The Reesinger Process, cont’d

Gilmore and Allison take the character development course at the Reesinger Institute, which involves treatments such as immersion therapy, isolation, and interrogation.  They’re kept apart except that the manage to sneak a secret rendezvous.

They hear the clock chime, the one that keeps Gilmore awake at night.  They believe it’s 8 o’clock, but the clock chimes 9, then 10, then 11, all the way to — 13!  On the final chime, Gilmore becomes preoccupied, rushing off saying that he has somewhere to go.  Allison is intercepted, and unable to follow.

Sir Toby Kinsella

At the hospital, Professor Jensen’s device has measured interesting brain activity in Swinton, despite no physical change.  She tells Sir Toby that it’s as though there are two minds inside Swinton’s brain.  Sir Toby believes that he’s found a link between the incidents — not in the victims, but in their replacements.  He worries that each of these replacements has a predisposition towards confrontational diplomacy that might lead them into war.  The incidents have promoted interventionists by killing off property tycoons, but the reason is obscure.

Group Captain Gilmore

Gilmore turns up at the hospital, looking for Swinton.  He walks in on the Professor and Sir Toby, quickly turning off Swinton’s life support before he can be stopped.  Gilmore then collapses, but it’s too late for Swinton.  Before he realises where he is, Gilmore tells Rachel about the nightmare he’s just had – a nightmare in which he killed Swinton.

Full or remorse, Gilmore lets the Professor use her device on him and she detects a second “mind”, like the one in Swinton, in Gilmore’s head — but this one is fading rapidly away.  She surmises that, due to Swinton’s condition, the second mind in his head had been trapped and, only by his dead, could it be released.

Gilmore tells them both about the Reesinger Institute and they meet up again the following morning, after Rachel’s had time to confirm her device’s results.  Pooling their resources, the Professor believes that she can build a portable device that will block the second “mind”.  It’s revealed that the two people who run the Reesinger Institute, a brother and sister, have been buying up land — supposed for property development but, so far, they’ve just been digging holes and performing tests.

Fearing for Allison, left alone at the institute, they visit the siblings.  The sister is strangely absent but the brother, Wilton, claims not to know of any reason why he’s being interrogated by the three of them.  The professor notes that Stephanie, Wilton’s sister, has an ordered and tidy desk except for an oddly anachronistic musical box.

Rachel Jensen

Wilton explains that they found the musical box when the two of them had been playing on a bomb site, shortly after the war.  They’d fallen down into a well and found the box, together with an old skeleton clutching that box.  As children, Stephanie had listened to the musical box frequently, and Wilton had to suffer it also.  He’s always had a predisposition to do what his sister has told him to do.

Wilton reveals that Stephanie is currently checking out their latest land acquisition.  This is what she does.  Neither of them can remember where the bomb site was that they found the musical box, but Stephanie is determined to find it again.  This time, she’s taken Allison with her.

At the site, Allison and Stephanie are looking around whilst discussing the voice that they both hear in their heads.  Allison hums the tune from the musical box, while Stephanie recalls hearing the voice whenever she played the box.  The owner of the voice survived by putting his mind into the box, just has his body was dying down in the well.

They locate the well just as Gilmore and the others arrive.  Allison continues climbing down into the well, whilst Stephanie exploits Gilmore’s vulnerability from his previous preconditioning.  She gets his gun, whilst Allison locates Rees’ remains.

Allison Williams

The Professor using her alpha-wave blocking device, which forces the two women to “wake up”, not knowing where they are.  Stephanie’s mind goes all the way back to when they’d been children on the bomb site.  Rees fights for control of her mind, but Wilton uses the musical box to distract his sister,.

Gilmore and Sir Toby rescue Allison from the well, but she’s holding something — Rees’ skull!  On seeing what’s left of himself, through Stephanie’s eyes, Rees’ realises he can’t go back and so, instead, threatens to take out his revenge on the whole world – beginning with Stephanie shooting at anything in her way.

Rachel turns her device up to maximum.  Stephanie fights for her mind, just as the device overloads — but not before Rees’ fades from Stephanie’s mind.  His parting gift is to make the woman shoot herself…

Sir Toby takes the musical box, Rachel’s device, and the skull, vowing to secure them for safety.  In the fallout of this incident, the Reesinger Institute falls out of favour with the government.

For a relatively simple premise, that of Rees’ mind trying to find his way back into his body, there’s a lot going on in this story — much of it having little to do with the actual plot.  That’s the way it should be, I guess, to give all of the Counter-Measures team something to do.  They each have defined roles, with the possible exception of Allison, and this helps in an introductory way if this is the first time you’ve heard the characters.  As with the previous Counter-Measures adventure I listened to — The Assassination Games — it does help if you’ve already watched the TV adventure Remembrance of the Daleks.

Given that the next instalment in this The Worlds of Doctor Who set is called The Screaming Skull, we can see an overall picture starting to form.  First we had Rees himself, able to hypnotise people into doing what he wanted – with the origins of this told in Mind Games, now we’ve just had Rees’ mind trying to get back to his body in The Reesinger Process which has ended with the recovery of his skull, and next we have an adventure called The Screaming Skull.  The progression is effective in that it doesn’t bog the story down so much that you don’t get the chance to enjoy each of the characters in each adventure.

In the same token, it’s an effective plot device to allow the story to cross the generations without having to use time travel or similar such devices.

It’s difficult to say if The Reesinger Process is a good example of Counter-Measures in action because I haven’t heard enough to compare it with.  However, as a one-hour adventure, there is plenty going on to keep the attention despite the relatively simplistic denouement