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UNIT Dating[edit]

This is left here for historic note as the notes I used before writing the section on the page itself. Timrollpickering 03:16, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I'm going to add a bit on UNIT dating, inspired by a note on the Mawdryn Undead page, but given the controversies on it, feel it best to start drafting the section here. Below is what the Undead page says - feel free to start rewriting it. Timrollpickering 14:39, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Note from Mawdryn Undead[edit]

Mawdryn Undead has the unfortunate distinction of contributing to one of the biggest and most widely discussed contradictions in the Doctor Who universe: the "UNIT dating issue." The UNIT stories of the late Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, and early Tom Baker eras, while broadcast from 1969 to about 1976, were supposedly intended by the production team of the time to take place in the "near future." In one specific instance, in the serial Pyramids of Mars, Sarah Jane Smith specifically says she's "from 1980." However other serials place the UNIT stories even later than that, whilst some untransmitted lines indicated the stories had a contemporary setting. Following Pyramids of Mars, the Brigadier was still an active member of UNIT as of 1980. However, when Tegan and Nyssa arrive on Earth, it's 1977 - the Queen's Jubilee - and the Brigadier, recently retired, has just begun teaching at the school. Fans who seek a way to resolve this difference are split. Some believe the dates of Mawdryn Undead should be ignored because of the greater number of UNIT stories that posited the existence of UNIT in the late 1970s and early 1980s, even if few of those stories mentioned dates directly or depended on those dates for anything. Others believe that the Mawdryn dates should remain canonical, either because the story was produced and broadcast later (and therefore overrides what was already established) or because the changing of the date would render Tegan's discovery nonsensical. Arguments on both sides of the discussion have become passionate, although some people, perhaps more than would admit, choose their position based as much on their estimation of Doctor Who in the 1980s as a whole as on the merits of the relevant arguments. Perhaps the main reason for the dating problem arose from the fact that the story was written without the character of the Brigadier in mind at all - see point 5 below.


And here's the start of a draft on this:

The exact years in which UNIT operates are never made precisely clear and there has been much confusion and debate on this subject. No television story actually featuring UNIT gives a clear date onscreen. Several other stories offer dates, but they have a habit of contradicting one another, whilst a whole host of unused dialogue and scenes, internal production memos, books by the contemporary creative teams and other media have all combined to confuse the matter further. It is not even clear when the contemporary production team intended the stories to be set as different contributions on different occasions confuse one another.

The following precise, or near precise, dates are established in dialogue:

  • In the 1968 story The Web of Fear it is said that 1935 was "over forty years ago", thus making it at least 1975. In the sequel, The Invasion, the first story to feature UNIT, it is said that the events of the earlier story took place "about four years ago", making it 1979 at the earliest. This would place the UNIT stories featuring the Third Doctor and the Fourth Doctor in the 1980s.
  • In the 1975 story Pyramids of Mars, the Doctor's companion Sarah-Jane states "I come from 1980". This would place the Third and Fourth Doctor UNIT stories in the late 1970s.
  • In the 1981 spin-off K9 & Company Sarah-Jane has been back on Earth for some years, with the Doctor having left a present for her in 1978. This would place the relevant UNIT stories in the mid 1970s at the very latest.
  • In the 1982 story Time-Flight, which has a contemporary setting, the Doctor wonders if Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart has become a General by now, implying that it is several years since his time in UNIT.
  • In the 1983 story Mawdryn Undead it is established that Lethbridge-Stewart retired in 1976 (and was not promoted to a General) and worked at a British public school from 1977 until 1983. Both the 1977 and 1983 timezones are shown, with the former featuring the celebrations for the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • In the 1989 story Battlefield the Brigadier has now retired completely and the Doctor tells his companion Ace (from the late 1980s) that they are "a few years in your future".

In addition to this there are many other clues that just confuse the picture.

