The Doctor’s friends at the
United Nations Unified Intelligence Taskforce have been a part of the show on and off since they helped the Second Doctor see off the Cybermen in 1969’s ‘The Invasion’.
Formed in response to the Yeti attack (‘The Web of Fear’), their remit covers “…the odd, the unexplained. Anything on Earth or even beyond.”
In the Pertwee years, UNIT provided the Doctor with a home and a lab, as well as a roster of reliable sidekicks for him to be superior too during his Earth exile. The organisation has changed much over the years, but in its current incarnation is fronted by scientist Kate Stewart, daughter of the Doctor’s stalwart companion Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
Celebrating their return to the show in ‘The Zygon Invasion’, CultBox presents a rundown of notable UNIT staffers over the years…
Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (‘The Web of Fear to ‘Death in Heaven’)
The stalwart companion of multiple Doctors, though primarily associated with the Third, The Brig surely has to top any list of UNIT personnel.
Pragmatic and unflappable in the face of danger, he led UNIT operations in the UK from its creation and was forever dancing the line between British political interest and UNIT’s Geneva based leaders.
Most recently, he made a surprise appearance as a death-converted Cyberman, saving his daughter Kate as she fell from a UNIT aircraft. Yes, even after death, the Brigadier was doing his duty.
Surgeon-Lieutenant Harry Sullivan (‘Robot’ to ‘The Android Invasion’)
Assigned to the Doctor in the wake of his regeneration, Harry travelled in the TARDIS alongside Sarah Jane for a time. A square jawed heroic chap, he coped well with the madcap Time Lord and proved his worth on various occasions.
However, when returned to earth he opted to return to his medical duties.
Jo Grant (‘Terror of the Autons’ to ‘The Green Death’)
Accident-prone Jo managed to wangle her way into a civilian UNIT job due to family connections and ended up becoming a vital member of the team, as well as the Doctor’s travelling companion in the TARDIS.
Eventually, her activist leanings came into conflict with her work for UNIT and she left to head up the jungle looking for rare fungi with her new beau, Professor Clifford Jones.
Kate Stewart (‘The Power of Three’ to ‘The Zygon Inversion’)
Dropping the ‘Lethbridge’ from her name to avoid nepotism, Kate is UNIT’s Head of Scientific Research and appears to have refashioned the organisation to be led by scientific rather than military principles.
Meeting the Eleventh Doctor in on two occasions and the Tenth Doctor once, she survived an encounter with the Twelfth Doctor in 2014, attempting to foil Missy’s Cyber-planned invasion of Earth.
Kate has returned twice so far in Season 9, dealing with the Missy’s plane prank in ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’ and taking on the Zygons again in ‘The Zygon Invasion’ and ‘The Zygon Inversion’.
Doctor Martha Jones, Medical Officer (‘The Sontaran Stratagem’ to ‘Journey’s End’)
After her TARDIS travels, Martha was soon recruited to the ranks and served under Colonel Mace. After that, she went on to work on Project Indigo, the organisation’s attempt to retro-engineer teleport technology, and was briefed on implementing the Osterhagen Project – UNIT’s final solution in the case of alien invasion,
During her tenure, Martha was loaned out to Torchwood for a time, and ultimately went freelance with her husband, Mickey Smith.
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