The Brigadier as in The Terror of the Autons
Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart
27 September 1968-27 September 1989
First Seen In:
The Five Doctors (guest)
Maurice Brooks, Jeremiah Krage
Other Voice Actors:
click on images to enlarge
source TARDIS Wikia
Nicholas Courtney sadly died on 22nd February 2011
Brigadier General Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart KCB, VC, DC, (The King of Terror) often called the Brigadier, was one of the founders of the united Nations Intelligence Taskforce. Through his work, he became a trusted ally of the Doctor, as well as a personal friend. Lethbridge-Stewart had a few extraterrestrial encounters in his early life, but they were all forgotten. A turning point in his life was the Great Intelligence’s invasion of London, where he met the Second Doctor and Anne Travers and was inspired to defend Earth from alien threats. Working closely with Travers, Lethbridge-Stewart founded and led the Home-Army Fifth Operational Corps for a short period — during which he was promoted to Brigadier — before becoming the commander of UNIT’s UK operations. Lethbridge-Stewart grew close to The Doctor’s third incarnation in the several years they spent together combating alien incursions during The Doctor’s exile on Earth. After the Third Doctor’s regeneration — which the Brigadier witnessed — The Doctor became more distanced from Alistair and UNIT. After several adventures with later incarnations of the Doctor, the Brigadier retired from UNIT and became a teacher at Brendon Public School. Lethbridge-Stewart eventually left Brendon and returned to working with UNIT, having many more encounters with The Doctor and extraterrestrial menaces. By some accounts, the Brigadier died in the early 21st century and was later resurrected as a Cyberman. By other accounts, the Brigadier’s body was rejuvenated during the wedding of Bernice Summerfield and Jason Kane in 2010, allowing him to live far into the 21st century and play a pivotal role in the Earth-Avalon War. Alistair’s daughter, Kate Stewart, gave him a continuing legacy, both in her role as UNIT’s Chief Scientific officer and through her interactions with The Doctor. He made sure to that she learned to always trust science to find an answer, rather than rely solely on the military solution like he often did.
Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart came from a long line of soldiers, nearly 400 years worth, who dated back to the Stewarts from Lanark and the Lethbridges in Devon. (The Forgotten Son) He was of Scottish descent. (Terror of the Zygons) Both his grandfather and great-uncle were born in Scotland, as was his father. (What’s Past is Prologue, The Note) As they approached their respective regenerations, the First Doctor and the Twelfth Doctor met Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart, a relative of Alistair who was slated to die alongside a German soldier in Ypres on Christmas. The two Doctors promised that they would check up on his family, but the Twelfth Doctor adjusted Archibald’s time period slightly so that time resumed for Archibald and his opponent a couple of hours after Archibald left. As a result, the two men’s standoff ended with the beginning of the Christmas truce, changing the future slightly so that both men survived. (Twice Upon a Time) Alistair grew up believing Archibald was his great uncle, although it remains unclear whether or not he discovered the truth after 1945; that Archibald was really the father of Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, and thus Alistair’s grandfather. (The Note)
Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was born on 22 February either 1929 or 1930 (Blood Heat, No Future, The Forgotten Son) to Mary and Gordon Conall Lethbridge-Stewart. (The Forgotten Son) According to one account, he was an only child, and was raised in Simla, India. He was sent to an English prep school. According to this source, Alistair’s mother died after he left for England. (Island of Death) Another account held that he was born in Cornwall, England with an older brother, James Lethbridge-Stewart. His mother did not die as early according to this account. He was known among friends and family as “Al”. The young Alistair was pressured to live up to the military traditions of the Lethbridge-Stewart family, particularly by his father (who was an officer in the Royal Air Force) (The Forgotten Son) and Alistair Conall Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart (the man he believed to be his grandfather). (The Warkeeper’s Crown) Alistair’s brother and his friends created a group known as “the Bledoe Cadets”. However, Alistair was not allowed to join as he was considered too young. (The Forgotten Son) When he kept following them, they would drop him in cowpats or drench him to make him stop. (The Bledoe Cadets and the Bald Man of Pengriffen) On one occasion, a seven-year-old Alistair went with his brother and friends to a park as his mother visited with friends. The other boys, all four years older than him, began jumping over a small gorge to impress a group of girls. They convinced him to try as well, but due to his underdeveloped legs he fell into the muddy ravine. (The Forgotten Son) In 1937, the Cadets threatened to make Alistair stay overnight in the ‘haunted’ Pengriffen fougou. Henry Barns, who had gone home early, was unaware this hadn’t happened and went to the moors to warn the other cadets about a stranger spotted around there; he was then held prisoner by the man, escaped murderer Jim Cliskey. When James took the Cadets to find and rescue Henry, Alistair was taken along and helped alert the police, endearing him to the group. (The Bledoe Cadets and the Bald Man of Pengriffen) Later that year, Alistair, his brother and Raymond Phillips decided to sneak into the local abandoned house, called the Manor. There, they were approached by a haunting figure in dated clothing which rested his hand on James’ head before his body fell apart. Running away, James told the other boys (including Henry Barns, who was watching from afar) not to talk about it, an order which all of the boys but Raymond completely ignored. Afterwards, Alistair became a member of “the Cadets”, a bittersweet fact as James became isolated, appearing to talk to an imaginary friend he called “Maha”: a manifestation of the Great Intelligence, hoping to reform itself. Months later, in January 1938, the Cadets gathered at the disused barn at the Puckator Farm to exchange presents which they had received for the holidays. Alistair was allowed to come by Raymond, due to Ray missing James as a friend. Outside the barn, James began explaining sign language to his brother, and furthermore how the cows near the barn appeared to be confused and trying to talk to a voice that wasn’t talking to them. Ray asked James to explain what had been happening to him since they met the Hollow Man in the woods, but James said that he could explain it to neither Ray nor his brother before wandering off. James and “Maha” soon grew to be a burden to the family, and his mother had to be called in often to talk to the headmaster about him. Because of this, Alistair soon grew somewhat jealous of the attention that his brother was receiving from his mother. On 20 February, his birthday party was held (his actual birth date was two days later, but it was a school night and thus judged to be a poor time for a party), an event he looked forward to as it would finally be a day where his family would pay attention to him and not his brother. Despite this, a scene was created at the party where Alistair and his brother began arguing. Alistair said that Maha had destroyed their relationship, and that James’ “friend” had made him someone other than the brother that he cared about. As their mother took James away, Alistair was left in tears; his birthday ruined. A week before James’ birthday in the same year, his mother announced to the boys that their father would be returning home for the day to be with them. James did not want to see his father, and ran into the woods. Alistair and Ray went to look for him, and found him standing at the clearing over Golitha Falls. Crying, James said that Maha had come for Alistair and had meant to hurt him. He said that he should never have listened to the voice, and apologised for how he had been acting. The Great Intelligence then forced James to jump to his death, in an act of spite against Alistair for thwarting it in his later years. Alistair tried to retrieve his brother’s body, but was too short to do so. The three were eventually found by a group of adults who had heard Ray’s screams, which Ray did not remember making. (The Forgotten Son) For Christmas 1938, a fairly depressed Alistair and his family visited his grandfather’s estate. His grandfather gave Alistair a box of toy soldiers and then asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” (The Warkeeper’s Crown)
In 1940, during the London Blitz, he spent a night in a public shelter in Eaton Square. (The Ghosts of N-Space) His father Gordon was listed as Missing in Action in 1945, an act that cemented the sixteen-year-old Alistair’s dislike for military service. That same year, his mother insisted that they move from the town, convinced that it was causing all the death in her life. The Great Intelligence spent some time tugging at their minds, slowly making memories of their hometown unclear and even completely removing James from all of their memories. Alistair promised to keep in touch with Ray, but his broken memory stopped him from writing more than a few letters. (The Forgotten Son) He had started to grow close to his brother’s old girlfriend Jemima Fleming but the removed memories made him lose touch with her as well. (In His Kiss) The Lethbridge-Stewarts had lived with his mother’s sister and her husband, Uncle Tommy, for a brief time before moving on to Coleshill where his mother spent the rest of her life. Alistair stayed for only a brief time due to school. (The Forgotten Son) His English schools included Liskeard Grammar School during the late 1930s and early ’40s, (The Forgotten Son) Harrow in 1943 (The Devil Goblins from Neptune) and Holborough, where he first met Teddy Fitzoliver. (The Paradise of Death) In school, he learned basic French and some Latin, though dropped the latter at sixth form. He was in the first eleven in a school cricket team, played in a junior rugby team, and almost won the middleweight boxing championships during his last year at Fettes. (Deadly Reunion) Ironically, given his future occupation, Alistair read science fiction magazines but dismissed alien stories as a load of rubbish. (Deadly Reunion)
MILITARY CAREER AS A PRIVATE
He studied to be a maths teacher before being called up for national service in the early 1950s. He served as a private during the Korean War, where he first met Second Lieutenant Spencer Pemberton, who impressed on the young Lethbridge-Stewart the importance of being a military officer. (The Ambush!) Experiences in North Korea left him unwilling to ever be captured. (The Enfolded Time) When returning from Korea in 1951, at the age of twenty one, he visited New York City. (The Devil Goblins from Neptune) “Old Spence’s” influence caused Alistair to finally enlist at Sandhurst Military School. (The Ambush!) He became acquainted with fellow student Billy Rutlidge. (The Invasion) People who knew him said he had great ambitions even then. (Who Killed Kennedy) At Sandhurst he was one of the “holy trinity” of cadets with Walter Douglas and Leslie Johnston, under the watchful eye of Brigadier Oliver Hamilton. (The Forgotten Son) During manouveres, he almost shot training marshal Marmaduke Harrington-Smythe; it was the marshal’s own incompetence that caused this and Harrington-Smythe was forced to resign. (The Scales of Injustice) His final report awarded 93 percent for officer-like Qualities and 90 percent for Leadership, and noted that the cadet seemed to believe that he was always right. (Deadly Reunion) His mother believed he’d never “courted” after his national service, being too busy to find a woman. (The Forgotten Son) This was only partly true as he’d have a series of brief relationships.