  • Some stories feature calendars but this can contradict one another The Green Death features two, one which says the story is set in February in a leap year when February 29 falls on a Sunday (1972 is the only one in the 1960s-1990s) but another says April.
  • Politics wise the stories offer a very different picture from the time when they were transmitted. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is called "Jeremy" in 1973's The Green Death (intended to be Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe who never attained that position) and is a woman in 1975's Terror of the Zygons. (In the much later Battlefield the monarch is a King.) The United Nations is more interventionist than its 1970s real-life counterpart, whilst the Cold War at times is on the verge of turning into World War III in some of the earlier stories, but by Invasion of the Dinosaurs and Robot it is over. Mao Tse Tung is however alive at the time of 1971's The Mind of Evil and in real life he died in 1976.
  • With a few exceptions, none of the stories attempt to predict future fashions or technology, except when it is central to the plot. The result is that the stories feel very strongly like the 1970s.
  • On the occasions that money is mentioned, most amounts given correspond to those in use at the time, such as 2p for a phonecall in 1976's The Seeds of Doom, even though in real life the United Kingdom adopted decimal currency in 1971 and was subject to significant inflation.
  • The technology displayed on occasion is significantly more advanced than its real life counterparts. The United Kingdom has a fully functioning space programme that is able to send missions to Mars and Jupiter. Laser guns are in development in 1974's Robot and then used by UNIT in The Seeds of Doom. Many of the science establishments seen are engaged in extremely advanced research.
  • The BBC has a third channel, BBC 3, in 1971's The Dæmons. In real life the BBC at the time of writing has only two terrestrial channels, with the digital BBC Three have only been launched at the end of the 1990s.

Published books, contemporary interviews and behind the scenes documents all point to a degree of uncertainty amongst the production team as well. For example:

  • In a pair of 1969 interviews then producer Derrick Sherwin and newly cast Doctor Jon Pertwee told the press that the series (and thus the UNIT stories) would be set in a near future time when things such as space stations would become reality, with Pertwee confirming this would be in the 1980s.
  • An unused line in the rushes of 1971's The Claws of Axos clearly dates the story to the early 1970s. By this time Sherwin had moved on as producer.
  • The 1972 book [[The Making of Doctor Who, written by then-Script Editor Terrance Dicks and regular write Malcolm Hulke, dates the 1970 story Spearhead from Space to 1970. However the second edition of 1976 (rewritten by Dicks alone, after he had stepped down as Script Editor) does not specify a date.
  • The 1974 novelisation of The Sea Devils, also by Hulke, refers to North Sea Oil starting to be exploited in 1978, indicating an early 1980s setting for the story.
  • The 1981 Writers' Guide for the proposed series of K9 & Company stated that Sarah's travels with the Doctor (i.e. from The Time Warrior to The Hand of Fear) took place between 1973 and 1976.
  • The 1983 story Mawdryn Undead was originally written with a different former companion in mind and much has been made of how this generated the UNIT dating "mistake", though other early 1980s stories and the above mentioned guide support Mawdryn Undead 's dating of the story.

The 1990s original novels the New Adventures and the Missing Adventures took the view the stories were set some time in or around the 1970s and left it down to individual authors to decide on dates. This resulted in a number of contradictions - for example the events of The Invasion have been variously dated to the late 1960s, mid 1970s and late 1970s.

The debate continues...

More to come.

The Doctor's relations with UNIT[edit]

I would like to add a section describing the Doctor's rather rocky relationship with UNIT. Thoughts? Uncle Mikey 19:02, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Logo to feature?[edit]

Currently we have the older, round logo as the main, 'featured' symbol at the top of the article. Having seen that the Battlefield winged logo is the current one, as of The Christmas Invasion, might that be a better one to move to the top spot?

Thoughts? Radagast 06:06, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't know... I kind of like the retro look of the old insignia being up there. :) --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 06:41, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
I much prefer the old insignia myself. --Doctortoc 20:43, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Reverts of 5 January 2006[edit]

Let me explain why I reverted these edits. In turn:

1) The Intrusion Counter Measures Group and Rachel Jensen belonging to the British Rocket Group were not mentioned in the television episodes, but is information taken from the David Bishop book "Who Killed Kennedy". This is, like all non-television sources, of unclear canonicity, and of even more dubious canonicity because of the nature of Bishop's book, which is from an outsider's perspective trying to delve into UNIT's history - even the protagonist isn't certain how reliable his information is.

2) The Downtime information is not related to UNIT, but to the Brigadier, and is already covered in the Downtime (Doctor Who) entry as well as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.

3) The ICIS was controlled by a fascist leadership, but it in itself was not created as a fascist group, so that characterisation is not entirely accurate.

