Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart — often called the Brigadier — was one of the founders of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (later renamed the Unified Intelligence Taskforce) and was the commander of its UK operations. Through his work, he became a trusted ally of the Doctor, as well as a personal friend.
The Third Doctor’s exile on Earth saw him become UNIT’s scientific adviser. The Brigadier and the Doctor spent several years together in this manner, combating alien incursions. The Brigadier continued to meet the Doctor when the latter’s travels brought him to Earth and he helped many of his incarnations protect the planet. Even after his death in the early 21st century, he continued to meet the Doctor, having risen from the grave.
The Brigadier’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.
Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was born on 22 February either 1929 or 1930 (PROSE: Blood Heat, No Future, The Forgotten Son) to Mary and Gordon Conall Lethbridge-Stewart. He came from a long line of soldiers, nearly 400 years worth, who dated back to the Stewarts from Lanark and the Lethbridges in Devon. (PROSE: The Forgotten Son) He was of Scottish descent. (TV: Terror of the Zygons)
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. (PROSE: 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, Gordon Conall Lethbridge-Stewart who was an officer in the Royal Air Force, and by his namesake grandfather. Secretly, however, Alistair hated everything about the military, blaming it for what kept his father away so often. This was a fact that he made sure to keep from his father.
Alistair’s brother and his friends created a group for meetings known as “the Bledoe Cadets”. However, Alistair was not allowed for join as he was considered too young.
On one occasion, a seven-year-old Alistair would go 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 fells into the muddy ravine.
In 1937, 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, who 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 would become a member of ‘the Cadets”, a bittersweet fact as James would become isolated, appearing to talk to an imaginary friend he called “Maha”.
Months later, in January 1938, the Cadets gathered at the disused barn at the Puckator Farm to exchange presents which they had revived 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 reviving 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 forwards 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 overGolitha 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 apologized for how he had been acting. Despite the cries of his brother, James jumped into the falls, killing himself.
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. (PROSE: 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?” (COMIC: The Warkeeper’s Crown)
In 1940, during the London Blitz, he spent a night in a public shelter in Eaton Square. (PROSE: The Devil Goblins from Neptune)
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. Maha, actually the Great Intelligence, would spend 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 Rolf, but his broken memory stopped him from writing more than a few letters.
The pair lived with his his mother’s sister and her husband for a brief time before moving on to to Coles hill where his mother spent the rest of her life. Alistair would stay for only a brief time due to school. (PROSE: The Forgotten Son)
His English schools included Liskeard Grammar School during the late 1930s and early ’40s, (PROSE: The Forgotten Son) Harrow in 1943 (PROSE: The Devil Goblins from Neptune) and Holborough, where he first met Teddy Fitzoliver. (AUDIO: The Paradise of Death)
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. This epiphany led Alistair to finally enlisting at Sandhurst. (PROSE: The Ambush!)
While at Sandhurst Military Academy he became acquainted with Billy Rutlidge. (TV: The Invasion) People who knew him said he had great ambitions even then. (PROSE: 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. (PROSE: The Forgotten Son)
Twenty-one-year-old 2nd Lt Lethbridge-Stewart was assigned to 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 and went on a quest into the Greek Underworld; his mind was wiped of these memories. (PROSE: Deadly Reunion) While twenty-one, he also served in the Korean War and visited New York City afterwards. (PROSE: The Devil Goblins from Neptune)
In 1954, he was a lieutenant stationed in Sierra Leone. (PROSE: Transit)
At some point he joined the Scots Guards and was stationed for a time at Aldgate. (TV: The Green Death)
In 1963, he was on manoeuvres at Salisbury. The Eleventh Doctor borrowed his identity and called himself “colonel”. (PROSE: Shroud of Sorrow)
Lethbridge-Stewart lost his virginity to a girl named Vera whilst drunk on the night of his passing out as a fully commissioned second lieutenant.