FROM SECOND LIEUTENANT TO COLONEL
At twenty one, he became a fully commissioned second lieutenant. He lost his virginity to a girl named Vera whilst drunk on the night of his passing out. (Deadly Reunion) His first assignment was on a Royal Navy mission to update British maps of the Greek Islands, shortly after World War II. He ended up in Albania on a mission against Stalinist rebels. This was his first encounter with the extra-normal. He ran into the Immortals, fell in love with Persephone, and entered the Underworld to fight Hades for her. The couple spent two weeks together before she reluctantly wiped his memory. (Deadly Reunion) In 1954, he was a lieutenant stationed in Sierra Leone. While lost there, Lethbridge-Stewart met Mariatu, the daughter of a chieftain. Unknown to him she bore him a son, Mariama. (Transit) In the mid-50s, he was stationed at Kent and after some initial conflict, he became good friends with fellow soldier Samson Ware. Lethbridge-Stewart and his men frequented a local pub run by Pearl Hammond, a former Special Operations Executive veteran (Alistair didn’t initially believe she had a parachutist’s wings). She mentioned in passing about a paranormal entity, taking the form of mist and odd radio signals, that she’d encountered during the war. When the entity appeared at Kent, disrupting manouveres by Lethbridge-Stewart’s men, he and Samson took the group to her pub for safety. While the incident was never truly explained, Lethbridge-Stewart was commended for preventing any deaths. (The Lock-In) Alistair and Samson lost contact in 1956 after Alistair punched a cab driver for racially abusing Samson. While he was serving punishment, Samson was stationed in Cyprus and the officer was unable to find him. (The Showstoppers) At some point he joined the Scots Guards and was stationed for a time at Aldgate. (The Green Death) Some time in the 1960s, eleven years before the spider invasion, he had a romantic encounter with Doris in a Brighton Hotel. (Planet of the Spiders) Their relationship ended when Lethbridge-Stewart was dispatched overseas again. (The Warkeeper’s Crown) In 1963, he was on manoeuvres at Salisbury. The Eleventh Doctor borrowed his identity and called himself “colonel” while trying to enlist the aid of the American military. (Shroud of Sorrow) He’d spent time in India with the army and had also visited the Caribbean, where he’d learned how to parse Bajan English. (The Forgotten Son) He’d rarely visited his mother since entering Sandhurst. (The Forgotten Son)
FIRST CONTACT AND RETURN TO BLEDOE
On returning to Britain, he met and married his first wife. In one account, this first wife was Fiona and they married eight years before his second encounter with Silurians. (The Scales of Injustice, Downtime) In another, while he would later marry Fiona, (The Enfolded Time) his first wife was Lance-Corporal Sally Wright, the adjutant to his mentor Major General Hamilton. They were engaged after the Event. Despite this, Lethbridge-Stewart was aware he didn’t love Sally and this was just a marriage to a friend who would understand his career. (The Forgotten Son) Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, while serving in Libya with the Scots Guards 2nd Battalion, was called back to England on the request of his old mentor and friend, Colonel Spencer Pemberton, to assist with the London Event. He was air-dropped into London after the web fully surrounded the city. (The Ambush!) He replaced the deceased Colonel Pemberton, who was killed in hand-to-hand combat with a Yeti. He and Driver Evans were the sole survivors of a Robot Yeti ambush at Holborn before heading down to the London Underground to take command. It was at this time that Lethbridge-Stewart first met The Doctor, in their second incarnation. Lethbridge-Stewart showed a quick, decisive manner – though with a brief moment of shellshock after losing a second platoon in a running battle – and a ready acceptance of events, even believing the story about the TARDIS from the start. (The Web of Fear) With the Yeti defeated, Lethbridge-Stewart (living in a small flat in Pimlico) had to help with the repopulation of London; the sight of the deserted city depressed him. Lance Corporal Bell and Major Douglas Walter assisted him. (The Forgotten Son) The colonel pitched the idea of a permanent military intelligence group with rapid-reaction capability to investigate alien and other unusual phenomena that threatened the nation, (Who Killed Kennedy) even suggesting the united Nations as a sponsor, but Major General Hamilton vetoed this, saying the UN would not back them and it was unlikely the British Army could afford a new force. Hamilton convinced him to seek out further proof while the general worked on high command. The proof came when an investigation into a walking corpse and his missing mother led him back to Bledoe, where he became aware of another incursion from the Great Intelligence. Here, Lethbridge-Stewart learned the origins of the Intelligence, and its connection to the death of his older brother in 1938 — though he was unable to truly remember his brother, much to the dismay of his old friend Raymond. The Great Intelligence was repulsed from Bledoe and finally killed, though Lethbridge-Stewart was aware that this was a time-traveller and the contemporary Intelligence could still attack. Following these events, Lethbridge-Stewart found himself with a new “nephew”, Owain Vine, the reincarnated soul of James. To his annoyance, the Army considered this third attack by the alien to be part of a one long “three stage” attack. He decided to investigate India, a part formerly Tibet, to find evidence of potential alien threats. (The Forgotten Son)
FORMATION OF HAVOC
Fresh from the London Event, he was sent to Aden and fought in the Aden Emergency. (The Devil Goblins from Neptune) Men died under his command. (The Schizoid Earth) His trip to Tibet was interrupted when his plane was sucked sideways in time in a freak accident, landing in the 1959 of an alternate universe. The locals believed he was a foreign agent and interrogated him extensively, before the local James Lethbridge-Stewart, a Coldstream Guards major, was convinced of him. The two travelled to a third reality’s 1940, meeting Nikola Tesla and causing the events that dragged Lethbridge-Stewart to the other reality, but the interrogation’s drugs left him confused and believing he’d simply been an East German prisoner. (The Schizoid Earth) The memories came back slowly. (Beast of Fang Rock) Following his rehabilitation, he was sent on a presumed easy misson to check out the (allegedly dead) singer Ed Hill. (The Schizoid Earth) He got there to find Hill dead and the area cleaned of all evidence, leading him to realise some parts of the government already had evidence of alien threats and he wasn’t being told everything. (Beast of Fang Rock) In his second mission after the ‘Eastern Block’, he went to Wales to find and retrieve a Soviet ambassador’s daughter from a cult. The cult was formed around a menacing alien creature called the Grinning Man and Lethbridge-Stewart was almost killed encountering them; to his surprise, and before he could shoot the Grinning Man, the ‘creature’ turned out to be the local pub owner in a mask. Lethbridge-Stewart was left worried that his judgement was shot and he was too focused on finding aliens. (The Cult of the Grinning Man) At Fang Rock, Lethbridge-Stewart followed up a lead from Owain and was forced to fully accept time travel as a fact when Anne Travers demonstrated it in front of him. He also fought off a Rutan attack and was made aware this was the third in a series of Fang Rock incidents. Travers revealed she was investigating the Vault on Hamilton’s behalf (and he learned Department C19 were involved in it) and that The Doctor, codenamed “Cosmic Hobo” by Whitehall, was known to have been on Earth five times before. (Beast of Fang Rock) Hamilton sent him to meet with Vice-Marshal