Counter Measures to be cancelled?

Ace (Sophie Aldred) and the CounterMeasures team (Simon Williams, Pamela Salem, Karen Gledhill and Hugh Ross)

The latest Big Finish podcast tells us the axe is falling on the Counter Measures range. The team from Remembrance of the Daleks has one last outing with the Seventh Doctor and Ace as part of The Legacy of Time and that’s it (barring a major upturn). For me, Counter Measures was the first all new range to be written after I discovered Big Finish, so it holds a special place in my affections. Why did it fail though?

The end of Counter Measures

I’ve no idea about sales of the range, but Big Finish has been more forthcoming than normal recently about profitability. We already know non-Doctor Who ranges such as Omega Factor are on hold for poor sales, and the much respected Survivors is also not selling. What’s next for niche ranges such as Vienna, Graceless or even Charlotte Pollard?

I wonder if the series failed to find a proper setting. It was a bit Quatermass and locked into the 1960s when launched. As a writer I always wondered if/when they might look at how it overlaps with UNIT or even Torchwood, never mind Big Finish’s own The Forge. Yes the most recent set brought Andy Frankham-Allen onboard, and with the Great Intelligence there was a sense of development in this direction.

My one thought is the jump to the 1970s setting. It made a lot of sense in terms of the age of the actors, and freshening up the setting, but this is a busy time for Doctor Who and spin-offs. At some point they can’t all hide in the wings during the TV episodes every time. Did the characters really work in this time? Was the series now a bit too like the Avengers? Will we ever know? Sometimes things just don’t sell.

I will miss the team, and keep my eyes open for any further news. Let’s hope next week’s podcast has cheerier news!

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