Who are the Survivors of the Flux, the titular folk of this weekend’s episode of Doctor Who Series 13? The answer might just be: UNIT!
Finally, the UNified Intelligence Taskforce (formerly the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce) has returned — as has Kate Stewart, played by Jemma Redgrave!
Redgrave made a surprise return in the Next Time trailer at the end of the previous episode of Flux, Village of the Angels, and thanks to a newly-released image for Survivors of the Flux, we can now see that she’s bringing UNIT with her.
The military staple of Doctor Who was introduced in The Invasion (1968) before becoming a mainstay for the Third Doctor era. They reappeared numerous times, including through sly introductions in 21st Century Doctor Who in Aliens of London/ World War Three and The Christmas Invasion (both 2005).
But they were last actually seen in The Return of Doctor Mysterio (2016), albeit very briefly; their last full on-screen appearance was the previous year’s The Zygon Invasion/ The Zygon Inversion.
(That is, aside from multimedia platforms, like the Lethbridge-Stewart novels and the Big Finish audio adventures.)
Fans then let off screams of dismay when they were seemingly retired in Resolution (2019), apparently due to financial disputes (aka a cheap gag about Brexit). Fortunately, we always knew the team would be back somehow: UNIT is represented in the far future, including in Under the Lake/ Before the Flood (2015), set in 2119.
We’re further hearing that this won’t be the last time we see UNIT in the Thirteenth Doctor era.
Nonetheless: hurrah for the return of UNIT! With Kate Stewart back, we wonder if Osgood (Ingrid Oliver) will return too. And if she’d be a human or a Zygon. Or even whether that matters anymore…