Ian “Chunky” Gilmore, who told him about the Shoreditch Incident and gave him military files on “Cosmic Hobo”. The encounter showed him evidence of alien visits to Earth that went back thousands of years. He was also used as bait: the Vault was operating out of government control and Hamilton & Gilmore had hoped the “Cosmic Hobo” files would draw out its agents, allowing them to find and shut down its Citadel bunker. This led to Lethbridge-Stewart and Gilmore being pursued by a Yeti and after finding the Citadel, the Colonel was distraught to learn his old Sandhurst friend Leslie Johnston was working for the Vault. Johnston and the base were captured. (Downtime, The Dogs of War) An investigation into the nuclear company Dominex led Lethbridge-Stewart and Harold Chorley into a clash with the Dominators. The invaders had their patsy Sir Anthony Bufton, the Energy Minister, arrange for the Colonel to be held by MI5 as a deranged obsessive. With Hamilton’s help, Alistair escaped and assembled a small team of ex-soldiers, all owed favours to Pemberton, to raid Dominex. They stopped the Dominators’ plan to start nuclear war. This meant the government finally approved of a response force. The resulting black ops group, officially the Home-Army Fifth Operational Corps and usually called HAVOC, was on paper a special forces group linked to the Scots Guard and would have to use ‘best of the rest’ recruits to stay under the radar. The old LONGBOW base under Edinburgh Castle, Dolerite Base, was given over to HAVOC. (Mutually Assured Domination) To the Colonel’s annoyance, HAVOC needed money from industrialist Peyton Bryden to stay under the radar and thus he had to compromise his wishes: a scientific research team staffed by civilians was the main bugbear. (Moon Blink) He was further frustrated by having to turn the rabble and rotten apples he was receiving into a functioning unit and worse, in a mission at Chelsea Barracks, he couldn’t even use HAVOC staff as they were elsewhere in the country receiving training. (The Showstoppers) When reading the files necessary for setting up HAVOC, he was shocked to learn there was a British space programme and that it was aiming for Mars. (Moon Blink) He had a chance encounter with Samson Ware, now a TV stuntman, at the pub in summer 1969 and convinced his old friend to join HAVOC. The encounter had also led him to uncover and stop a plot by Nazi war criminal Vilhelm Schädengeist, who was using a TV studio to terrorise Londoners into entering his experimentation bunker. Alistair not only gave a fake story of the mission to Chorley to keep him contained, he covered it up with Hamilton out of fear Bryden would try to dig up Schädengeist’s bunker. To his surprise and delight, he was promoted to brigadier in 1969 to ensure he could oversee HAVOC. (The Showstoppers)
The earliest HAVOC mission was to transfer alien technology from the Vault to the newly opened Dolerite Base. The Brigadier and his men were ambushed by mercenaries but successfully fought them off. The following day, he was irritated to learn Whitehall was launching a surprise inspection of Dolerite on its second day open, assuming they’d be looking for problems. Subsequently, he defended the planet from the Ymir (The Grandfather Infestation) and shortly after faced a ‘fungusman’ invasion of Hull, where he had to comfort an infected and dying Private Dockery. (The Last Duty) When shipping began to disappear in the Agean, HAVOC was sent to the area to investigate; Owain had already been feeding Alistair information about Rolph Vorster’s mining activities and how they seemed linked. Alistair was forced to team up with Soviet naval agents under Captain Grigoriy Bugayev to stop Vorster’s plan to exploit an alien entity that was converting flesh into stone. To his dismay, to stop the entity – which eventually required a nuclear strike on the seabed – he had to knowingly kill infected humans. This included friends of Owain’s and the two were left estranged. (Blood of Atlantis) Lethbridge-Stewart briefly spent some time in Wormwood Scrubs Prison, where he was sent to break out Hugh Godfrey, so that he would lead him to the location of an alien stone. (Mind of Stone) Lethbridge-Stewart left HAVOC in 1970. (Scary Monsters) It continued to operate after his departure but he was under orders to keep it secret, to the extent of pretending certain alien concepts were unfamiliar to him. (The Enfolded Time) Both HAVOC and his time in it were still unknown to the public in the 2010s. (The Forgotten Son original opening) Just before joining UNIT, he attended a Middle Eastern peace conference. (The Paradise of Death) Three years into his marriage to Fiona, his daughter Kate was born. (Downtime)
THE UNIT YEARS
Eventually, he risked his career by going over High Command’s heads and petitioning the UN to form a rapid response force for alien threats. He personally spoke to Security Council members about the alien threats. (Who Killed Kennedy) UNIT was duly organised, with Lethbridge-Stewart promoted to Brigadier and appointed head of the united Kingdom branch. (The Invasion) This made him unpopular with many senior British officers. (Who Killed Kennedy) A photo was taken of the Brigadier around this time. This was the photo used to show his record as a companion of the Doctor in the Black Archive. (The Day of the Doctor) Four years after the Yeti invasion, UNIT investigated the mysterious activities of electronics industrialist Tobias Vaughn. Vaughn was allied with the Cybermen in their attempt to conquer Earth. With the help of the Second Doctor and his companions, the Brigadier and his men thwarted them. (The Invasion) Having found The Doctor’s help to have been invaluable, the Brigadier set out to recruit a full-time scientific advisor to UNIT. He approached Dr Elizabeth Shaw, who was initially sceptical of both the offer and the idea of aliens. At the same time, he re-encountered The Doctor, who had been forced to regenerate into his third incarnation and exiled to 20th century Earth by the Time Lords. The Brigadier took on the new Doctor as UK UNIT’s scientific advisor, with Liz Shaw acting as his assistant. (Spearhead from Space) He and the new Doctor lacked the easy rapport they had enjoyed during The Doctor’s previous incarnation. Their relationship was further strained when Lethbridge-Stewart ordered Corporal Nutting to set off explosive charges around the Wenley Moor Silurian colony, after promising The Doctor he had no hostile intentions towards them, either killing the Silurians, (Doctor Who and the Silurians, Cold Blood) or simply entombing them. (The Scales of Injustice) It was shortly after this incident that the Brigadier answered a call for help from an old friend and colleague Colonel Heinrich Konrad, UNIT commander at Kriedskind Castle. Discovering that Konrad had authorised and taken part in an experiment with an extract from an alien plant, which caused previous occupants of the Castle to manifest themselves, the Brigadier called The Doctor for assistance. After what happened on Wenley Moor, he was not sure The Doctor would come — but he arrived in time, and set up a jamming device that kept the temporal attackers at bay just long enough for the UNIT troops to get away from the Castle before it was destroyed. (Old Soldiers) The Arkwood Experiments TVC The Brig and the Masters The Brigadier joins the Headmasters in attempting to protect Arkwood. (The Arkwood Experiments) The Brigadier took The Doctor to an investigation on an oddly situated zoo, where they were informed and shown that the more dangerous of the animals (such as panthers and lions) were acting docile and domesticated while the animals known to be personable and friendly (such as penguins and a gazelle) were acting violent and rambunctious. Discovering that these symptoms had started during a school field trip to the park, The Doctor deduced that one of the students at Arkwood Private School had to be behind this.
