We’ve been told (not for the first time) to expect no more Counter Measures after the current pair of stories. With that in mind, I’m taking them at a leisurely pace — when it launched this was a personal favourite and I’m disappointed to see it go. If it does!
So, John Dorney starts us off with The Movellan Manoeuvre. We have the team, we have Lady Clare and we have Movellans — cue the action!
Villain turned hero?
The synopsis gives away a lot:
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.
As a drama, The Movellan Manoeuvre resembles The Avengers as much as it does Doctor Who. The plot with Movellans seems very much a retread of an Auton story, with Lady Clare (Carolyn Seymour) and Group Captain Gilmore (Simon Williams) rather dominating.
The plot is wafer thin in places, in parts deliberately so, and the feel is very much of a comic strip on audio. Counter Measures has long since lost its ’60s feel and the clumsy leap to the ’70s is at least only present in an updated technological landscape, not the dreadful insertion of ridiculous references we’ve had before.
Complaint over. Lady Clare has ben retconned as an arch villain hidden in previous heard and unheard stories and we have a mix of factory, killer robot, get the Army involved, betrayal and opportunism. It’s fun as long as you don’t wonder what UNIT are up to at the same time. The twists are inevitable, but sometimes we don’t want complex for the sake of showing off. The focus is very much on action and entertainment.
The Movellans are interesting enough, but the whole episode is about setting the stage for the second part, and it’s Enter the Daleks or rather The Dalek Gambit next.
My hope is for Alison, Sir Toby and to an extent Rachel to all get more to do. I also wonder how they keep it away from UNIT eyes, but I suspect we’ll not get told.
I’l let you know what I thought.