UNIT: The Coup is a short, free story released in November 2004 by Big Finish to promote its then forthcoming UNIT spin-off range. Available on SoundCloud this Simon Geurrier story has to frame a whole spin-off range in a mere twenty minutes and that includes allowing is plenty of time to enjoy Nicholas Courtney in fine form as the Brigadier.
The plot is one of transition. The Brig is retired and asked to speak at a press conference where UNIT is pulling out of the UK to be replaced by the more bloody minded ICIS. This nicely sets up a tension between two organisations. Meanwhile a group of Silurians are wiped out in what seems to be an attack on London. On the way to the conference the Brigadier’s car is attacked by a helicopter which also includes in its crew a Silurian.
Slightly later the Brigadier is rehearsing his speech when is confronted by a leading Silurian figure who he manages to subdue. Moving out to give his speech the Brigadier appears to commit treason by broadcasting the purpose of UNIT live on the BBC, introducing the Silurian who is actually a peace envoy and proclaiming a new are of inter-species cooperation.
Needless to say UNIT end up staying, ICIS are pushed to one side and the whole incident disguised as a stunt.
I thought this was a good story for what it was and I got a sense of where the series might develop. I greatly preferred the Brigadier in this rather than Minuet in Hell and liked the device of him ending up on-side with the Silurians having previously been focussed on their destruction. A good effort.
Tony, January 2013
At the time of writing I have not heard the UNIT series; for a view from someone who has try this review from Chair With a Panda.