Please discuss if you disagree, but do not replace that information again until a consensus is reached. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 04:16, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

The Who Killed Kennedy stuff ought to be included somewhere, I should think. There are good resources at [1] and [2], if anyone is so inclined.--Sean|Black 05:03, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Both the Intrusion Counter Measures Group and Rachel Jensen's association with the British Rocket Group are first referred to in Ben Aaronovitch's novelisation of "Remembrance of the Daleks", and have been referred to in a number of later books (though "Devil Goblins from Neptune" suggests that "Bernard" is Bernard Traynor, not Bernard Quatermass). Good point on both Downtime and ICIS. Put those down to inexperience with the way wiki works. I'll be more thorough in future :-) --Doctortoc 20:41, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
UNIT is a fictional creation. The article should stop trying so hard to construct a coherent and logical history of the organisation from disparate sources, but rather detail what different stories said about the organisation. Bondegezou 11:57, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

UNIT files[edit]

The disclaimer in the appendix states:

"The fictional nature of the UNIT Files section of the site means that I can't really point you to where the information I'm relating comes to and, in a lot of cases I've made up details like the cover stories for events and suggestions about "what really happened". However, for your enjoyment I've stepped out of the fiction for this one page, to tell you where in the vast universe of Doctor Who fiction it all comes from. Incidentally, for almost all of the TV stories up until the end of 1972, I have taken details (particularly regarding cover-ups) from Who Killed Kennedy." (my emphasis)

Then he goes on to cite what sources he has, including "Who Killed Kennedy". So it's a combination of him taking the television sources, adding his own stuff to fill in the blanks from that. That's speculation. No place in an encylopedic article, but he can do it on his own website. "Made up" isn't wrong, but it sounds juvenile compared to speculation, which means the exact same thing. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 13:51, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

As the author of said site, I thought I'd step in to clarify this. The speculation on the UNIT files part of the site extends only to the bits trying to "explain away" what really happened, all the rest of the info is a distillation of information from the TV series, books, and audio (OK, so as I write this, audio content is still absent, but it will be there eventually...). Unfortunately the inclusion of speculation is a problem with the format of that part of the site - a result of the perspective it's written from. Other sections of the Whoniverse try to either minimise or explicitly mark speculation and so are much more useful as source material for Wikipedia. Bouncelot 20:26, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Merging the dating back in[edit]

  • The page on UNIT dating was originally part of this article but moved to its own as it was growing to the point where it was taking up most of this article. This article is better focused on the organisation itself, not problems of chronology. Timrollpickering 11:35, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • If you look at the history of the two articles, you'll see that the UNIT dating controversy was originally part of the main UNIT article, but got spun off primarily because it became apparent the scope of it involved such a different subject matter from an article about UNIT - the organisation - itself. A discussion of the dating controversy seemed out of place, especially as it was in itself an evidence gathering exercise. Based on this, of course, I am naturally opposed to a merger. (copied over from Talk:UNIT dating controversy) --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 12:58, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

United Nations unhappy with U.N.I.T.?[edit]

In an interview in Doctor Who Magazine #360 (August 2005), new series executive producer Russell T. Davies explained that the United Nations were no longer happy to be associated with the organisation, and its full name could not now be used. However, the "UNIT" and "UN" abbreviations can be used, as long as it is not explained what the letters stand for.

This really should be noted along this article (quoting off of the Doctor Who tie-in websites).. But I have a question: how come? DrWho42 05:22, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Um, it is. Second last paragraph under History. No further explanation was given, as far as I can tell. Perhaps the UN weren't comfortable being associated with a science fiction television series and a organization that fights aliens. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 05:33, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Why would it matter what the UN thought? This seems like a swerve to me. If the US government didn't want the US army represented in the Stargate TV series would the writers of Stargate change anything? Doubtful. Also, it seems odd that an "international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues" would care that a Sci-Fi show used their name for a fictional organization. Is there some kind of law in England where the UN would be granted the power to ban the use of their name? In the US I would think fair use of some type would apply. Doesn't it make more sense that Russell T. Davies just got sick of UNIT and wanted to replace it with Torchwood? 20:33, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
The US army [and, I imagine, the US Navy and US Airforce] is very controlling and very often has changes made to movies, to show the US Army in a good light - witholding access to land, equipment, etc if not agreed to.
If the characters in Stargate weren't portrayed as heroic, I'm quite sure the US forces would quickly force the writers and the studio to remove any references.
I suspect that RTD thought that UNIT was considered 'old fashioned' and wanted something 'snappier' to replace them. Also, I think Torchwood is just UNIT 're-imagined' in the same way the 'new' Cybermen are re-imagined versions of the 'old' Cybermen.
I always felt, tho, that UNIT could have been re-badged and redone as a modern alien hunter/defender/investigation organisation without much trouble. (talk) 16:27, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