Travelling to the school, The Doctor and the Brigadier discovered that at least one student had already suffered the same symptoms. Soon, the entire school had been contaminated and the students prepared to attack the local town. While the Brigadier and the school’s Headmasters tried and failed to stop the students at the school entrance, The Doctor formulated a chemical antidote and cured the students, as the student behind the incident was sent to a detention centre. (The Arkwood Experiments) After RAF pilot Frank Parry was killed in the Easter Aquhorthies stone circle, the Brigadier ordered Lieutenant Mike Yates to place a security cordon around it. Later, when Yates had gone missing, The Doctor found him being interrogated by a group of Armidians. Yates broke free and the Armidians vanished. With the Armidians still in the local area, the Brigadier ordered the Tharon stone the Armidians used to draw power from igneous rock to be destroyed. The Brigadier led one of three groups to find the stone circles the Armidians had teleported to. The Brigadier’s group killed one of the Armidians that was trying to use the stone circles to wipe out humanity. According to this account, the Brigadier then recruited Yates into UNIT with a promotion to captain rank. (Vengeance of the Stones) When both The Doctor and Liz had disappeared, the Brigadier brought troops, including Mike Yates, with him to Smallmarshes in Kent, where a Silurian was seen, to find them. Later, after returning to HQ, the Brigadier received a report that The Doctor, Sergeant Yates, a Silurian, and the missing teenager Marc Marshall had been taken aboard a stealth plane. A group of UNIT troops led by the Brigadier followed the aircraft to the Vault in Northumberland. The Doctor, Liz, and Yates, along with the Silurian hybrid Tahni, were rescued and the Pale Man’s plans to conquer the world were stopped, but the Pale Man had escaped capture and Marc’s heart gave out. Afterwards, Liz returned from the Silurians’ shelter and went back to Cambridge to continue her research, and, according to this account, this is when Yates was promoted to Captain. Around this time, Fiona filed for divorce. Although Fiona did not contest Alistair’s right to see Kate, (The Scales of Injustice) Kate later became estranged from both of her parents. (Downtime) The Brigadier employed Jo Grant as The Doctor’s new assistant. Along with Captain Yates, they were immediately plunged into another Nestene invasion of Earth where the Brigadier met The Master for the first time. (Terror of the Autons) When a wave of violence swept across Britain, the Brigadier met Persephone again and his memory was restored. The Brigadier also found himself against Hades and so he and the Doctor had to make an alliance with The Master. (Deadly Reunion) BrigUndercover The Brigadier goes undercover as a delivery van driver to infiltrate Stangmoor Prison. (The Mind of Evil) Lethbridge-Stewart oversaw UNIT when it provided security for a World Peace Conference, while The Doctor investigated an unusual machine at Stangmoor Prison.
However, both their jobs coincided, as The Master had devised an elaborate plan to disrupt the conference — first through an assassination attempt and then through a hostage situation at the prison. With The Doctor trapped inside, the Brigadier and UNIT infiltrated Stangmoor to retake control and rescue the hostages. However, The Master’s allies within the prison hijacked a missile as well. Due to some careful bargaining by The Doctor, The Master was distracted enough for UNIT to destroy the Machine and the missile, although The Master managed to escape. (The Mind of Evil) UNIT troops took charge of a crashed spaceship near the Nuton Power Complex in south east England. The Brigadier accompanied The Doctor, Jo, Government Minister Horatio Chinn and some scientists in gaining access to the ship and encountering the, seemingly benign, Axons. They then presented their new material Axonite which could do many wondrous things but it was Chinn who gained possession of the Axonite before any negotiations could be started. It became clear that The Master was helping the Axons to invade the Earth and UNIT troops fought many battles against the now hideously tentacled beings. They were only stopped when The Doctor managed to put a time loop around their ship. (The Claws of Axos) When The Doctor and Jo investigated an archaeological dig in the village of Devil’s End, they discovered The Master masquerading as the local vicar. With them and other members of UNIT in the village the Brigadier was unable to access Devil’s End because of a heat barrier which had been generated by The Master. He and his men eventually gained entry through the barrier, but could not pass the animated gargoyle Bok, who was unaffected by gunfire and a bazooka shot. When Bok was rendered immobile after the Dæmon Azal’s powers turned against himself, the Brigadier and UNIT managed to arrest The Master and take him away to stand trial for his many crimes. (The Dæmons) Major Carver, the father of a soldier vaporised by Bok, held the Brigadier and the Doctor hostage until they told him his son had died fighting against Victor Magister. (Degrees of Truth) While in talks over an international incident, the Brigadier arranged an investigation into the “ghost” that delegate Sir Reginald Styles had apparently met at Auderly House before the delegates arrived for the World Peace Conference. After The Doctor drove off in the Brigadier’s Land Rover to follow some 22nd century guerrilla fighters, the Brigadier took part in the Conference. When The Doctor returned from the 22nd century, the Brigadier and UNIT helped repel a Dalek attack. The Brigadier evacuated Auderly House, as Shura’s dalekanium bomb would have killed all the delegates inside, sparking World War III. (Day of the Daleks) The Brigadier and the rest of UNIT began to find it difficult to remember The Master, during an invasion by silver crabs along the British coastline. The Doctor deduced these were Sild, and were causing everyone to forget The Master by what he called “time fade”. The Doctor decided he had to spring The Master from his prison at Durlsdon Heath before the Sild got to him but his time ran out and the Brigadier had to have the RAF blow up the prison. In the aftermath The Doctor seemingly disappeared which caused Lethbridge-Stewart and the rest of the UNIT team much sadness at the loss of their friend. However, some time later The Doctor turned up again, without The Master, but having dealt with the “time fade”. The Master also showed up to gloat, but once again UNIT were able to successfully arrest him and take him away. (Harvest of Time) After The Doctor and Jo left for Peladon, (The Curse of Peladon) the Brigadier and UNIT found themselves attacked by a fascist version of Earth. The Brigadier first employed Ian and Barbara Chesterton and, reluctantly, The Master to help combat the infiltration. (The Face of the Enemy)
While The Doctor was investigating temporal anomalies in Dorset, the Brigadier received a call from a woman who revealed that she was the leader of UNIT in the future who had come into the past through the temporal anomalies. The Brigadier accepted this explanation and assured the woman that, based on the impression he had received of her during their conversation, the future of UNIT was in safe hands. (The Sacrifice of Jo Grant) The Brigadier pointed his gun at the Mentor, telling him to put his hands in the air. The Doctor assured the Brigadier that the Mentor was a “second-rate impostor “. (Death to The Doctor!) Although the Brigadier and the Third Doctor’s relationship improved to a close friendship over time, The Doctor’s formal ties with UNIT began to gradually fade when his exile ended. (The Three Doctors) When Jo Grant left UNIT to get married, The Doctor lost another tie to the organisation. (The Green Death) The Brigadier invited The Doctor to a scientific research centre to find out what happened to the leading scientists that had vanished there.
