Here’s a fun little 23-minute audio starring Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) being his lovable, unflappable self.
It was originally included with a half-hour Bernice Summerfield adventure on a CD insert in Doctor Who Magazine #351, but they’re now available on Soundcloud or BigFinish.com for free.
UNIT is handing over power to a new security organization, the Internal Counter Intelligence Service. They haul Lethbridge-Stewart out of retirement to give a speech regarding the changeover. Of course, things don’t go entirely as planned. Nor is the Brigadier— General, now— going to go quietly. Or is he?
“The Coup” is really a 20-minute prologue for the 2004-2005 Big Finish UNIT series. However, it’s a self-contained story and a nice thumbnail portrait of Lethbridge-Stewart. Worth a listen, especially if you’re a new Who fan who hasn’t had a chance to meet Kate Stewart’s father from classic Who.
In about 20 minutes, Sir Alistair shoots at things, fights aliens, uncovers and overthrows a conspiracy, and oversees first contact on his own initiative. Not a bad afternoon’s work for a retired general.
I’m surprised that new Who permitted a “first contact” story to slip out as a freebie magazine insert just as the new show going into production. I know that all Big Finish scripts have to be passed by Cardiff, but one should probably treat this one as loose canon.