So is the name change retroactive? If it isn't maybe we should have a new article for the "new" UNIT and keep the old one where it was? Type 40 (talk) 02:09, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

There have been many cases of the United Nations requesting removal of references to them in many pieces of media. The game Mercenaries had to have an "Allied Nations" force representing the UN, and the online browser game "NationStates" had to replace the United Nations with a "World Assembly". I'm guessing the same thing happened here Seriphyn (talk) 09:38, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

I sent an e-mail to the United Nations contact page asking them about this. They did not reply. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:11, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

UNIT or U.N.I.T.[edit]

Because life is not confusing enough, someone (see recent edit history) is disputing our use of "UNIT" rather than "U.N.I.T.". I have tried explaining about the tendency to keep consistency within articles. --Mark H Wilkinson (t, c) 22:55, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the objective accuracy of this has been compellingly called into question. See posting from Czechout under "Requested move" within its subsection "Survey" near the bottom of it—at least as of this writing. Ted Watson (talk) 16:56, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
The latest on-screen version of the logo shows U.N.I.T so that is what they call themselves. Logically, the logo should read UN.I.T, which suggests that the organisation has changed its name recently. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:08, 6 June 2008 (UTC)


Would it be at all sensible to move this to UNIT (Doctor Who) given the request of the United Nations to be disassociated with this? Morwen - Talk 16:08, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

They haven't requested it of us, have they? --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 16:33, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
No, but it ocurred to me to suggest considering it anyway: UNIT is actually what I meant as that's a redirect to here already. If other people think that there's no need, fair enough. Morwen - Talk 16:36, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
We don't really know exactly what the UN objected to, apart from what Davies told us in DWM. Even if they don't want the BBC to use the name "United Nations Intelligence Taskforce" in future, that was the name of the fictional organization from 1968 to 2005. Changing the name of the article seems a bit like revisionist history to me. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 02:49, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Doesn't Wikipedia use common names? We should move this back to the older (and very longstanding) "United Nations Intelligence Taskforce" and just make piped links to "Unified Intelligence Taskforce" where necessary.~ZytheTalk to me! 14:25, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Nah, if the name's been officially changed to Unified... then that should be the title of the article. And all links to it (eg Spearhead from Space) whould be changed too, IMO. TreasuryTagtc 14:28, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Zythe is right, we should use common names. It doesn't matter if it's been "officially" changed - Jean Grey's name was officially changed to Jean Grey-Summers when she got married back in the 90s but her article title remains the more commonly used "Jean Grey". That said, I think UNIT would be a better title, because not only would that negate the argument over what the "UN" stands for, but "UNIT" is more commonly used in the show than the full title. We don't call the TARDIS article "Time and Relative Dimension(s) in Space".  Paul  730 16:56, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
I support naming it UNIT as well. It's the more common name in that it's more frequently referred to as "UNIT" rather than the expanded name. DonQuixote (talk) 19:43, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

I would support a move to 'UNIT' as well. How exactly has the name been officially changed to Unified Intelligence Taskforce? And more importantly has this been referenced with-in any story, because I can't see how anything other than that would justify describing it as changed. Certainly not if it's from any source outside the context of the fiction itself, such as a producer, writer, BBC offical, etc. Simply if it wasn't in a story then it's name hasn't been changed, just as it wouldn't matter if JK Rowling said Hogwarts was now 'officially' called Thogwarts, it wouldn't matter since that isn't what it is actually called in the story, so it wouldn't be true to say that it is even if it's the author saying it. However they may well have referenced this quickly somewhere like Torchwood when Martha joined and I missed it, if so though, when? If the SFX interview mentioned in the article is all this is based on however, I would contest the validity of it for the aforementioned reasons.Number36 (talk) 00:00, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

