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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Nathan
    October 27, 2014 @ 12:43 am

    Nice one. Although these days it's the Unified Intelligence Taskforce.


  2. Elizabeth Sandifer
    October 27, 2014 @ 12:51 am

    Oh good, I'm up early enough to fix this one before anyone else notices and make your correction look nonsensical. πŸ™‚


  3. arcbeatle
    October 27, 2014 @ 1:20 am

    UNIT does appear in the Bells of Saint John, just not Kate and Osgood.


  4. Elizabeth Sandifer
    October 27, 2014 @ 1:22 am

    Oh, are they the ones who clean up at the end? I admit, I didn't go recheck that detail.


  5. arcbeatle
    October 27, 2014 @ 1:28 am

    Yeah, that's them.

    Via Chakoteya.net's Doctor Who Transcripts:
    OFFICER: This building is under UNIT control.
    MAHLER: What is UNIT? Never heard of you.

    KIZLET: UNIT are here. Friends of the Doctor, I presume.
    GREAT INTELLIGENCE [on screen]: Oh, old friends. Very old friends.


  6. Elizabeth Sandifer
    October 27, 2014 @ 1:30 am

    Fair enough. /quick rewrite


  7. Lewis Christian
    October 27, 2014 @ 1:31 am

    Great essay. I feel the Davies era should've gotten more of a grasp on UNIT. Correct me if I'm wrong but the only UNIT person to show up more than once is Captain Erisa Magambo, and she's Series 4. It kind of feels like they're introducing a regular, to recur with UNIT, but far too late (since Russell and David are leaving, and no doubt the next team will make their own choices).

    That said, Malcolm is incredible fun (and I'm glad the Moffat era UNIT have made mentions of him!) and I quite liked the New York Bloke (whatever his name) in the Series 4 finale.


  8. elvwood
    October 27, 2014 @ 2:14 am

    Nice essay. Links in my mind to Who Killed Kennedy?, of course – and for any Brigadier fans, I'll link once again to this rather lovely web comic


  9. curlyjimsam750
    October 27, 2014 @ 2:19 am

    Part of the history of UNIT post-Pertwee can be seen as a series of attempts to create a "new Brigadier", with various new "UNIT leader" characters and limited success: most of the characters in this role are pretty unmemorable and ultimately only turn up once or twice. Kate may prove to be the exception to the rule, though – though interestingly her role within UNIT is more analogous to that of the Doctor's than of the Brigadier's.

    I agree that the so-called "Paternoster gang" has Vastra as its central figure, though I'd probably say that Strax is a far more memorable character.


  10. Daru
    October 27, 2014 @ 3:08 am

    Lovely essay. Nice presenting of the idea of UNIT as being built around the Brigadier.


  11. Archeology of the Future
    October 27, 2014 @ 3:25 am

    I can't help but feel that the first Shameless Christmas special was Paul Abbott's version of what a UNIT story would turn out like in the real world http://shameless.wikia.com/wiki/Christmas_Special


  12. Seeing_I
    October 27, 2014 @ 5:24 am

    I adored Captain Magambo, and would dearly love to see her back. "THIS…is to combat dehydration." Love!


  13. breadzone
    October 27, 2014 @ 6:13 am

    I was surprised you didn't comment on Brigadier Bambera, the show's first attempt to replace Nicholas Courtney.


  14. Lewis Christian
    October 27, 2014 @ 9:45 am



  15. Lewis Christian
    October 27, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

    Agreed, she was great.


  16. Ben
    October 27, 2014 @ 8:13 pm

    The soldier theme does raise questions. While the Capaldi Doctor has some similarities with the Pertwee one, it's hard to imagine him serving as UNIT's scientific advisor. Without, you know, burning the place to the ground.


  17. BerserkRL
    October 27, 2014 @ 10:29 pm

    No mention of UNIT's role in SJA — including Sarah Jane's very Capaldi-Doctor-ish "no soldiers on my property!"?


  18. ferret
    October 28, 2014 @ 2:29 am

    stop trying to make us cry! πŸ˜‰


  19. Richard Pugree
    October 28, 2014 @ 2:43 am

    But under Kate Stewart UNIT is now run by its scientists and researchers, rather than by it's military – which the Doctor was impressed and confused about when he first meets her I think.

    I suspect we'll be exploring what that distinction actually means and how real a difference it makes in the finale. So I think Capaldi's relationship to UNIT may well come to be a very interesting one in future.


  20. elvwood
    October 28, 2014 @ 4:06 am

    Never! πŸ˜‰


  21. Ben
    October 28, 2014 @ 3:08 pm

    You're right, of course, that UNIT is now a science-led enterprise, albeit a very well-armed one. The thing about irrational prejudices, though, is that they're irrational. And the Doctor does seem to have a few. As you say, their relationship should be an interesting one.


  22. Jeff Heikkinen
    March 25, 2015 @ 10:01 pm

    Are pages 6 and 7 available in a size that's actually legible?


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    June 4, 2017 @ 10:22 am

    The best way to avoid getting hungover is simply to prevent it rather than waiting until you the next day when the pain is already there. The unfortunate truth is that many of us forget to take a vitamin drink or to have the right amounts of water, fruit juice and food after drinking and before sleeping in order to prevent their hangovers.


    January 27, 2018 @ 4:52 pm

    Love what you’re doing here guys. keep it up!..


  26. Assad Khaishgi
    October 6, 2021 @ 12:29 pm

    Criminy…. so this thanks is waaaaayyyyyyy overdue…. I don’t know if any notification got consumed in the webway by chaos demons, but I only saw this because I was googling my name (as one does). A nice, fun review… I do feel UNIT got done a little dirty with its being written out in Revolution (though there’s rumours it is coming back). And while 70s storytelling is 70s storytelling, I was always a little bugged when Capaldi’s UNIT took casualties much as in the old days, but he didn’t seem to acknowledge them in any way – to the point that the Zygons who straight out murder them get a free pass. Maybe mu thoughts towards narratives and storytelling are far too simplistic.. But thanks for the article!! I remain sorely annoyed that when you were visiting Lakewood library (less than a mile from my house) I was totally unaware of it!!!! πŸ™ πŸ™


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