What's it about: London, 1964, and the repercussions of Jago and Litefoot’s adventure are dealt with by Sir Toby Kinsella and his crack team of specialists at Counter-Measures. What is the Reesinger Process – and who is behind it?
Great Ideas: The budget of the Ministry of Defence pays for the Countermeasures team to continue their investigations but there are questions being asked in very high places as to whether it is necessary expenditure. Sir Toby Kinsella is directly responsible for the team, a conduit between them and the government. Rees is up to his old tricks, convincing high ranking civil servants or those in the military in the 1960s to commit despicable acts: pushing people off trains, firing blind in a post office, grinding up sleeping pills and adding them to a night time tipple. Colonel Swinton attacked three officers and attempted to commit suicide, a gun to the head. The Reesinger Course is specifically designed to promote contingency character building. The clever use of Rees' name and his raison detre from the previous story tells you everything you need to know about just how he is enhancing their character on this course. It's just a matter of a waiting game to see how long it takes the Countermeasures team to figure out what his behavioural manipulation entails. It's unusual to be this far ahead of the heroes but it works in this respect especially when it is a race against time to prevent the loss of any more unnecessary deaths. When the victims of the Reesinger conditioning succumb and vacant their position (a polite way of saying kill themselves) there always seems to be somebody ready to take their place. And since they are all in vertiginous positions that puts whoever is controlling these replacements in a position of power. Rees has been inside Miss Wilton's mind, whispering in her ear, setting this whole operation up. His body is still lying at the bottom of the well, just bones. After he has been driven out of her mind, the music box still lingers and Ding Dong Bell is hummed in the final scene...Rees' presence still lingers on.
Audio Landscape: Big Ben chiming, cars chugging past in London, a scream, a gunshot, a train screaming along the tracks towards a screaming passenger, gunshots in a post office, the chinkling of china, throwing punches, marching soldiers, waters flowing, Ian smashing equipment, alarms sounding, walls crumbling.
Isn't it Odd: About two thirds into the story we start entering into Star Trek Voyager territory, where technobabble starts to overwhelm the story. Unfortunately having Rachel spouting off a lot of scientific babble about brain waves isn't the best use of her character. She's smart but as an audience all we need to know is that Rees can brainwash people without going in to all of the specifics. The technical jargon does rather stall the story.
Standout Scene: Another strong climax where loyalties are tested. This time Rachel has to decide whether to use the machine to wipe out Rees' influence over Miss Wilton and potentially destroy the minds of her two friends in the process.
Result: 'If I can't have her...neither can you!' Now here is a series that I am relatively new to and I certainly haven't written any reviews of the range as of yet. Both Countermeasures and Survivors have been filed under 'Must Listen to when Big Finish's Doctor Who output becomes less prolific and I have the time.' I'm not a huge fan of the 60s Spy genre so it didn't draw me in like Jago & Litefoot did (I'm a sucker for Victorian chillers) but after exposure to Countermeasures in The Assassin Games and now The Reesinger Process it is clear that there is much more to this series than a rehash of shows like Adam Adamant, The Saint and The Man From UNCLE. For a start you have a superb ensemble cast who have gelled together very nicely, which helps the stories progress smoothly but there is also the added element that the Countermeasures team is constantly trying to prove themselves and that their funding could be cut at any minute. It's a team desperate to make an impression, break the rules and get results that satisfies themselves and those big wigs in the government who make the important decisions. There's a real world grit to this series that is absent in the heightened reality of Jago & Litefoot (I couldn't imagine an encounter between the Countermeasures team and the Scorchies for example) and it produces quite dour stories as a result. However if you are up for something moody and granular than you needn't look anywhere else. The Reesinger Process is a smart little story for the most part, one that takes the elements set up in the opening story and utilises them in an ingenious way. Rees is quite the machiavellian plotter and has had time to bed his plans, smuggling away in the mind of an innocent, manipulating certain parties and murdering his way into power. It falls apart a little in the last third when what appears to be a much more epic story has quite an intimate climax, concentrating far more on Rees' desire for to find his remains rather than the grand scheme for overthrowing the government which was where I thought this was heading. Still it is skips by effortlessly for the most part and certainly does its job - Countermeasures has bumped up the list of series that I must listen to soon. I can't see how this is a series that lends itself to particularly diverse storytelling (but then that is a criticism I levelled at Jago & Litefoot when series one was announced and it has been able to push the boundaries of expectation in so many ways) but I look forward to finding out how it might achieve that. Onwards to the UNIT Vault, I think The Worlds of Doctor Who series has been a very smart move on Big Finish's part and has already proven more worthwhile than the multi Doctor arcs (Excelis, Drashani). Beyond the running storyline (which is gathering momentum) it offers exposure to these wonderful worlds that Big Finish has created: 7/10