes to Toby Longworth and David Tennant for their excellent portrayal of timelords in this story.

On the whole, this is a story with a wonderful conceit (The Doctor being so terrifying that he flees from his trial and hides on earth), a strong lead actress with a role that shines despite some weaker material, this story should at least be listened to once, and not completely avoided.
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