The Pelage Project was the third audio story in Big Finish Productions' first series of Counter-Measures. It featured Hugh Ross' character Sir Toby outside of his usual habitat of Whitehall and "on location" with the rest of the Intrusion Counter-Measures group.
A case of industrial pollution leads the group to the new industrial town Pelage, and a dangerous meeting with its leader Ken Temple. And deep within the plant it appears that an alien invasion is already underway...
While sailing with Julian St Stephen on his father's boat the previous weekend, Allison discovered a mutated school of fish off the coast of the new town Pelage, which is not yet featured on the ordinance survey maps. Sir Toby Kinsella claims that the experiments being conducted in the town are "very hush-hush." Allison had them sent to Cambridge for analysis by the university's xenobiologists, who determined that they all died of cancer. The oil effluent from the Temple Plant in Pelage caused them all to suffer incredibly accelerated necrotic metastasis and cellular regrowth. As it has never previously been observed in nature, Allison believes that it may have been caused by an alien chemical weapon.
Temple's entire family were killed in the Blitz during World War II while he was serving in the Royal Navy. Given that he turned up out of the blue with numerous patents in many different fields at the end of the war, Allison half-jokingly suggests that he may be a Nazi spy who has been given a new identity.
While in Pelage, Sir Toby poses as a Ministry of Works inspector named Thomas Keir and introduces Rachel as his principal private secretary Miss Johnson, Allison as her assistant Miss Wilton and Gilmore as his driver. He tells Temple that things are in flux in government since Harold Macmillan stepped down as Prime Minister and Sir Alec Douglas-Home, previously Earl Home, replaced him.
Temple claims that the PA system creates conformity in his workers in Pelage, though Allison believes that it is worryingly totalitarian in nature. When Temple claims that Pelage has the lowest crime rate in the United Kingdom and the most efficient workforce in Western Europe, Allison asks him how it compares to Eastern Europe. She later tells Gilmore that this "sixth form politicking" was an act to allow her to investigate Temple's plant unhindered.
Temple realises that Rachel is not a secretary as all of her notes are in long-hand. After Sir Toby refers to her by her first name, Temple realises her identity, given that he witnessed her delivering a paper on quantum cryptography several years earlier.
The solvent oil, which is grown in the Morning Star vats, causes accelerated cellular mutation. It has altered Billy McGuinness' physiognomy so that he can no longer breathe oxygen.
As he believes that Earth is no longer sustainable, Temple intends to use the Morning Star Project to terraform the planet so as to alter its atmosphere to match that of Venus. He then plans to evacuate approximately 1% of the world's population, who will serve as the breeding stock to create a new human race, to Venus. Temple believes that this will be achievable by as early as 1984 if all of Earth's fossil fuels and natural resources were used to create an interplanetary fleet.
- Group Captain Ian Gilmore - Simon Williams
- Professor Rachel Jensen - Pamela Salem
- Dr. Allison Williams - Karen Gledhill
- Sir Toby Kinsella - Hugh Ross
- Ken Temple - Stephen Greif
- Billy McGuinness - John Banks
- PA Voice / Control - Helen Goldwyn
- Xenobiologists are contracted by the government to perform analysis and work for them, at considerable expense.
to be added
- The University of Cambridge xenobiologists are analysing the remains of Professor Heinrich Schumann. (AUDIO: Threshold) Rachel notes that there were no xenobiologists anywhere on Earth prior to the Shoreditch Incident in November 1963. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)
- Gilmore's troops are guarding the matter transfer device created by Schumann. (AUDIO: Threshold)