Proposed new name: Intrusion Counter-Measures Group
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The Intrusion Counter-Measures Group (usually called ICMG or simply Counter-Measures) was a secret arm of the British military which acted as a predecessor to UNIT, intended to take action against covert threats to British soil. It operated during the 1960s, with a base in Maybury.
The ICMG was formed in 1961 under the command of Group Captain Ian Gilmore. He drafted scientific specialists like scientist Rachel Jensen under the Peacetime Emergency Powers Act. The Intrusion Countermeasures Group was composed of Royal Air Force personnel and equipment. While primarily from the RAF Regiment, (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) it also drafted in British Army personnel. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)
At 76 Totter's Lane in London in November 1963, the group encountered the Seventh Doctor and Ace, whom its members later assisted in defeating both the Renegade and Imperial Dalek factions who were searching for the Hand of Omega. This event became known as the Shoreditch Incident. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)
Despite their success in the Shoreditch Incident, Counter-Measures still had funding issues and its men were often 'loaned' to other departments; Sir Toby Kinsella, Counter-Measures' benefactor, informed Gilmore that as their work was by nature secretive, it was difficult to convince the government of their worth. They came to prominence after the assassination of Defence Secretary Stephen Mulryne. Sir Toby ordered an investigation, nominally to show Counter-Measures' skills but also likely as Mulryne was secretly an old friend. In the process, Gilmore and Allison Williams - with the aid of the organisation's former scientific adviser Professor Rachel Jensen and the Doctor - uncovered a plan by the Light, alien infiltrators inside the government, to wipe out the US and USSR, leaving Britain the sole power (and under their control). Counter-Measures and the Doctor prevented the atrocity and the assassination of the Prime Minister, Alec Douglas-Home. The organisation was reinstated by the government and a funding bill introduced in parliament, though it took several months to go through. (AUDIO: The Assassination Games)
After working with Counter-Measures once again as a consultant, the organisation's former scientific adviser Professor Rachel Jensen accepted the offer of Sir Toby Kinsella to join it permanently - on the condition that she was supplied with the facilities to continue her research on site and that she would replace Gilmore as its leader. However, she assured him that she would defer to his judgement in all matters of security. (AUDIO: Threshold) While Gilmore was initially bitter that Rachel had replaced him, he eventually came to respect her not only as a scientist but as his superior officer as well. (AUDIO: Artificial Intelligence)
Countermeasures quickly became an organisation that many people wanted to have control over, due to the amount of advanced and alien technology the Group could have access to. (AUDIO: Changing of the Guard)
Following the key role that its members played in defeating the military coup led by General Peters against his government in 1964, the recently appointed Prime Minister Harold Wilson arranged for Counter-Measures to be fully funded until 1969. (AUDIO: State of Emergency) Despite this, Sir Toby still lacked a place in the nuclear war bunkers as a result of being with Countermeasures: he darkly suggested that the government didn't care about alien invasion after World War III as they'd be glad of any help they could get. (AUDIO: The Fifth Citadel)
In early 1965, Sir Charles Waverly attempted to gain control of Countermeasures through underhanded means and put his child (under an alias) in charge. This was prevented by his murder, with Sir Toby 'joking' that he'd have killed him if aware. (AUDIO: Manhunt)
Sir Toby later used Countermeasures as a cover - lying to them in the process - for dealing with a renegade bunker. (AUDIO: The Fifth Citadel) After that, they were used to extract a defecting Russian psychic from Amsterdam. This turned out to be a conjob by the Soviet Union to smuggle a "psychic bomb" to London and Countermeasures only stopped it at the last second. (AUDIO: Peshka)
Their next major operation in 1965 was to stop a British eugenic's programme "super-soldier", Ray Carver. In the process, it came out that Sir Toby had been trying to keep them out - he was himself involved in the programme and Ray was his son - and their overseer was subject to a parliamentary inquiry. (AUDIO: Sins of the Fathers) While this went on, his aide Templeton was in charge and attempted to fix the inquiry so he'd remain the boss.
A draconian, micromanaging figure, he infuriated his staff and interfered with their investigation into the gangster Cool Kenny White - when this put Allison Williams at risk, Countermeasures took action without him. Sir Toby was exonerated and Templeton booted out, with William Heaton MP remarking that Templeton just wasn't capable of managing this sort of operation. (AUDIO: Changing of the Guard)
A disastrous operation involving a Soviet satellite left Allison Williams with severe memory loss and Jensen disillusioned with Sir Toby. (AUDIO: The Forgotten Village) This was exploited by enemy agents who faked an alien incursion in East Germany, drawing out Countermeasures so Jensen could be mind-controlled into being one of their sleepers. Gilmore was arrested in East Berlin, Sir Toby potentially shot as a British spy, and Allison was also mind-altered by Templeton, in league with the enemy and in control of the Group again. (AUDIO: Unto the Breach) Allison and Jensen continued to work fo Counter-Measures, believing Sir Toby and Gilmore were still there; most servicemen were replaced so they couldn't identify the fake Gilmore. (AUDIO: New Horizons)
The enemy turned out to be Light sleeper agents, trying to destroy the planet to cover up the Light's existence. William Heaton and his men, surviving Light members, reassembled the ICMG team to thwart the "Light Sleepers". Sir Toby, Jensen, Williams, and Gilmore successfully defeated the Sleepers and were immediately after marked for death by Heaton. (AUDIO: Rise and Shine)
After developing a way to detect - and kill - the Light, the Group defeated Heaton. During the affair, Sir Toby had attempted to strike a deal in the hope of protecting his agents but when it became clear that the rest of the surviving Light would keep coming after him as long as Countermeasures existed, he had it quietly shut down and pretended to arrange for Jensen, Williams, and Gilmore to die in bombings. All three were given fake identities and with the Light assuming Kinsella was bought off, he was able to quietly identify and exterminate them. (AUDIO: Clean Sweep, Who Killed Toby Kinsella?) In December of 1973, the team was able to come back from the cold and New Counter-Measures was started. (AUDIO: Who Killed Toby Kinsella?)
Afterwards, a still-living Gilmore had argued for greater funding and resources to make a more permanent ICMG but failed. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) Before UNIT formed, Gilmore would inform his spiritual successor Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart about the Group's history. (PROSE: Downtime)
In the early 1970s, James Stevens attempted to investigate and make public information concerning this group, as well as UNIT, but was stymied in doing so. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) In later years, Gilmore would be able to publish his memoirs (AUDIO: 1963: The Assassination Games) and the 2006 book The Zen Military could reveal UNIT's origins in the Group. (PROSE: Remembrance of the Daleks)
Behind the scenes Edit
- The military in Remembrance of the Daleks were just presented as the military with scientific backing, operating as a proto-UNIT as a fandom in-joke (Jensen is a Scientific Advisor and the Doctor accidentally calls Gilmore "Brigadier" when frustrated). In the rehearsal script, however, they were called the Special Incursions Counter-Measures Unit and explicitly UNIT's precursor; the novelisation brought this back (with a different name). Bizarrely, the rehearsal script not only implied the army wanted to take over the Unit but that the Brigadier was to be put in charge - a continuity reference that would have contradicted many previous stories. (DWM 464)
- Who Killed Kennedy had the Group shut down soon after 1963 but Big Finish have retconned that for the Counter-Measures series, keeping them around until 1965 or 1966.