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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 an early predecessor to UNIT, intended to take action against covert threats to British soil. It operated during the 1960s, with a base in Maybury.
According to two accounts the ICMG was formed in 1961, (PROSE: Remembrance of the Daleks, Who Killed Kennedy) while according to another, it was formed a very short time before the Shoreditch Incident in direct response to the strange events that had been happening in Shoreditch in 1963, including the disappearances of a scrap merchant and various persons associated with Coal Hill School. (PROSE: The Shoreditch Incident)
The group was placed under the command of Group Captain Ian Gilmore. He drafted scientific specialists like scientist Rachel Jensen under the Peacetime Emergency Powers Act. The Intrusion Counter-Measures Group was composed of personnel and equipment from both the RAF Regiment (PROSE: Remembrance of the Daleks, Who Killed Kennedy) and British Army. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) They were based out of Hendon. (PROSE: 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) Several weeks prior to the incident, Private Matt Doe had been transferred to the group, viewing it as a comfortable position that only existed as a propaganda response to rumours of Soviet para-psychology experiments. However, after encountering a Dalek, he realsed their mission to defend against unusual and unknown threats was real. During the incident, Doe was killed by an Imperial Slyther. (PROSE: The Slyther of Shoreditch)
Nobody within the Group had been aware of the existence of alien lifeforms and were rattled to find themselves up against a more powerful foe; Gilmore's suggestion of calling in armoured support was rejected by the Doctor as merely inviting orbital bombardment from the Daleks. The Group's Sergeant Mike Smith was revealed to be a traitor (and killed during the incident) working for the Renegade Dalek's human allies. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) All the soldiers bar Smith were given full military honours at their funerals. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)
Despite their success in Shoreditch, 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: 1963: The Assassination Games)
After working with Counter-Measures once again as a consultant, 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)
Counter-Measures quickly became an organisation that many people wanted to have control over, due to the amount of advanced 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 Counter-Measures: 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 Counter-Measures 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 Counter-Measures 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 con job by the Soviet Union to smuggle a "psychic bomb" to London and Counter-Measures only stopped it at the last second. (AUDIO: Peshka)
Their next major operation in 1965 was to stop a British eugenics 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, Templeton infuriated his staff and interfered with their investigation into the gangster Cool Kenny White; when this put Allison Williams at risk, Counter-Measures 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 with severe memory loss and Rachel disillusioned with Sir Toby. (AUDIO: The Forgotten Village) This was exploited by enemy agents who faked an alien incursion in East Germany, drawing out Counter-Measures so Rachel 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 Rachel continued to work for 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, Rachel, Williams, and Gilmore successfully defeated the Sleepers and were immediately 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 Counter-Measures 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?) Official paperwork dug up by journalist James Stevens found merely that the group had been disbanded in 1966 because the government no longer felt they were needed: "ironically" shortly before the events of C-Day. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)
An alternate account said that ICMG continued to exist into 1967. In May, Rachel Jensen and Allison Williams found five-thousand-year-old cave paintings of a spaceship in South Australia. (COMIC: Operation Volcano) Group Captain Ian Gilmore sent an emergency beacon that reached the Seventh Doctor and Ace. (COMIC: The Armageddon Gambit) They rendezvoused with Group Captain Gilmore in Oxford, were briefed on the mission, and travelled to Maralinga via the TARDIS. After they, the Intrusion Counter-Measures Group, the Australian military, an Aboriginal man named Daku Darana, and peace activist Jonquil Sharrow found and investigated the spaceship, a snake-like alien was found on Mr Pendry, which killed him when it was removed with a machete.
When Rachel and Allison were kidnapped by Delafield and Sharron and taken to the island of San Benedicto where the "Crooks" had one of their ships operational. The Doctor and company made their way to the island, where they rescued Rachel and Allison with the help of knockout gas. Group Captain Gilmore was trapped in the Crook's ship with a Markarian, which kept him in stasis until he was discovered by astronauts in 2029. The Doctor and Ace returned him to 1967 and the surviving Markarians to their home planet. (COMIC: Operation Volcano)
One of Counter-Measures' last missions was dealing with Dalek and Movellan agents, after the Dalek-Movellan War travelled back in time. They prevented the Daleks exterminated the planet. Rachel Jensen was believed dead (but had faked it) afterwards. (AUDIO: The Movellan Manoeuvre, The Dalek Gambit)
Gilmore argued for greater funding and resources to make a more permanent ICMG but failed. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) The ICMG was handed over to C19 with a recommendation that it be used as the basis for an entirely new organisation. (PROSE: The Scales of Injustice) Before UNIT formed, Gilmore informed his spiritual successor Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart about the Group's history. (PROSE: Downtime)
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
- The military group in Remembrance of the Daleks go unnnamed except for a single line where Gilmore refers to them as "the Counter-Intrusion Measures, United Kingdom". In the rehearsal script, they were called the Special Incursions Counter-Measures Unit and in the novelisation, Ben Aaronovitch finally nailed down their name as Intrusion Counter-Measures Group.
- The group is set up as a proto-UNIT, partly as a fandom in-joke: Jensen is a Scientific Advisor and the Doctor accidentally calls Gilmore "Brigadier" when frustrated. Aaronovitch intended to confirm they were a predecessor to UNIT in early scripts, and would put that in the novelisation. Bizarrely, the rehearsal script not only implied the army wanted to take over Counter-Measures 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 ICMG disbanded soon after 1963, but Big Finish have retconned that for the Counter-Measures series, keeping them around until 1965 or 1966 and reforming in late 1973. Titan Publishing Group's Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor provides an alternate account with the group active in 1967.