Ever since Russell T. Davies was announced as returning to Doctor Who, the former/upcoming showrunner has made clear that he wants the show to be more than just a single series—something he’d championed the last time he was involved in making it. Now, it looks like he’s already moving into making that a reality.
The Radio Times is reporting that Doctor Who’s Earth-based anti-alien-invasion organization UNIT—the UNified Intelligence Taskforce in Doctor Who’s modern era, having formerly been a United Nations entity when it was introduced in 1968—will be the focus of the first Doctor Who spinoff under Davies’ return to the franchise, with Jemma Redgrave set to lead the series as Kate Stewart. UNIT was particularly a close ally of Jon Pertwee’s third Doctor during a period of the show where the titular Time Lord was exiled to Earth by his people, where he became a scientific advisor and key figure in helping UNIT combat extraterrestrial and paranormal threats across the world.
The organization formally returned—after some Easter egg teases in the first season of Doctor Who’s revival—in the 2005 holiday special “The Christmas Invasion” before becoming a regular staple, especially in Steven Moffat’s tenure as showrunner. It was there in 2012 that Moffat introduced a new head of the organization in Redgrave’s recurring character Kate Stewart, the daughter of Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, a key UNIT companion of the Third and Fourth Doctors played by the late Nicholas Courtney.
While the BBC has yet to formally comment on the report, it’s a move that makes sense for the series. Beyond Davies’ public intentions to branch out Doctor Who with spinoffs, Redgrave is already set to return to the series in Ncuti Gatwa’s first season as the Doctor, so spinoff setup potential is already high—and in a world where the BBC might not yet be willing to do a “dark” Doctor Who spinoff akin to Torchwood again just yet, a more family-friendly alien-fighting series is a no-brainer.
We’ll bring you more on Doctor Who’s spinoff plans as we learn them.
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