‘Threshold’ (CM) (Audio)

 

‘THRESHOLD’ (CM)

Please feel free to comment on my review.

The Counter-Measures Mission Files Begin

Gilmore, Rachel and Allison return!

This is ‘Counter-Measures’, a spin-off series of ‘Doctor Who’ by Big Finish made in 2012. It features the return of three characters from the popular story, ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ by Ben Aaronovitch, starring Sylvester McCoy. The series was devised by David Richardson and John Dorney.

‘Counter-Measures’ stars Simon Williams as Group Captain Ian Gilmore; Pamela Salem as Professor Rachel Jansen and Karen Gledhill as Dr. Allison Williams from ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’. This series also stars Hugh Ross as Sir Toby Kinsella, the fourth member for the Counter-Measures team.

The series takes place in 1964, a year after ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’. It has a very 1960s thriller series feel about it with the likes of ‘The Saint’ and ‘The Avengers’. I’ve enjoyed listening to this series and it was nice to discover what happened to the three characters from that one ‘Doctor Who’ story.

I purchased the Series 1 box set and had it signed by the lovely Karen Gledhill and the delightful Hugh Ross at the ‘Timey-Wimey 1’ convention in Brighton, November, 2014. It was great meeting them. I’m so glad to have had the Series 1 box set signed and to have photos with them and a Dalek.

The Series 1 box set of ‘Counter-Measures’ is a 5-disc CD set. There are four episodes on each of the first four discs and there’s a behind-the-scenes documentary on Disc 5. The four episodes are as follows. They are ‘Threshold’, ‘Artificial Intelligence’, ‘The Pelage Project’ and ‘State of Emergency’.

Alison Thea-Skot, Andrew Fettes and Vernon Dobtcheff in ‘Threshold’.

The first episode of this series, ‘Threshold’, sets up the Counter-Measures team. ‘Threshold’ is by Paul Finch who has written a number of ‘Doctor Who’ audio adventures for ‘The Lost Stories’ range.

I found the first episode a little hard to get into, as is usually the case when I’m starting to listen to a new series. But I found it interesting and I was able to home in on the voices of the main characters.

‘Threshold’ is basically a ghost story about a scientist named Professor Schumman who mysteriously disappears. This sounds like a typical thriller mystery plot in ‘The Saint’ and ‘The Avengers’ TV shows.

As the Counter-Measures team investigates this mysterious disappearance, they discover the use of a mysterious teleport device and a laughing girl’s doll that haunts people. It even haunts the soldiers.

I like how this episode sets up the Counter-Measures team in motion. This is especially with regards to Rachel who decided at the end of ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ she was going back to Cambridge.

But Rachel gets asked to be a consultant on this mystery of Schumman’s disappearance; she can hardly resist being involved. This also has to do with her rejoining Gilmore and Allison in the episode.

Simon Williams sounds great as Group Captain Gilmore in this episode. I believe this is the first time his first name gets revealed as Ian. Gilmore still has a clipped, military manner from ‘Remembrance’.

Gilmore barks orders and gets on Rachel and Allison’s nerves during the episode. I enjoy how he meets with Sir Toby and he learns some new info about missions, especially when assigned to them.

Pamela Salem is equally great as Professor Rachel Jansen. This episode especially develops Rachel’s character as she tries to find a reason why she would want to stay with the Counter-Measures team.

I like how Rachel clashes with authority; being scientifically gifted and the voice of reason. In a sense, Rachel is the main lead for ‘Counter-Measures’, as it’s a group driven by science rather than military.

Karen Gledhill is also great as Dr. Allison Williams in this episode. Allison shares a good friendship with Rachel, which was touched upon during ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ and is a very great thing.

I like how Allison wishes for Rachel to stay in the Counter-Measures team. I also like how she and Gilmore investigate this mystery further with the missing scientist when at the Bermondsey factory.

I’m pleased I’ve met Karen Gledhill at ‘Timey-Wimey 1’ in Brighton, November 2014. She was lovely and very nice to chat to. The first thing Karen said to me when I first met her was, “Hello, I’m Karen”.

I was like laughing and said “Yes I know who you are.” Karen and I chatted and agreed about how much we enjoy audio and how it works better than TV. It was a very pleasant encounter with Karen.

Hugh Ross stars as Sir Toby Kinsella, who is a government liaison for the Counter-Measures team. Sir Toby is an interesting character in ‘Counter-Measures’ as he talks to Gilmore about certain missions.

Sir Toby doesn’t reveal a lot of information about the political side of things in missions. He’s a great foil for Gilmore, Rachel and Allison. It’s sometimes hard to tell whether he is on the good side or not.

It was a delight to meet Hugh Ross at the ‘Timey-Wimey 1’ convention in Brighton, November 2014 with Karen Gledhill. I saw Hugh before in an episode of ‘Monarch of the Glen’Series 4, Episode 7.

Hugh was very friendly and nice to chat to. I enjoyed chatting to him about his appearance in ‘Monarch of the Glen’ and also told him I was looking forward to hearing him in ‘Counter-Measures’.

The rest of the cast are as follows. There’s Vernon Dobtcheff as Professor Heinrich Schumann; Andrew Fettes as Lt. Tom Carver; Alison Thea-Skot as Jenny Haveloc and also John Banks as Simkins.

I found the creepy girl doll in the episode very creepy indeed. I wondered why it cackled so much and why it spoke to certain characters during the episode, as it kept the suspense going throughout.

Pamela Salem, Hugh Ross, Simon Williams and Karen Gledhill in ‘Threshold’.

I like how the episode ends with Rachel agreeing to stay with Counter-Measures on one condition. She has to be its leader. Gilmore isn’t quite happy about this arrangement, but Sir Toby agrees to it.

‘Threshold’ (CM) rating – 7/10


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