In Greece, he fell in love with the immortal Persephone. He entered the Underworld, where he fought against Hades for her. They spent two weeks together before she reluctantly wiped his memory. They met again in the 1970s, when his memory was restored. (PROSE: Deadly Reunion)
While lost in Sierra Leone, Lethbridge-Stewart met Mariatu, the daughter of a chieftain. Unknown to him she bore him a son, Mariama. (PROSE: Transit)
Some time in the 1960s, eleven years before the spider invasion, he had a romantic encounter with Doris in a Brighton Hotel. (TV: Planet of the Spiders) Their relationship ended when Lethbridge-Stewart was dispatched overseas again. (COMIC: The Warkeeper’s Crown)
On returning to Britain, the Brigadier met and married Fiona. He and Fiona had one child, conceived after the London Event, whom they named Kate. (PROSE:The Scales of Injustice, Downtime)
During the London Event, Lethbridge-Stewart was dating Sally Wright, a lance corporal in the British Army and adjutant to Major General Hamilton at Army Strategic Command in Fugglestone. They became engaged several weeks later. (PROSE: 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. (PROSE: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 his second incarnation. Lethbridge-Stewart showed a quick, decisive manner – though with a brief moment of shell-shock 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. (TV: The Web of Fear)
With the Yeti defeated, Lethbridge-Stewart (living in a small flat in Pimlico) had to help with the re-population of London; the sight of the deserted city depressed him. Lance Corporal Bell assisted him. His task was interrupted by another incursion from the Great Intelligence in Bledoe, where Lethbridge-Stewart learned the origins of the Intelligence, and its connection to the death of his older brother in 1938 — a brother he could not even remember. The Intelligence had removed all memory of James from the minds of both the colonel and his mother in 1945. Following these events, Lethbridge-Stewart found himself with a new ‘nephew’, Owain Vine, the reincarnated soul of James. Although he now knew that James had once existed, and could hear stories of his brother, Lethbridge-Stewart still had no memory of James himself. (PROSE: The Forgotten Son)
Fresh from the London Event, he was sent to Aden and fought in the Aden Emergency. (PROSE: The Devil Goblins from Neptune)
The colonel planned to go to the United Nations to pitch the idea of a permanent military intelligence group with rapid-reaction capability to investigate alien and other unusual phenomena that threatened the nation (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy), but Major General Hamilton vetoed this, adding that any domestic equivalent could not be afforded. Hamilton convinced him to seek out further proof while the general worked on high command. To aid Lethbridge-Stewart in his secret missing, he was ‘officially’ station at Chelsea Barracks in London with the Scots Guards 1st Battalion. (PROSE: The Forgotten Son)
Some time later, Lethbridge-Stewart met with Air Vice-Marshal “Chunky” Gilmore and learned of the Shore ditch Incident from him. He also learned of evidence of alien visits to Earth that went back thousands of years. (PROSE: Downtime)
Eventually, he risked his career by petitioning the UN to form a rapid response force for alien threats. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) UNIT was organised, with Lethbridge-Stewart promoted to Brigadier and appointed head of the United Kingdom branch. (TV: The Invasion) This made him unpopular with many senior British officers. (PROSE: 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. (TV: 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. (TV: The Invasion)
Having found the Doctor’s help to have been invaluable, the Brigadier set out to recruit a full-time scientific adviser 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 adviser, with Liz Shaw acting as his assistant. (TV: 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 set off explosive charges around the Wenley Moor Silurian colony, after promising the Doctor he had no hostile intentions towards them. The Doctor considered this murder, if not genocide. (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians)