The Doctor found them (The Time Warrior) in the 13th century, (The Sontaran Experiment) and returned the scientists home. (The Time Warrior) Investigating a new theme park run by the Parakon Corporation, The Doctor persuaded the Brigadier to try out the new Experienced Reality Grid and found it manipulated the wearer. Revealing themselves to be aliens, Tragan and Freeth, the heads of the corporation, captured Sarah Jane Smith and took off in their rocket disguised within the theme park. The Doctor, the Brig and Jeremy Fitzoliver gave chase in the TARDIS and eventually arrived on the planet Parakon. However, they ran into Tragan and Freeth again and escaping into the mountains outside the main city, the Brigadier led the Kimonya tribe on an attack of the city using dozens of giant bats to save the day. (The Paradise of Death) In spring 1974, (Council of War, The Enfolded Time) dinosaurs started appearing in London and the Brigadier and UNIT had several skirmishes with various dinosaurs. It soon became clear that Captain Yates was working with the people making the dinosaurs appear. These were a group of scientists and politicians called Operation Golden Age who wanted to take humanity back in time to prehistoric Earth and start again. At another point the Brigadier was relieved of command by General Finch (another of the conspirators), but, having regained command of UNIT and the Doctor having stopped the Golden Age project from going ahead, Lethbridge-Stewart arranged for Yates an “extended sick leave and a chance to resign quietly”. (Invasion of the Dinosaurs) In 1974, The Doctor and Sarah alerted the Brigadier to the approach of a galactic cyclone that would smother the Earth as a poison cloud. The Brigadier oversaw the emergency plan to rescue the chosen few after a meeting with the Prime Minister, but The Doctor later discovered that the situation was orchestrated by the Zircon and destroyed the cloud. According to another account, General Maxwell-Lennon took charge of the crisis and was informed of it by the Fourth Doctor and his companion Joan Brown. (Doomcloud) The Brigadier was attacked and possessed by a Remoraxian, a species that wanted to flood the Earth so they could live in it. As the world began to be flooded, he acted more erratically, giving orders to reassign UNIT troops “in a haphazard, unpredictable manner”.
Liz, who had been brought back to UNIT to investigate the flooding, summoned The Doctor and Sarah to look into this. When the Brigadier ordered the Tower of London to be sealed off and flooded, Liz finally decided he was unfit for duty and gave him a check up. The Doctor found the Remoraxian inside the Brigadier and built a de-remorator to remove it. The Doctor, Sarah, Liz and the Brigadier went to the nearby UNIT seabase along with Agent Paul of the CIA. There, the Remoraxian Prime was orchestrating its plot to flood the world. Discovering that the American government authorised the nuclear bombing of Great Britain to stop the threat, The Doctor was given 29 minutes to negotiate with the Remoraxians. After the Brigadier persuaded the Remoraxian Prime that the Americans would follow through with the attack, the Remoraxians left Earth, ending the storms, and Agent Paul called off the bombing. A mysterious cloaked figure abducted Liz, Sarah and the Brigadier, leaving The Doctor a single message: “Say goodbye, Doctor.” (In With the Tide) Sarah and the Brigadier witnessed The Doctor regenerate into his fourth incarnation after battling the Eight Legs on Metebelis III. (Planet of the Spiders) Eager to leave Earth for further travels, the newly regenerated Doctor did help UNIT defeat the K1 Robot before taking off in the TARDIS with Sarah and Lt Harry Sullivan. (Robot) Not completely having abandoned the Brigadier, The Doctor had left him a space-time telegraph to contact him in case of emergency. (Revenge of the Cybermen) Even so, The Doctor was openly resentful when the Brigadier used it to summon him back to Earth for the destruction of an oil rig, which he initially considered a trivial matter. After defeating the Zygons, who had been behind the attack, The Doctor and Sarah again left in the TARDIS. (Terror of the Zygons) From The Doctor’s point of view, this was his last meeting with the Brigadier for some time. Subsequent arrivals by the Fourth Doctor kept finding the Brigadier in Geneva, with Colonel Faraday filling in during the first Kraal invasion (The Android Invasion) and Major Beresford during the Krynoid infestation. (The Seeds of Doom) During the Kraals’ second attempted invasion of Earth, the Brigadier was in Canada investigating sentient electricity pylons. (The Oseidon Adventure) In 1979, when The Doctor asked for his help, he was in Oslo at a conference about fishing stocks. (The Valley of Death) When Jasper Corrigan, the head of new private anti-alien organisation Albion Defence, attempted to discredit UNIT by using telepathically-generated monsters, the Brigadier was aided by the Ninth Doctor in tracking the source of Albion’s monsters, while UNIT nurse Tara Mishra sacrificed her career by claiming that she worked for Albion Defence to expose their crimes. When the crisis was over, the Brigadier observed that The Doctor was more like a general in this incarnation, ordering his companions and allies into action while he coordinated the plans. (official Secrets) When the mysterious Robert Bertram provided UNIT with new virtual reality training equipment, the Brigadier and Benton were forced to covertly act against the organisation when they realised that the equipment was altering the minds of those who used it. During their investigations into Bertram, they were reunited with The Doctor, now in his seventh incarnation and tracking a time-altering enemy. Identifying Bertram as his foe Mortimus, The Doctor was able to thwart his scheme by destroying the equipment The Monk was using to contain Artemis, a Chronovore he had managed to capture, but the Brigadier was killed during the struggle. Due to the role Ace had played in her rescue, Artemis granted Ace one favour, with Ace choosing to alter her history so that she was in a position to save the Brigadier from death. After this, recognising that the Brigadier’s style of command wouldn’t work in the upcoming decade, The Doctor hypnotised the Brigadier to retire from UNIT and forget about this meeting (thus preserving the Brigadier’s lack of recognition of Ace in a meeting that took place in Ace’s past and the Brigadier’s future). (No Future) Shortly before he left UNIT, Lethbridge-Stewart was made a Commander of the British Empire. (Downtime)
Position: Head of the British division of UNIT
Years: Formation – 1976
Succeeded by: Charles Crichton
LATE 1970s, AND 1980s
In either 1976 or 1981, (The Enfolded Time) after “thirty years of soldiering”, Lethbridge-Stewart retired from UNIT and the army. He took a post as an A-level maths teacher at Brendon Public School. In 1977, the Brigadier was investigating an Inca pyramid in South America. (The Cloisters of Terror) In 1977, the Brigadier saw and touched hands with his own future self from 1983. The time differential shorted out, causing an energy discharge. The Brigadier fell unconscious and spent the next six years in a state of partial amnesia, having forgotten ever meeting The Doctor (Mawdryn Undead) and his work with HAVOC. (The Enfolded Time) In 1983, when his pupils included the humanoid alien Vislor Turlough, the Brigadier encountered the Fifth Doctor, whom he did not recognise, and met his past self from 1977. This completed the temporal paradox. (Mawdryn Undead) The Brigadier was attending an anniversary reunion of UNIT when, along with the Second Doctor, he was captured and transported to the Death Zone on Gallifrey. They eventually found their way through to the Tomb of Rassilon, where the Brigadier was also reunited with the Third Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith and Tegan Jovanka. He and the Third Doctor knocked out The Master when he appeared shortly later, after which Rassilon returned him to Earth. (The Five Doctors) At some point after, the Brigadier had returned to UNIT for a meeting and was abducted as part of a trap to capture the Fourth Doctor, with the Brigadier meeting Romana and unintentionally providing a crucial distraction that allowed their current enemy to be defeated. (Heart of TARDIS) In 1984, the Brigadier sent Major Whitaker to Reykjavik to investigate an unnatural increase in volcanic and seismic activity. (The Fires Down Below) In 1989, Lethbridge-Stewart conducted an investigation of the dealings of SenéNet and was captured. He was rescued by the Sixth Doctor, who uncovered and stopped yet another invasion attempt by the Nestene Consciousness. (Business Unusual)