No , it wasn't referenced in Torchwood .It was just said that Martha worked for UNIT and that was it.No explanation of what UNIT actually meant. Garda40 (talk) 00:53, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Well then I call balderdash on the whole thing, if it's never been Unified Intelligence Taskforce in the show, then it's not a true statement of fact that within the show it is called that, only the context of the fiction can be taken here. If, as the article in SFX might suggest, in the coming series they use that phrase and make reference to it, then there will be a factual basis for the claim and the aricle should reflect it when it happens, but as it is the article is now in error. It should either remain United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, or more preferable be changed to UNIT, which considering that it's obviously a backronym, is what both expanded forms are based on rather than the reverse. There should however be something about the RTDs comments in SFX, which would seem to indicate an intention.Number36 (talk) 02:06, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Name change[edit]

Is the name change retroactive? Type 40 (talk) 02:08, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

The name change isn't anything, since there hasn't been one yet. For any answers we'd have to wait until it eventuates to discern the context but there'd have to be fairly specific dialogue for it to be a retroactive change, or ret-con, so I highly doubt that it would be the case. But for all we know RTD meant that in the new series when they say UNIT, they'll mean that it's short for Unified Intelligence Taskforce, but never actually say it. In which case it could've just been a joke, -Oh okay the United Nations don't want us to use their name? Fine we'll just say UNIT and pretend that it stands for something else -what are they gonna do about it? The changes to the article, have been premature and should be reversed as soon as possible.Number36 (talk) 02:29, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]


