|Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart|
|Main aliases:||Greyhound One, Greyhound Leader and Greyhound|
|Job:||Colonel, Brigadier, General|
|Affiliated with:||The Doctor, UNIT, Scots Guards|
|Place of origin:||Bledoe, Cornwall|
|Grandparents:||Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, James Gore, Granny McDougal|
|Father:||Gordon Conall Lethbridge-Stewart|
|Spouses:||Fiona Lethbridge-Stewart, Doris Lethbridge-Stewart|
|Children:||Kate Stewart, Mariama, Erik Calvin|
|Grandchildren:||Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart|
|First seen in:||The Web of Fear|
|Main actor:||Nicholas Courtney|
|Other TV actors:||Jeremiah Krage|
|Another memorable moment|
General Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart - often called the Brigadier (because of his previous position) - was one of the founders of the Unified Intelligence Taskforce and 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 advisor. 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.
Early life and military career Edit
Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was born in either 1929 or 1930 (PROSE: Blood Heat, No Future, The Forgotten Son) of Scottish descent. (TV: Terror of the Zygons) An only child, he was raised in Simla, India. He was sent to an English prep school. His mother died after he left for England. (PROSE: Island of Death) Another account tells us he was born in Cornwall, England, and only left there when he was sixteen to live (with his mother) with his mother's sister and husband, before moving on to to Coleshill where his mother spent the rest of her life. (PROSE: The Forgotten Son)
The young Alistair was pressured to live up to the military traditions of the Lethbridge-Stewart family, particular by his namesake grandfather. For Christmas 1938, his grandfather gave him a box of toy soldiers and then asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" (COMIC: The Warkeeper's Crown)
During the early 1950s, he did his National Service during the Korean War, where he first met Second Lieutenant Spencer Pemberton, who taught the young Lethbridge-Stewart the importance of being a military officer. (PROSE: The Ambush!)
As a young man, Alistair attended Sandhurst Military Academy 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)
(The "thirty years of soldiering" comment in 1983 in TV: Mawdryn Undead could date Sandhurst to 1953 or, since he retires in 1976, to 1946. PROSE: Island of Death and the 1945-set Deadly Reunion have him as a World War II veteran, waxing nostalgic about "clean-cut military operations" in the former - which clashes with his birth date in previous books. PROSE: The Devil Goblins from Neptune mentions him as serving in Korea when he was 21, which ties in nicely with information given in PROSE: The Forgotten Son; that he entered National Service during the Korean War. Which would be the start of his military service, since it is revealed he entered Sandhurst shortly after his National Service to become an officer.)
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 WW2. 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 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)
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)
At the time of TV: The Web of Fear 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 after the London Event. (PROSE: The Forgotten Son)
Formation of UNIT EditColonel 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 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. (TV: The Web of Fear)
Soon after the London Event, Lethbridge-Stewart met with Air Vice-Marshal "Chunky" Gilmore and learned of the Shoreditch Incident from him. Hostile aliens had visited Earth in 1963. Gilmore himself had helped fight them off with the Seventh Doctor. He also learnt of evidence of alien visits to Earth that went back thousands of years. (PROSE: Downtime)
The Colonel went to the government and pitched the idea of a permanent military intelligence group with rapid-reaction capability to investigate alien and other unusual phenomena that threatened the nation. This was turned down. He risked his career by petitioning the United Nations to form such a group. (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)
The UNIT years Edit
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, 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 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. (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 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. (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. When their daughter Kate, was older, she became estranged from both her parents, but contacted her father again when she felt threatened by the students from the New World University, and from then on they enjoyed a good relationship. (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 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 tenticled 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 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.
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)
- Position: Head of the British division of UNIT
- Years: Formation - 1976
- Succeeded by: Charles Crichton
After UNIT Edit
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 recognise, and met his past self from 1977. This completed the temporal paradox. (TV: Mawdryn Undead)
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 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. (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, singlehandedly 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)
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)
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)
Assignment in Peru Edit
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 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. (TV: Enemy of the Bane) He would have attended Sarah Jane's aborted wedding to Peter Dalton, but he was back 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 Eleventh Doctor said that at the end of his last incarnation he visited (TV: The End of Time) everyone that ever traveled with him, (TV: Death of the Doctor) this presumably included the Brigadier. (TV: The Five Doctors)
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. (TV: The Power of Three)
In 2010, 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. 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)
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)
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)
Towards the end of his life, Lethbridge-Stewart was living in a nursing home. He enjoyed telling stories about the Doctor and still hoped to see him one last time; (TV: The Wedding of River Song) his daughter, Kate said that he spoke of the Doctor "even to the end". (TV: The Power of Three) Sir Alistair passed away peacefully in his bed, always asking that the nurses pour an extra brandy in case the Doctor came to visit. A few months after his passing, a nurse informed the Eleventh Doctor via telephone of his recent death. (TV: The Wedding of River Song)
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) However, all incarnations of the Doctor attended his funeral, suggesting the Doctor was aware of this earlier. (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)
Resurrection and life as a cyberman Edit
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. 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. 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)
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 apologised 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 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 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 the Master. (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 the Master; after saving his daughter and killing the Master, the Doctor looked towards him and gave him a long awaited salute. (TV: Death in Heaven)
Alternate Brigadiers Edit
A parallel Earth had its own version of the Brigadier, known as the Brigade Leader. 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. (TV: Inferno)
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. (COMIC: 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. (PROSE: Blood Heat)
Other information Edit
He was often referred to simply as the Brigadier and on rare occasions as "the Brig." During his second and third incarnations, the Doctor sometimes called him by his surname, while in his third and fourth incarnations, the Doctor at least twice addressed him as Alistair. (TV: Planet of the Spiders, Terror of the Zygons) In his fifth incarnation, he at least once addressed him by his full name. (TV: Mawdryn Undead)
Other references Edit
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 Sector of the Department of Commonality. He turned away the Brigadier when his army pension was cancelled, telling him he was unable to help. (COMIC: John Smith and the Common Men)
Behind the scenes Edit
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. (PROSE: 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, 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 traveled with him. As of 2014 there have yet to be officially licensed stories in which the Brigadier encounters the War, Ninth 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, he was the only regular cast member on Doctor Who to have played two different roles in episodes featuring Hartnell.
The characters of both the Brigadier and Benton appeared in the X-Men comic book Uncanny X-men 218. (DWM 390)
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. 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.