It was shortly after this incident that the Brigadier answered a call for help from an old friend and colleague Kolonel Heinrich Konrad, UNIT commander at Kriedskind Castle. Discovering that Konrad had authorized 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. (AUDIO: Old Soldiers)
About the time of the second encounter with the Silurians, the Brigadier’s marriage to Fiona began to fail. (PROSE: The Scales of Injustice) Fiona and the Brigadier later divorced. Their daughter Kate became estranged from both her parents for many later years. (PROSE: Downtime)
After Liz Shaw left UNIT to resume her research at Cambridge, the Brigadier employed Jo Grant as the Doctor’s new assistant. Along with Captain Mike Yates, they were immediately plunged into another Nestene invasion of Earth where the Brigadier met the Master for the first time. (TV: 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. (PROSE: Deadly Reunion)
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. (TV: 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. (TV: The Claws of Axos)
With the Doctor and Jo investigating 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. However he did manage to gain entry in time to deal with the animated gargoyle Bok. He and UNIT also managed to arrest the Master and take him away to stand trial for his many crimes. (TV: The Daemons)
While in talks over an international incident, the Brigadier arranged an investigation about 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 guerilla 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. (TV: 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”. Then the Master also showed up to gloat but once again UNIT were able to successfully arrest him and take him away. (PROSE: Harvest of Time)
After the Doctor and Jo left for Peladon, (TV: 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. (PROSE: The Face of the Enemy) The Brigadier was never aware that an alternate version of him once existed there. (TV: Inferno)
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. (TV: The Three Doctors) When Jo Grant left UNIT to get married, the Doctor lost another tie to the organisation. (TV:The Green Death)
Sometime afterwards, the Brig and the Doctor met journalist Sarah Jane Smith, who became the Doctor’s new de facto assistant. (TV: 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 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. (AUDIO: The Paradise of Death)
During the spring (AUDIO: Council of War) 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”. (TV: Invasion of the Dinosaurs)
In 1974, 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 ade-remorator to remove it.
The Doctor, Sarah, Liz and the Brigadier went to the nearby UNIT sea base along with Agent Paul of the CIA. There, the Remoraxian Prime was orchestrating its plot to flood the world. Discovering that the American government authorized 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.” (COMIC: Prisoners of Time)
Sarah and the Brigadier witnessed the Doctor regenerate into his fourth incarnation after battling the Eight Legs on Metebelis III. (TV: Planet of the Spiders)
Eager to leave Earth for further travels, the newly-regenerate Doctor did help UNIT defeat the K1 Robot before taking off in the TARDIS with Sarah and Lt. Harry Sullivan. (TV: Robot) Not completely having abandoned the Brigadier, the Doctor had left him a space-time telegraph to contact him in case of emergency. (TV: 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, effectively marking the end of the Doctor’s adventures with the Brigadier for quite some time. (TV: Terror of the Zygons)
During the Kraals’ second attempted invasion of Earth, the Brigadier was in Canada investigating sentient electricity pylons. (AUDIO: The Oseidon Adventure)
Shortly before he left UNIT, Lethbridge-Stewart was made a Commander of the British Empire. (PROSE:Downtime)
- Position: Head of the British division of UNIT
- Years: Formation – 1976
- Succeeded by: Charles Crichton
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 realized 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 the Monk, 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 favor, with Ace choosing to alter her history so that she was in a position to save the Brigadier from death. After this, recognizing that the Brigadier’s style of command wouldn’t work in the upcoming decade, the Doctor hypnotized 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 would take place in Ace’s past and the Brigadier’s future) (PROSE: No Future).
