One of the objectives Russell T Davies had when he returned to the role of producer on the BBC’s Doctor Who was to open up the universe the show with an unspecified amount of spinoff series. And now, an indication of what the fist of those spinoffs will be has emerged.
According to Deadline, one of the upcoming Doctor Who spinoff shows will center on UNIT, the international military organization that the Doctor sometimes joins forces with to repeal invasions from beyond our solar system. Jemma Redgrave, who has already appeared ten times over the last decade as UNIT’s head Kate Stewart, will return to headline the show.
The UNIT concept was first introduced into Doctor Who lore in the 1968 serial “The Invasion,” in which the Second Doctor, as played by Patrick Troughton, teamed with the group to stop an invasion of London from the otherwordly half-human half-robot Cybermen. Just two years late, UNIT would become an integral part of actor Jon Pertwee’s tenure playing the occasional face changing (and actor changing) time traveling hero of the show as the Doctor was exiled to Earth by his own people, the Time Lords. The organization remained an on-again off-again presence through the show’s original run which ended in 1990 as well as the series revival which started in 2005.
Redgrave’s character is the daughter of UNIT’s founding commander Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, played by Nicholas Courtney. Kate, however, is a far cry from her father, hoping to arrive at solutions from a more scientifically-applied peaceful approach as opposed to his more militaristic response to crisis.
Davies was behind the 2005 revival of the series and oversaw its production for five years, during which that time he launched two spin-off series – Torchwood, aimed at older, more mature audiences and The Sarah Jane Adventures, aimed at younger audiences. His return to the series was announced last October, with his first duties being the creation of three speial episodes that will celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary which will star past Doctor Who lead David Tennant before launching the rebooted show’s fourteenth season with Ncuti Gatwa taking the lead.