Counter-Measures scores over its 1960s templates – such as The Champions or Department S – with its shades of grey in the psyches of the lead characters. We know from the previous seven stories that Sir Toby Kinsella is – not to put too fine a point on it – not necessarily someone who can be trusted. Did Lady Catherine commit suicide at the end of Manhunt? How much did he regret sealing Dr Bradley into her tomb?
This inner darkness given Hugh Ross some wonderful moments to play, and turning the tables on him – to the extent that it happens in this final story – is rather nice to see… although the final scene is, to my mind, slightly too ambiguous (even if it does give an out for next season if the logical conclusion that is drawn is wrong).
The inspiration for this tale seems to be rather more comic book than the more scientific bases for the other stories, which might not be sustainable in the long run – Counter-Measures isn’t UNIT, and the temptation to write a 1960s UNIT series should, I suggest, be avoided. However, as a diversion, and a way of providing some good character scenes, it works well here.
The second series has been a good continuation: there are a lot of loose ends at the conclusion of this story, which hopefully will be dealt with in a third box set…
Verdict: John Dorney combines character drama and action to send the series off with as big a bang as it began. 8/10