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 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. In 1983, when his pupils included the humanoid alien Vislor Turlough, the Brigadier encountered the Fifth Doctor, whom he did not recognize, and met his past self from 1977. This completed the temporal paradox. (TV: 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 Zoneon Gallifrey. (TV: 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. (PROSE: Heart of TARDIS)
In 1984, the Brigadier sent Major Whitaker to Reykjavik to investigate an unnatural increase in volcanic and seismic activity. (COMIC: The Fires Down Below)
In 1989, Lethbridge-Stewart conducted an investigation of the dealings of Sené Net and was captured. He was rescued by the Sixth Doctor, who uncovered and stopped yet another invasion attempt by the Nestene Consciousness. (PROSE: Business Unusual)
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. (HOMEVID: Downtime / PROSE: Downtime)
By the 1990s, Lethbridge-Stewart had married his second wife, Doris, with whom he had a memorable holiday years before. (TV: 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. (PROSE: A Romantic Evening)
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, single-handedly taking on the Destroyer and dispatching him, armed only with a revolver loaded with silver bullets. (TV: Battlefield)
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. (PROSE: The Gift)
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.” (PROSE: The Dying Days) He later had a role in Scotland’s devolution. (AUDIO: 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, however he was secretive about which ones and in which order. (PROSE: The King of Terror)
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. (PROSE: 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. (AUDIO: Minuet in Hell)
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. (COMIC: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. (AUDIO: 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 (AUDIO: Time Heals) and eventually with direct military action. (AUDIO: The Wasting)
In 2008 Sarah Jane Smith asked UNIT to clean up a Slitheen plot. She also told them to send love to the “Brig”. (TV: Revenge of the Slitheen)
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. (TV: 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 artifacts 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 honorable 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. (TV:Enemy of the Bane) Before Sarah Jane’s planned wedding with Peter Dalton Clyde Langer was worried about Peter’s true intentions. So he asked K9 Mark IV to establish a video contact to the Brigadier in Peru. Soon afterwards the Brigadiers face appeared on Clyde’s computer and Clyde told him about his worries. The Brigadier replied that he understood Clyde, but that Clyde shouldn’t deny Sarah her happiness. Then K9 lost the contact. (PROSE: The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith) The Brigadier would have attended Sarah Jane’s aborted wedding, but he was in Peru at the time. (TV: The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith) As of late 2010, Lethbridge-Stewart was still on assignment in Peru and could not attend the Eleventh Doctor’s staged funeral. (TV: Death of the Doctor)
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”. (TV:The Day of the Doctor)
His daughter, Kate, dropped Lethbridge from her name when she joined UNIT in an effort to avoid favoritism. 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. (TV: 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. (PROSE: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. (PROSE: 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. (PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon)
A different account showed the Brigadier and Doris meeting the Eighth Doctor in Cheldon Bonniface on Christmas Day 2017. (PROSE: 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. (PROSE: Faithful Friends: Part 3)
There are various conflicting accounts regarding the date of the Brigadier’s death. While some state that he only returned to Earth from Avalon in 2032, after taking a bride in the dimension and that he found his life extended and lived considerably past the normal span for humans of his era, into the 2050s (PROSE:The King of Terror), others suggest that he died at some point in the 2010s. (TV: The Power of Three, Death in Heaven)
Although the Eleventh Doctor received confirmation of the Brigadier’s death, he was aware of the circumstances — or, at least, that the Brigadier was destined to die in bed — as early as his seventh incarnation. (TV: Battlefield) All incarnations of the Doctor attended his funeral. (PROSE: 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. (PROSE: Shroud of Sorrow)
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 somehow managed to retain his humanity after being converted. 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. Recognizing 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. The Brigadier then flew away, having had his lifelong wish fulfilled but also having the chance to see the Doctor once again. (TV: Death in Heaven) Though unknown at the time, Missy actually survived the Brigadier’s blast by using its power to recharge her vortex manipulator and teleport away when she appeared to vaporize. (TV: The Witch’s Familiar)
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. (PROSE: 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.
The Third Doctor once called the Brigadier a “pompous, self-opinionated idiot”, although he apologized later. (TV: 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 by wiping out the Silurians, despite informing the Doctor about having no intention of harming the Silurians. At this time, however, he had merely been obeying orders rather than genuinely having any malicious intent towards the Silurians. (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians)
The Brigadier was a natural skeptic 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 skeptical. 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. (TV: 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. (TV: 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 (COMIC: 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. (TV: 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 his Seventh incarnation to protect him while he stood up to the Destroyer saying the words “Get off my world!” (TV: 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. (TV: The Wedding of River Song) The Brigadier finally got his wish after being reanimated as a Cyberman by Missy; after saving his daughter and killing the Master, the Doctor looked towards him and gave him a long awaited salute. (TV: Death in Heaven)
–The Web of Fear*