On 1 January 1990, humanity subconsciously realised that there had been temporal discrepancies in the last two decades. Lethbridge-Stewart attended a secret briefing with Brigadier Charles Crichton and Amara Essy, president of the united Nations Security Council, in Geneva to establish a dating protocol for the 1970s and 1980s. It was also at that time that Lethbridge-Stewart first learned of his son, Albert, who came to visit him at Brendon School. At first Lethbridge-Stewart wasn’t sure, but then accepted the offer to be a part of Albert’s life and regular presence for his soon-to-be-born first grandchild. (The Enfolded Time) In May that year his first grandson was born, Conall Wilson. Four months later, in September, unbeknown to him, a second grandson was born, this time to Kate; Gordy Lethbridge-Stewart. In 1995, the Brigadier worked with UNIT again during yet another attempt by the Great Intelligence to conquer Earth, together with two of the Doctor’s former companions, Victoria Waterfield and Sarah Jane Smith. He reunited with his estranged daughter, Kate, and for the first time, met his grandson, Gordon. At this time, the Brigadier was still working and living at Brendon Public School, and didn’t yet seem to be married to Doris. However, he was already in the process of retiring from teaching during this incident. (Downtime, Downtime) By the 1990s, Lethbridge-Stewart had married his second wife, Doris, with whom he had a memorable holiday years before. (Battlefield) The Seventh Doctor changed time slightly so that he could attend the wedding, even though originally he had missed it because he had not known of it. (A Romantic Evening) In 1997, (Project: Lazarus) the Brigadier came out of retirement briefly to help UNIT and its new commander, Brigadier Winifred Bambera, deal with an invasion from a parallel universe by the sorceress Morgaine. Once again, he met The Doctor, now in his seventh incarnation. Together they defeated Morgaine. Lethbridge-Stewart distinguished himself during these events, singlehandedly taking on the Destroyer and dispatching him, armed only with a revolver loaded with silver bullets. (Battlefield) A second photograph of the Brigadier was taken around this time to show his record as a companion of the Doctor. (The Day of the Doctor) This photo remained there, even after it had been sealed up. (The Zygon Inversion) In 1997, the Brigadier collaborated with The Doctor’s eighth incarnation and Bernice Summerfield during an interplanetary crisis between the united Kingdom and Mars. At the end of this crisis, Lethbridge-Stewart was promoted to General, although he still preferred to be called “Brigadier.” (The Dying Days) He later had a role in Scotland’s devolution. (Minuet in Hell) In 1999, he enlisted the help of the Fifth Doctor and his companions Tegan and Turlough to stop an invasion of Earth by the Jex. By this time he had met ten different incarnations of the Doctor, but he was secretive about which ones, and which order he had met them in. (The King of Terror)
In 2000, while Doris was away, the Brigadier used an ‘official’ holiday to act as an unofficial observer into strange events taking place at Lanyon Moor. During this time, he encountered the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn Smythe, helping them thwart the Trigannon Sancreda’s insane desire for revenge after he was accidentally trapped on Earth for centuries. (The Spectre of Lanyon Moor) When his former colleague, Captain Palmer, showed him a tape of seemingly invisible imps around a deserted village in April 2001, the Brigadier called The Doctor for assistance, subsequently working with the Sixth Doctor and journalist Claire Aldwych to uncover a conspiracy that stretched back to the Second World War and involved the secret son of Adolf Hitler. Although Claire was killed during a trip to 1945, The Doctor and the Brigadier defeated the Fourth Reich. (The Shadow in the Glass) In 2003, Lethbridge-Stewart served as an undercover operative for the united Nations, while officially using his experience in devolution to advise the newly formed state of Malebolgia. In the USA, he secretly investigated the use of a medical device that was used to alter human minds. He encountered the Eighth Doctor again, helping The Doctor expose the insanity of Brigham Elisha Dashwood III and his alliance with what he thought were demons. (Minuet in Hell) Aged “over seventy”, and at some point in the early years of his retirement, the Brigadier rescued Susan Foreman from drowning in the lake on which his house with Doris was situated. The First Doctor came to collect Susan, and stayed a while to chat with the Brigadier, keeping the fact that he knew who he was quiet. (The Gift) While teaching at Sandhurst Military School, the Brigadier met the Tenth Doctor, having been drawn in by a group of aliens seeking a great soldier to lead their forces, their analysis of the Doctor’s subconscious having identified the Brigadier as Earth’s greatest soldier due to his high opinion of his friend. (The Warkeeper’s Crown) At some point after being knighted, Lethbridge-Stewart continued his association with UNIT and with Sarah Jane Smith. He formally announced the true purpose of UNIT at a press conference without first telling anyone he would do so. (The Coup) He ended up assisting UNIT and its agent, Colonel Emily Chaudhry, against their attempted replacements, ICIS, first by undermining their reasons for replacing UNIT in front of the media (Time Heals) and eventually with direct military action. (The Wasting) On 2 June 2005, Lethbridge-Stewart was present at the birth of his granddaughter, Lucy Wilson. (The Midwife and the Alien) In 2008, Sarah Jane Smith asked UNIT to clean up a Slitheen plot. She also told them to send love to the “Brig”. (Revenge of the Slitheen)
ASSIGNMENTS IN PERU
Given a UNIT smartphone, Sir Alistair was stationed in Peru. (Lucy Wilson and the Bledoe Cadets) During the Sontaran invasion of Earth in 2009, the Tenth Doctor wished that the Brigadier were present. Colonel Mace mentioned that Sir Alistair had been stranded in Peru during a mission, but took no offence to The Doctor wishing for him instead of Mace, saying that Lethbridge-Stewart was a good man. (The Poison Sky) Shortly after returning to England, Sarah Jane sought out his help to break into the Black Archive, a UNIT base which housed artefacts of great danger and power. He did so but was interrupted in his brief with Major Cal Kilburne. He helped Sarah Jane and Rani Chandra smuggle themselves into the Black Archive to get the Tunguska Scroll for the Bane called Mrs Wormwood, who claimed she wanted it for honourable purposes. As he escaped with Sarah Jane he was chased by UNIT officers. He killed Major Kilburne, who was actually a Bane himself. Sir Alistair’s wife, referred to only as Lady Lethbridge-Stewart, was out of the house when Major Kilbourne visited. (Enemy of the Bane) Before Sarah Jane’s planned wedding with Peter Dalton, Clyde Langer was worried about Peter’s true intentions and asked K9 Mark IV to establish a video contact to the Brigadier in Peru. The Brigadier said that he understood Clyde’s concerns, but that Clyde shouldn’t deny Sarah her happiness. (The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith) The Brigadier was unable to attend the abortive wedding due to his assignment, something Clyde brought up as a jab at Dalton. (The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith) The Brigadier’s record as a companion of the Doctor in the Black Archive was either created or updated around this time, as it says under his photo in the Archive “Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart”. (The Day of the Doctor)
