The New Counter-Measures team return to Big Finish in two feature length adventures. Firstly, ‘The Movellan Manoeuvre‘ sees the team cross paths with a familiar race of androids.

A new robot helper for the home is being advertised. Nothing necessarily out of the ordinary perhaps. But the company selling the product seems to be connected to Lady Suzanne Clare. An arms dealer with a penchant for alien weaponry. Could these new robot helpers be alien in origin and do they pose a threat?

The Movellan Manoeuvre

The chemistry between the four members of the Counter-Measures team continues to be one of the strongest elements of this particular series. Little lines and asides make a big difference. The original trio of Simon Williams, Pamela Salem and Karen Gledhill are back again and sounding wonderful. The addition of Hugh Ross continues to be a sublime decision with his wit and leadership rounding off the team brilliantly. As the quartet discuss and debate they bounce off each other brilliantly, keeping listeners thoroughly engaged. Carolyn Seymour returns as Lady Suzanne Clare and remains deliciously provocative. Together the cast do a terrific job, explaining the plot and describing the action.

By John Dorney

Big Finish stalwart John Dorney demonstrates all the skills to deliver a great audio story. What seems to be a standard and obvious plotline is merely a red herring. The listener is led in one direction only to have their expectations flipped. What Dorney also does well is develop the Movellans. The Movellans first appeared in ‘Destiny of the Daleks‘ back in 1979. They also made a brief cameo in ‘The Pilot’ in 2017. On Big Finish the Movellans only other appearance was in a Fourth Doctor Adventure ‘The Movellan Grave‘. As a result, they are a creation with plenty of scope for exploration.

Development of the Movellans is exactly what we get here. Androids, with their tireless following the logical, can be tricky to get right, particularly on audio. They don’t exactly lend themselves to sparkling dialogue. Having the right voice artist makes a huge difference. Cast in the role of lead Movellan is Cyril Nri, which you may have noticed from the cover artwork, and he proves to be a perfect piece of casting. A great voice delivering some great dialogue.

Overall

The Movellan Manoeuvre‘ is a thoroughly enjoyable story. A few surprises, twists and turns help the running time fly by. Ken Bentley skillfully directs the flawless cast whilst keeping the action moving along at pace. Music provided by Nicholas Briggs gives a feel for the era whilst Joe Meiners cleverly manages to include original weaponry sound effects which will appeal to many. Best of all it is the way that John Dorney pulls the rug of your expectations out from under you. Overall, this story makes for another strong outing for the New Counter-Measures team. It’s also a lot of fun, perfect entertainment for a global lockdown.

Excitingly this story serves as a setup for the next story; ‘The Dalek Gambit‘.

The New Counter-Measures: The Movellan Manoeuvre (c) Big Finish

Synopsis

This title was released in April 2020. It will be exclusively available to buy from the Big Finish website until May 31st 2020, and on general sale after this date.

Arch-foe of the Intrusion Counter-Measures Group, Lady Suzanne Clare – glamorous international arms dealer specialising in alien tech – is back. And she’s branched out.

She’s now moved into technology and is rolling out a device designed to help out with chores around the house. As the launch date looms, Rachel Jensen and her team are determined to find out what she’s really up to and stop her.

What do these devices actually do? What exactly is her latest plan? And what exactly does it all have to do with an insidious alien menace?

It’s time for a home invasion.

Cast

  • Simon Williams (Group Captain Gilmore)
  • Pamela Salem (Rachel Jensen)
  • Karen Gledhill (Allison Williams)
  • Hugh Ross (Sir Toby Kinsella)
  • Nicholas Briggs (Soldier)
  • Cyril Nri (Maurice Vallan)
  • Carolyn Seymour (Lady Suzanne Clare)

Credits

The New Counter-Measures: The Movellan Manoeuvre is available now from the Big Finish website. The title is priced at £10.99 on CD and £8.99 to download. The Big Finish App, available on Apple and Android devices, also makes listening even easier. It is a free app to download, just search in your app store.

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