UNIT 1.1 Time Heals [Big Finish Productions]
UNIT 1.2 Snake Head [Big Finish Productions]
UNIT 1.3 The Longest Night [Big Finish Productions]
UNIT 1.4 The Wasting [Big Finish Productions]
A while back, when Nicholas Courtney died, I recommended UNIT: The Coup, a freebie Big Finish audioplay which showed a 21st Century version of UNIT, dealing with one of those loose threads the Doctor left behind him, the pesky Silurians and their need to make an actual peace with humanity.
As well as showcasing Sir Alastair himself, the play introduced Colonel Emily Chaudhry (Siri O’Neal), a media liason working with UNIT. It serves as an introduction to the whole UNIT miniseries (2004), revolving around Chaudhry as she deals with a missing CEO, his replacement Col. Robert Dalton (who is, pleasingly, a skeptic of the Scully variety), the soulless media as personified by reporter Francis Currie, and some serious threats to humanity. The first two are mostly standalone adventures, and very enjoyable largely for the chemistry between the two leads, and the weirdness of their investigations. The style of the dramas anticipate some of the themes and ideas that came up in Torchwood, and I got more of a sense of UNIT as a real, modern organisation with ties back to the Pertwee Years than I ever got from the sparce UNIT appearances in New Who.
The third and fourth stories, The Longest Night and The Wasting, are impressively bleak political dramas, with far more in common with Torchwood: Children of Earth than anything else in the Whoniverse. It’s brilliant stuff. Of special note is the appearance of David Tennant in The Wasting as the long-missing-in-action CEO of UNIT, along with his Scottish accent. It’s a feisty performance, packed with personality, and his scenes with Chaudry are electric. Siri O’Neal’s performance is also brilliant in this final appearance (sadly there was only one series of UNIT, sniff) and every time Tennant looks likely to steal the scene, she kicks him in the kneecap and takes it right back. There’s an amazing hero moment for her which made me very emotional. It also doesn’t hurt that Nicholas Courtney, who made a fairly tame appearance in Episode 1, returns in this final ep with some serious firepower and good old boy action.
These episodes are all available from Big Finish right now at the outrageously cheap price of $5 Australian per download & $8-9 each for the CD including shipping. Definitely worth checking out!