As of late 2010, Lethbridge-Stewart was still on assignment in Peru and could not attend the Eleventh Doctor’s staged funeral. (Death of the Doctor) His daughter, Kate, dropped Lethbridge from her name when she joined UNIT in an effort to avoid favouritism. He mentored her until his death. Among the positions he instilled in her was “science leads”, something he learned from “an old friend”. She took his teaching to heart and, by the time she was posted as UNIT’s Head of Scientific Research, troops were subordinated to her office. (The Power of Three) According to one source, along with Doris, Mike Yates and Benton, he attended the wedding of the Doctor’s former companion, Bernice Summerfield, to Jason Kane in Cheldon Bonniface in 2010. By this time he knew of his terminal illness. He had only weeks to live. As ever, danger and adventure followed in The Doctor’s footsteps and he had his youth restored to him and the disease rid from his system. (Happy Endings) In the same year Alistair Gordon and Doris Lethbridge-Stewart went to Luke Smith’s second farewell party before Luke was going to the University of Oxford. (The Nightmare Man) While many sources portrayed the now rejuvenated Brigadier as living into the 2050s at least, many suggested that he passed away during the 2010s. During a boat outing with Doris, Lethbridge-Stewart’s boat capsized and Doris was drowned. This haunted him for years. In 2012, the Brigadier met The Doctor’s eighth incarnation in Avalon where they got caught up in struggles between that realm’s ruler, Queen Mab, and the Unseelie Court. The Brigadier remained behind in Avalon once the struggles were resolved. (The Shadows of Avalon) A different account showed the Brigadier and Doris meeting the Eighth Doctor in Cheldon Bonniface on Christmas Day 2017. (Not in My Back Yard) At some point after the death of Doris, the Eighth Doctor came to visit and brought many of his old friends to see him for Christmas. (Faithful Friends: Part 3) In his last years, he lived in a care home and kept a drink out for The Doctor in case he visited. (The Wedding of River Song) To “set the record straight”, he dictated his fully unclassified memoirs to Harold Chorley. This included the first public mention of HAVOC. (The Forgotten Son original opening) In November and December of 2011, he corresponded with his old friend Pearl Hammond, herself in a rest home, and talked to her grand-niece for her Sandhurst work. (The Lock-In) While he told Kate she was his only visitor to encourage her to visit more often, in truth Lethbridge-Stewart was regularly visited by an incarnation of the Doctor, who would sometimes hide from Kate to maintain the illusion. (The Day of the Doctor)
While some accounts state that Lethbridge-Stewart returned to Earth from Avalon in 2032, after taking a Celtic bride in the dimension, and that he found his life extended and lived into the 2050s, (The King of Terror) others suggest that he died on Friday 16 December 2011. (Acceptance, and then Understanding) The Brigadier was with his daughter, Kate Stewart, when he passed, discussing the possibility that The Doctor might come to visit him. His last words were, “Maybe tomorrow”. (The Day of the Doctor)
Alistair’s funeral was held on Saturday 12 January 2012 in Bledoe. (Lucy Wilson and the Bledoe Cadets) Although the Eleventh Doctor received confirmation of the Brigadier’s death, (The Wedding of River Song) he was aware of the circumstances — or, at least, that the Brigadier was destined to die in bed — as early as his seventh incarnation. (Battlefield) All incarnations of the Doctor attended his funeral. (The Gift) Several of the Doctor’s companions were also present during the Brigadier’s funeral, including John Benton, Liz Shaw, Mike Yates, and Jo Grant. (Shroud of Sorrow)
RESSURECTED AS A CYBERMAN
In 2014, (The Fractures) Lethbridge-Stewart was among the dead of the Earth who were converted into Cybermen by pollen rain clouds in a plot spearheaded by The Master in a new female incarnation who referred to herself as Missy. Using the Cyberman ability to fly, he rescued his daughter who had been blown out of the UNIT presidential plane, showing he had chosen to keep his emotions while uploaded to the Nethersphere. After Danny Pink, a fellow converted soldier, rallied the Cybermen to self-destruct and destroy their clouds, the Brigadier was the last to remain. He took Kate to a graveyard where he saved the Twelfth Doctor the obligation of destroying their old enemy, by using his wrist blaster to shoot The Master. Recognising his old friend, The Doctor fulfilled a lifelong wish of the Brigadier by saluting him, noting that the Brigadier would never be anywhere else but by his side when Earth and the Doctor faced their darkest day. He then flew away. (Death in Heaven) Bill Bishop later recounted that Lethbridge-Stewart self-destructed so he couldn’t pose a danger to anyone else. (An Ordinary Man)
A picture of the Brigadier remained in the Black Archive in the 2010s even after it had been sealed up, (The Zygon Inversion) after the creation of the human-Zygon peace treaty to show his record as a companion of the Doctor. (The Day of the Doctor) In the company of his first incarnation, the Twelfth Doctor encountered his relative Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart. His predecessor assured the elder Lethbridge-Stewart that he would check up on his family, a promise which the future Doctor was well aware that he would more than make good on. Although unaware of Archibald’s relation to the Brigadier at the time he set it up, the Twelfth Doctor altered the future slightly so that Archibald would survive rather than die in World War I. (Twice Upon a Time) Shortly before his regeneration, the Twelfth Doctor gave the confused Archibald a salute, something that The Doctor always hated but considered a gesture of respect for the Brigadier that he was willing to indulge as he had once told Kate Stewart. (Death in Heaven, Twice Upon a Time)
A man of action, Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart preferred to settle problems by fighting rather than talking. This led to some initial difficulty in his relationship with The Doctor. As time went on, however, they became very close friends. The fact that all of the Doctor’s incarnations went to his funeral further shows how close they were. (The Gift, Shroud of Sorrow) The Brigadier was charming, but professional and serious, being unwilling to take nonsense from others, although sometimes displaying an acerbic wit of his own. He was frequently exasperated by the Fourth Doctor’s rather childish personality, and often argued with his predecessor due to the Third Doctor’s preference of solving problems with science rather than weapons. When once asked by the Second Doctor if he had ever led him astray, he replied with “many times”; however, his absolute loyalty and respect for the Time Lord was undeniable, describing all of the Doctor’s incarnations as “splendid fellows”, (The Five Doctors) and was more than willing to come out of retirement to assist him when he heard The Doctor was back; prior to this discovery, he had refused to come out of retirement no matter what. (Battlefield) The Third Doctor once called the Brigadier a “pompous, self-opinionated idiot”, although he apologised later. (Inferno) The Brigadier could be ruthless and, in one of his earlier adventures with The Doctor, he committed an act that The Doctor considered to be murder when he ordered Corporal Nutting to wipe out the Silurians, despite the Brigadier informing The Doctor about having no intention of harming the Silurians. (Doctor Who and the Silurians)
The Brigadier was a natural sceptic in his early years and was disbelieving of the TARDIS and the Doctor’s regeneration ability, but, as he grew older and his understanding of the Doctor and the universe grew, he became less sceptical. Loyal and determined, the Brigadier was dedicated to protecting the Earth, but under The Doctor’s influence he learned that violence wasn’t always the best solution, and became more willing to negotiate with his enemies, although he still wouldn’t hesitate to open fire on them if the situation demanded it. He passed this belief onto his daughter, who eventually turned UNIT into a largely non-violent organisation. (The Power of Three) His love for his daughter, as well as his sense of duty for his country, allowed him to break from his Cyber-conversion when reanimated as a Cyberman by Missy. (Death in Heaven) The Brigadier was a natural leader and easily capable of taking charge, as shown by his rank as well as his actions. He even earned The Doctor’s respect throughout their interaction, with the Tenth Doctor regarding the Brigadier as the finest soldier he knew (The Warkeeper’s Crown) and the Twelfth Doctor stating that the Brigadier would never be anywhere but by his side when Earth and the Doctor faced their darkest day. (Death in Heaven) Even in his later years following his retirement, the Brigadier remained a formidable presence although he did possess a more sentimental side. He was willing to sacrifice himself to save The Doctor and even knocked out The Doctor’s seventh incarnation to protect him, while he stood up to the Destroyer with the words, “Get off my world!” (Battlefield) The Brigadier’s last wish was to meet The Doctor one last time. Tragically, he passed away in his sleep, but not before he told many stories of his old friend and asked the nurses to always pour an extra brandy in case he came to visit. (The Wedding of River Song) The Brigadier finally got his wish after being reanimated as a Cyberman by Missy; after the cyber-converted Brigadier resisted his programming by saving his daughter and killing The Master, The Doctor, recognising him by his actions, looked towards him and gave him a long-awaited salute. The Brigadier returned the salute, and then flew away. (Death in Heaven)
ALTERNATE BRIGADIERS INFERNO EARTH
