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Deadline was the fifth Doctor Who Unbound audio story produced by Big Finish Productions. Unlike the previous Unbound stories, this story does not strictly attempt to portray an alternate version of the Doctor, but instead an alternate version of the history of the Doctor Who television show.

The story blurs the lines between a version of the "real world" and a version of the Doctor Who universe. Elements and alternate versions of key sequences from An Unearthly Child, The Daleks and The Masters of Luxor are presented and acted out throughout the story.

Publisher's summary[]

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 estranged wives keep dying in the wrong order. And there's a nasty green stain by the wardrobe that could be an alien footprint. Or possibly just mould.

Martin's life is about to change unexpectedly. Impromptu poetry readings, elephant expeditions, an obligatory Bug-Eyed Monster. And a last desperate chance for love, before it's too late.

Sounds like it's time for the Doctor to come into Martin's life again, and sort him out. Permanently.


to be added




  • This audio drama was recorded on 12 and 13 June 2003 at The Moat Studios.
  • This story was originally released on CD. It is now available as a download only.
  • Almost every voice actor in this play performs multiple roles, typically a "real" individual with some connection to Martin Bannister and said person's Doctor Who counterpart in Martin Bannister's imagination. Of the two actors whose characters who do not have direct counterparts in Martin Bannister's imaginary version of Doctor Who , Ian Brooker, as well as voicing Sydney the Juliet Bravo fan, voices Martin Bannister's imagined version of Sydney Newman, as well as the Supreme One, leaving Adam Manning as Tom Bannister the only member of this story's cast who is not required to "double up" at any point.
  • This story is largely allegorical for both early Doctor Who and Robert Shearman's own career.
  • There are references to the elements of the television stories An Unearthly Child and The Daleks, as well as The Masters of Luxor, an unmade serial from Season 1 which was later produced in audio drama form by Big Finish Productions as The Masters of Luxor.
  • There are many similarities between this story and Auld Mortality, another audio drama in the Unbound series. Both stories are about a struggling writer penning stories about travels in time and space as the Doctor, and being reunited with a family member as they begin to get fiction and reality confused. They also both feature alternate versions of the First Doctor. However, in Auld Mortality, the main character actually was the Doctor, whereas Martin Bannister just believes himself to be. In a way, this story could be seen as a dark parody of the other. This story's ending is a dark mirror of that story's, with Martin believing himself to be leaving in the TARDIS with Susan, as the Doctor did in this story, as he in reality suffocates to death in a wardrobe. The TARDIS being disguised as a wardrobe is also mentioned in Auld Mortality as a theoretical possibly.


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