And the Counter Measures team are back and it’s the 70s. Here we are provided with four stand-alone stories for the New Counter Measures team. The 70’s world that our four lead characters inhabit is a wider, more international one in this new era.
Counter Measures is an unlikely Doctor Who spin-off, featuring characters from the Sylvester McCoy era televised story Remembrance of The Daleks. Professor Rachel Jenson, Allison Williams and Group Captain Gilmore teamed up in the 60’s to help the Doctor defeat the Daleks and along with Sir Toby Kinsella later formed the group Counter Measures. Until now this series has epitomised the 60’s, but in this latest instalment, we’re moving forward a decade into the 70’s.
Nothing to See Here by Guy Adams – 7/10
A series of violent bank robberies are baffling the Swiss police. It’s time for New Counter-Measures to step into the breach. But as the crime spree escalates and one of the team gets closely involved, are they going in too deep? Can you go undercover even from yourself?
This challenging concept involving invisibility, whilst laudable in theory doesn’t quite work on an audio format. It’s not the strongest start for the counter measures team.
Troubled Waters by Ian Potter – 8/10
When a lost submarine is found, the New Counter-Measures team are sent into the depths to investigate. But why? What unusual scheme was being hatched on board? Who has very special designs on Allison? And what’s happened to the crew?
The Submarine setting here, really lends itself to an audio format, the claustrophobic reality is blended beautifully with the character’s individual fantasies.
The Phoenix Strain by Christopher Hatherall – 8/10
After tourists are attacked by the birds circling Parliament Square, Sir Toby Kinsella suspects London is about to turn into an Alfred Hitchcock movie. With feathered foes everywhere, the race is on to find out what’s happening… and whether this biblical plague can even be stopped at all.
This is a wonderful homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s the Birds. It stands as a wholly unusual yet brilliantly original story.
A Gamble With Time by John Dorney – 9/10
In the glamorous casinos of Monte Carlo, a nefarious scheme is being hatched. Fortunately, the New Counter-Measures team are on hand to prevent a disaster. But are they betting with the right hand? When they’re playing against Lady Suzanne Clare, all bets are off.
John Dorney’s story brings this at times uneven box set to a clever and enjoyable end in A Gamble With Time. The twists and turns keep coming and we are introduced to a new and potentially reoccurring villain.
This set acts as a clear jumping on point if you’re new to this series. Howeve,r it does feel like a departure for these already slightly under-developed spin-off characters. It’s a great excuse to tell new and different stories in a fresh era but does this new direction need these characters or vice versa. Counter Measures always seemed like a pre-curser to UNIT, perhaps some sort of cross-over could be on the cards in the future.
BLOGTOR WHO RATING 8/10
Written By: Guy Adams, Ian Potter, Christopher Hatherall, John Dorney
Directed By: Ken Bentley
Simon Williams (Group Captain Gilmore), Pamela Salem (Rachel Jensen), Karen Gledhill (Allison Williams), Hugh Ross (Sir Toby Kinsella), Carolyn Seymour (Lady Suzanne Clare), Tam Williams (Gus Kalwarowksy / Dave and Martin), Joanna Bending (Croupier / Tessa Collins), George Asprey (Balthasar Schrek), Robin Weaver (Edwige Ponzi), Gunnar Cauthery (Franz), Christian Edwards (Alex), Vincent Carmichael (Machado), David Rintoul (Lord Henry Balfour), Claire Calbraith (Starling), Andrew Wincott (Professor Abrams)
Producer David Richardson
Script Editor John Dorney
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
THE NEW COUNTER-MEASURES SERIES 1 is now available to buy on CD and download direct from the Big Finish website.