A parallel Earth had its own version of the Brigadier, Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart. Loyal to the fascist leader who governed his version of Britain, the Brigade Leader was the antithesis of the Brigadier. He was shot and killed by his lieutenant, Section Leader Elizabeth Shaw, while trying to force The Doctor at gunpoint to help him escape his doomed Earth. Unlike Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart lacked both a moustache and his left eye. (Inferno) He also spelt his first name with an “a” instead of an “i”. (The Schizoid Earth)
PEACE WITH THE SILURIANS
In another timeline, the Brigadier and the Third Doctor died saving humanity from a hostile Silurian faction during the Wenley Moor incident. Humans and Silurians made peace and the fact it continued after their deaths was a tribute to their skill and force of character. The Brigadier and the Doctor were both killed during a terrorist attack on the Brigadier’s home. (Final Genesis)
In another reality, The Doctor died at Wenley Moor and the Silurians took over Earth in a hostile fashion, leaving the Brigadier and the remnants of UNIT to fight them for thirty years. The Seventh Doctor and his companions arrived in that universe and assisted in a reconciliation between the species. (Blood Heat)
LIVING IN HONG KONG
In a parallel universe, The Doctor was exiled to Earth in 1997. He met a retired Brigadier living in Hong Kong. (Sympathy for the Devil)
A BROTHER NAMED ALEXANDER
In an alternate universe seen by “James Gore”, the Brigadier had a brother named Alexander Lethbridge-Stewart. Alexander married Olivia and they had a son named Henry Lethbridge-Stewart. Henry went on to marry Olivia and have two children, Julius and a daughter. (Faithful Friends: Part 2, The Man from Yesterday)
In a timeline created by the collapse of the quantum nexus, he was raised knowing his grandparents were Archibald and Lillian Lethbridge-Stewart. As a result, he was named after his grandfather and went by the name Archie. He never left Bledoe, and after his National Service, he resumed his teaching career, going on to teach at Liskeard Grammar School. He met and married a woman called Sabina, and had two children, Katherine Lethbridge-Stewart and Jimmy Lethbridge-Stewart. As well as being a teacher, he ran a guest house called Greyhound Lodge. In February 1969 he met an old man who turned out to be Brigadier Bill Bishop from the prime reality 2018, who had come back in an attempt to fix the damaged timeline. Learning about his other life, Archie finally agreed to help Anne Bishop and went with her to the quantum realm. (An Ordinary Man)
OTHER INFORMATON NICKNAMES
He was often referred to simply as the Brigadier and on rare occasions as “the Brig”. During their second and third incarnations, The Doctor sometimes called him by his surname, while in their third and fourth incarnations, The Doctor at least twice addressed him as Alistair. (Planet of the Spiders, Terror of the Zygons) In their fifth incarnation, The Doctor at least once addressed him by his full name. (Mawdryn Undead)
The Doctor’s TARDIS, in an attempt to warn the Seventh Doctor about the threat of the Timewyrm, projected one of his memories of the Brigadier on the scanner. (Timewyrm: Genesys) A version of the Brigadier appeared in a “hellscape” dream the Eleventh Doctor created while the mind parasite Mr Waites fed off the worst thing Doctor could imagine. In the dream, The Doctor worked in the Mediation Section of the Department of Commonality. He turned away the Brigadier when his army pension was cancelled, telling him he was unable to help. (John Smith and the Common Men)
BEHIND THE SCENES
Colonel Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart was originally to appear only in The Web of Fear as a supporting character. He was the creation of writers Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln, to whom royalties had to be paid whenever the character was used, although it is a matter of public record that such credit and payment was rarely given. The character remains the copyright of Mervyn Haisman (via his Literary Estate run by his granddaughter, Hannah Haisman) and Henry Lincoln. In televised episodes, the Brigadier appeared and interacted with all of the first seven Doctors — though his encounter with the Sixth Doctor in Dimensions in Time is not counted as part of the Doctor Who universe. Nevertheless, his most continuous period of interaction with The Doctor was during the Time Lord’s second, third and fourth incarnations. There were unsurprisingly numerous comic, audio and prose stories which centred on the Brigadier’s adventures with those three Doctors. More unusual were the number of stories in other media which described interactions with other Doctors. A short story once posited he met the First Doctor before The Doctor and Susan settled on Totter’s Lane. (The Gift) The Sixth Doctor’s first encounter with the Brig was described in the audio story The Spectre of Lanyon Moor, quite irrespective of Dimensions in Time. Likewise, the audio story Minuet in Hell and the novel The Dying Days cast him alongside the Eighth Doctor. Meanwhile, in the 2016 comic story official Secrets, the Brigadier is shown for the first time interacting with the Ninth Doctor, and the comic story The Warkeeper’s Crown had him as a temporary companion of the Tenth Doctor. The Tenth Doctor also presumably (though not explicitly) visited the Brigadier off-screen during the time of the closing scenes of The End of Time, as the Eleventh Doctor later told Jo in The Sarah Jane Adventures story Death of the Doctor that he had visited everyone who ever travelled with him. As of 2016 there have yet to be officially licensed stories in which the Brigadier encounters the War and Eleventh Doctors. Finally, he made guest appearances in some of the Doctor-less audio stories from Big Finish Productions, including the UNIT audio series and the (mostly Doctor-less) audio serial, The Three Companions. Although the historic first meeting between Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart and the Doctor was never shown in The Web of Fear, the events leading directly into their first meeting are chronicled in the DWM 483 prose story The Ambush!. Nicholas Courtney’s long tenure on Doctor Who led to some interesting trivia. Along with Carole Ann Ford, Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton, he was one of only four actors to work with both William Hartnell and Richard Hurndall’s interpretations of the First Doctor. Apart from Peter Purves and Hartnell himself, he was the only regular cast member on Doctor Who to have played two different roles in episodes featuring Hartnell. The rehearsal script for Remembrance of the Daleks said that the Brigadier was to be put in charge of the “Special Incursions Counter-Measures UNIT ” and that he had done work for the Special Operations Executive in World War II – which would have contradicted many previous stories. (DWM 464) The characters of both the Brigadier and Benton appeared in the X-Men comic book Uncanny X-Men #218. (DWM 390) He appeared in Enemy of the Bane after Freema Agyeman had to drop out. (Lethbridge-Stewart: Top Secret Files) The show planned to bring him back again for The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith — and he makes an appearance in the novelisation — but this appearance was cancelled after Nicholas Courtney suffered a stroke. The reference to the Brigadier’s death in The Wedding of River Song was a last-minute addition to the episode in tribute to the recently deceased Nicholas Courtney, as were the eyepatches. The Brigadier appeared in the 2014 episode Death in Heaven, with a picture of Courtney in character, and then in physical form as a Cyberman.
In the video game Legacy the Brigadier is one of the characters available to unlock. He is available in his uniform from The Web of Fear, in his field mission uniform from Terror of the Autons and in his Cyberman form from Death in Heaven from after he flew away from Earth.
THE DARK DIMENSION
In the unproduced Doctor Who 30th anniversary special The Dark Dimension Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart would have featured in an alternate timeline in which the Fourth Doctor did not regenerate. In this timeline, Lethbridge-Stewart would have had a son named Alex who would have been dating Dorothy within the story. At the end of the script, Hawkspur would have been thrown into the vortex and erased from existence, destroying the alternate timeline that he had created. Shortly after, the Brigadier would have been shown at a graveyard visiting the tomb of Alex; who had died in 1979 at the age of ten. It is suggested that either Alex’s survival was caused by the intervention of Hawkspur or that an adventure held by The Doctor after his fourth incarnation had caused the character’s premature death.
Back to Assistants page