Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was one of the founders of UNIT and commander of its UK operations. From his second incarnation onwards, the Doctor long considered the Brigadier one of his most trusted human allies and closest friends
He was pressured strongly by his grandfather to join the military. One Christmas, he was given a box of toy solders and then asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?" (DWM: The Warkeeper's Crown)
He was sent to an English prep school. His mother died after he left for England. (PDA: Island of Death) He also attended Holborough, where he first met Teddy Fitzoliver. (BBCR: The Paradise of Death)
Shortly after the end of the Second World War, twenty-one-year-old Lethbride-Stewart was assigned to a Royal Navy mission to update British maps of the Greek Islands. He ended up in Albania on a mission against Stalinist rebels. He ran into the Immortals and fell in love with the immortal Persephone. He entered the Underworld and fought against Hades for her. They spent two weeks together before she reluctantly wiped his memory. (PDA: Deadly Reunion)
Lt. Lethbridge-Stewart was stationed in Sierra Leone some time in the 1960s, where he met and fathered a son, Mariamma, with Mariatu, eldest daughter of Chief Yembe of the Rokoye village. (NA: Transit)
During the same decade, Lethbride-Stewart had a romantic encounter with Doris on Brighton Beach. (DW: Planet of the Spiders) Their relationship ended when Lethbridge-Stewart was dispatched overseas. (DWM: The Warkeeper's Crown)
Formation of UNIT
Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart was the second commander of the British Army forces opposing the Great Intelligence's assault on London. He replaced the deceased Colonel Pemberton. He was the sole survivor of a Robot Yeti assault at Holborn before heading down to the London Underground to take command. Lethbridge-Stewart met the Second Doctor. Lethbridge-Stewart showed a quick, decisive manner and a ready acceptance of events, even believing the story about the TARDIS from the start. (DW: The Web of Fear)
Lethbridge-Stewart met with Air Vice-Marshall "Chunky" Gilmore and learned of the 1963 Shoreditch Incident, where hostile aliens had visited Earth. 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. (MA: Downtime)
Colonel Lethbrigde-Stewart 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. (MA: Who Killed Kennedy) UNIT was organised and Lethbridge-Stewart was promoted to Brigadier and appointed head of the United Kingdom branch. (DW: The Invasion) This made him unpopular with many senior British officers. (MA: Who Killed Kennedy)
- Main page: Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart
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. (DWM: Final Genesis)
The Third 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 of N-Space and his companions arrived in that universe and assisted in a reconciliation between the species. (NA: Blood Heat)
Habits and Quirks
Behind the scenes
- Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart was originally to appear only in The Web of Fear as a supporting character.
- In televised episodes, the Brigadier appeared and interacted with all of the first seven Doctors — though his encounter with the Sixth Doctor was in the non-canonical Dimensions in Time.
- Along with Carole Ann Ford, Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton, Nicholas Courtney 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, Courtney 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 Sergeant John Benton appeared in the X-Men comic book Uncanny X-men 218.
- The reference to the Brigadier's death in DW: The Wedding of River Song was a last-minute addition to the episode in tribute to the recently-deceased Nicholas Courtney.