In Review: Big Finish: Unit Shutdown

Kate Stewart and her UNIT team investigate and confront alien attacks on the planet Earth in this new 5 disc boxset.

Synopsis: In Shutdown Kate Stewart and her UNIT team investigate and confront alien attacks on the planet Earth in this new 5 disc boxset.

Review: Unit Shutdown marks the second Big Finish outing of UNIT led by Kate Stewart and this time round the earth is under threat from an ancient alien race, which could well have influenced ancient Japanese Culture.

The four interconnected stories include ‘Power Cell’ by Matt Fritton, ‘Death In Geneva’ by Andrew Smith, ‘The Battle Of The Tower’, by Andrew Smith and ‘Ice Station Alpha’ by Matt Fritton.

The two writers working on these stories do an excellent job of continuity between the four separate parts, which is especially difficult given that the first half of ‘Shutdown’ feels very much like a conspiracy thriller.

The opening episode sees Unit pretty much going into Shutdown in regards to Kate Stewart who is not sure who to trust and she certainly has no truck for the UK Government.

That said though we do get a little humor in the first half of ‘Power Cell’ in which Osgood is out socializing with old college friends. Matt Fritton was very obviously a fan of ‘Neighbours’ in his youth given that he has decided that Osgood’s old nickname from her college days is Plain Jane Super Brain.

The story starts with a murder and things really kick into action when Osgood is attacked in her home.

The story beats between Osgood and Captain Josh Carter are a lot of fun. Especially when Josh is very obviously flirting with her a little.

Episode two sees the team go to Geneva in order to go right to the top of the command chain at Unit. This episode features some brilliant action beats and introduces us to the alien race who are a Ninja alien race that have a pretty advanced caste system. In the episode these aliens pretty much start off as being the villains, but thanks to a beautiful twist toward the end of the set. They wind up actually being allies, but somewhat neutral when it comes to their feelings regarding the human race.

Episode thee of Shutdown sees the aliens heading toward the Tower Of London and an epic battle ensues between the UNIT forces and the alien threat.

By the time the final episode comes round. The villain is revealed to be a powerful business woman who has found or shall we say stolen an alternative power source to oil. Felicity Lyme as played wonderfully by Alice Krige turns out to be every bit the equal to Kate Stewart when it comes to taking command. Some of the scenes played out between Lyme and Kate Stewart are fantastic to listen too. Both Krige and Jemma Redgrave put in some stellar acting performances in this set.

In the final story UNIT and the Aliens find themselves having to work together in order to bring Felicity Lyme to justice and put an end to her plans.

The acting and sound editing in this set are fantastic fun. If you loved the first UNIT set. You will absolutely love this latest addition to the universe. How could you not enjoy a conspiracy story involving Alien Ninja Warriors.

You can get your own copy of UNIT SHUTDOWN here at Big Finish.

Big Finish: Unit Shutdown
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Sound Production

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
One Comment
  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    1 July 2016 at 6:36 pm -

    The whole set was awesome, but my favorite was ‘The Battle Of The Tower.’ It made my inner Anglophile very happy. 🙂

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