‘Doctor Who’ Spinoff to Focus on Kate Stewart and UNIT


As Doctor Who readies its return with a new (and old) Doctor, a spinoff is in the works featuring the Doctor’s ally Kate Stewart and her organization, UNIT. Jemma Redgrave will reprise her recurring role as Stewart. Deadline reports that the news of the spinoff is confirmed by their BBC sources.

It’s a busy time in the “Whoniverse”, as returning showrunner Russell T. Davies prepares the upcoming series that will debut next year; thanks to a new distribution deal with Disney+, who will distribute Doctor Who (and, presumably, its spinoffs) outside of the British Isles, the series has a higher budget than it’s ever had. Preparing for the spinoff, Redgrave will also appear in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, which will feature David Tennant returning to the role of the Doctor, as well as new Doctor Ncuti Gatwa.


UNIT, which originally stood for United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, and was later changed to the United Intelligence Taskforce after the actual United Nations objected, is a multinational governmental organization dedicated to defending Earth from unusual and extraterrestrial threats. It first appeared in the 1968 Doctor Who serial “The Invasion”, and was a constant presence on Doctor Who during the period when the normally free-wheeling and time-traveling alien was confined to Earth; even after the Doctor returned to his spacefaring ways, UNIT was a recurring feature on the show until the end of the classic series in 1989. The Doctor most frequently dealt with UNIT military man Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart (the late Nicholas Courtney), who became one of his staunchest and longest-running allies. Kate Stewart, the Brigadier’s daughter, first appeared with UNIT in the revived series in 2012’s “The Power of Three”, alongside Matt Smith; she has since gone on to appear in ten Doctor Who episodes. The UNIT spinoff won’t be the first Who offshoot based on the government’s response to weird goings-on; Torchwood, a more adult-oriented series that featured the eponymous alien-fighting organization from the early years of the revived series, ran for four seasons between 2006 and 2011.

RELATED: ‘Doctor Who’s Fifteenth Doctor Ncuti Gatwa Gives New Fans a Series Primer

Jemma Redgrave is a member of the illustrious Redgrave family of actors; the actors Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave are her aunts, and the late Natasha Richardson is her cousin. She is a veteran of the British stage and a frequent presence on TV, having starred in the medical dramas Frankie and Holby City. She also starred in the Merchant-Ivory film Howards End, Whit Stillman‘s Jane Austen adaptation Love & Friendship, and Craig Ferguson‘s directorial debut I’ll Be There.

The new Doctor Who Christmas special will air this coming December. Stay tuned to Collider for future updates.


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