This article has been renamed as the result of a move request. Tim! (talk) 07:17, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Unified Intelligence TaskforceUNIT — The organisation's name change is controversial, to say the least. By moving it to UNIT, we have less controversy and it's a title everyone can agree with. —Will (talk) 14:32, 14 March 2008 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Strong support, this is how it's best known. Timrollpickering (talk) 15:35, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - we have an official source giving it a new name. TreasuryTagtc 16:19, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
    I know that, but we do have essays that discourage using a new, relatively unknown name over a long-established common name: WP:COMMONNAME and WP:RECENT. Think about it, if in the last episode of Torchwood, Jack's real name is revealed, should we move it there, despite the fact he'd been known as Jack for four or five years before? Will (talk) 16:49, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'd say yes, actually :-O TreasuryTagtc 19:16, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry but your reasoning is faulty, there is no such thing as an official source for this fictional organisation, it is a case of what the name of it is within the context of the fiction, as I went into above. RTDs comments in the SFX article merely indicate the (possible) intention by the production team to change it in the upcoming series, or on the other hand it could've been a joke, or perhaps not overtly made in dialogue, at any rate until the actually story airs where the changes take place, there is no way judge the way it is actually executed in the show, nor to describe it in context as a fact about the fictional world of Doctor Who.Number36 (talk) 21:54, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Erm... there is. RTD gave an interview: WP:RS. TreasuryTagtc 12:19, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
He's not disputing the fact there's an interview, just if it was truthful, one of RTD's white lies (like "no Daleks in season 2", "not bringing the Master back"), or just a joke that he's known for doing. Will (talk) 14:25, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Yep, that is one of the possibilities that I think should be considered, and definitely gives weight to the idea of waiting to see how it is actually executed on screen, but more over my point is that there is no factual name of this organisation, since it is not a real organisation, it is fictional, therefore there are no official sources for UNIT itself, and the only relevant fact for this discussion is what it is actually called within the show itself, RTD is an official of the show Doctor Who maybe, but any statement about what it is called within the show can obviously only use the context of the fiction as a reference. It is not a fact that within Doctor Who it is called anything until, and only until, it has been called that within Doctor Who. Hopefully that makes my main point clearer.Number36 (talk) 23:46, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support: best known as UNIT. See also TARDIS. DonQuixote (talk) 18:25, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support, this is the name that it's best known by and I'm fairly certain it's the name we will hear and see throughout most of any future UNIT stories . Garda40 (talk) 20:36, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Support, as I said above, since it is obviously a backronym, both expanded forms are based on it rather than vice versa, making it the more appropriate name for the article, and as others have said it is the more commonly known name in any case, as well as the problems with describing it as the current name in a series that deals with time travel, and that the newer name has not actually been used in the series to date, making it inaccurate to describe it as the name of the fictional organisation in any form. Yet.Number36 (talk) 21:54, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Sorry, I didn't know about this survey until after I changed the name back based on other comments on this page. Type 40 (talk) 22:56, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
I think those changes needed to be done to reflect the facts as they stand, so well done. I see the issue of whether to re-title the article UNIT as somewhat seperate so I wouldn't worry about it too much.Number36 (talk) 23:10, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Ok. In any case I support a further name change to UNIT as that's the best known rendition of the name. Type 40 (talk) 10:28, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Best known by this name, fortunately, see discussion. Andrewa (talk) 03:09, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Everyone knows it as UNIT.cyclosarin (talk) 10:04, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - move to UNIT, and have "United Nations Intelligence Taskforce" and "Unified Intelligence Taskforce" redirect there. I love Doctor Who (talk) 13:09, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Common name. It's known primarily as UNIT, the fact that there's such confusion over what UNIT actually stands for only affirms that.  Paul  730 20:01, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong support, UNIT is the most common name for it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
  • Oppose - move to Unified Intelligence Taskforce. TreasuryTagtc 16:24, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
TreasuryTag you have already indicated your position in this survey, which I have commented on above.Number36 (talk) 23:23, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. However the "Unified Intelligence Taskforce" business plays out, UNIT is the common name of the organization, used more frequently than the full "United Nations Intelligence Taskforce" in reliable sources. Having the article at UNIT makes sense. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 19:08, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. The arguments above cover it superbly. NP Chilla (talk) 22:55, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Yeah, what Chilla said. Andral (talk) 00:48, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 02:30, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose, per WP:COMMONNAME. That policy says, in part, "Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things" [emphasis added] and "Titles should be as simple as possible without being too general". In my view, "UNIT" is far to general a word for the name of the article. Have you seen the length of the redirect page you get when you type in "unit"?
Further, I disagree that it is most commonly known as UNIT; it is commonly known, even in this day in age when the United Nations has requested some "distance" from the organization, that the "UN" stands for the United Nations. Hence the Torchwood intro which states that Torchwood is "beyond the United Nations".
It should be pointed out, as well, that naming the article is a little too close, for my tastes, to another fictional paramilitary organization, CBS's The Unit. Yes, that "unit" isn't an acronym but it is a notable fictional concept of a similar type that goes by essentially the same name.
Another problem with moving to the abbreviation is the complicated question of which is the most-used spelling in English-language sources. Is it actually UNIT or U.N.I.T. ? I think that's a harder question to answer, actually, than whether it should go by the acronym or the long form.
Finally, I think this whole discussion is itself a violation of WP:FUTURE. The article, as it stands, has erred by saying that the acronym stands for "Unified Intelligence Taskforce". There is, as yet, no proof of that in the narrative. As of a copyright date of 2007, the show's official U.N.I.T. website still maintains that the "U.N." means the United Nations, and goes out of its way in its disclaimer to disavow any real life connection between UNIT and the UN. If a change does actually make it to the airwaves, then we might revisit the issue. However, even then — unless some explanation is given for how the UN-based organization turned away from its roots — there may be some cause for believing that we are, in fact, talking about two different organizations. Thus, any onscreen change of name might, in fact lead to the creation of a new article. It could also lead to a new acronym, UnIT, since, strictly, the "n" doesn't stand for a word.
At the end of the day, this RM is predicated largely on a spoiler. I therefore propose that we leave things as is and wait. CzechOut | 04:27, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
  • UNIT already redirects to this page, to be honest. And a hatnote isn't hard to do. By the way, it should be "UNIT" with no periods; Doctor Who is a British creation, thus all articles that are a subset should be in BrEng. Sceptre (talk) 02:03, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Except that the British creators have consistently included periods in every depiction of the organization's acronym from its inception to The Christmas Invasion. That's what makes the issue tricky, for me. This isn't a matter of the non-British English speakers grafting their conventions onto things; it's a question of representing the actuality of the acronym. CzechOut | 01:40, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
If someone with videos (and just for the record, DVD is a video format, just as laser disc was) can verify/confirm that, then, IMO, the periods are mandatory here. Ted Watson (talk) 16:52, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose, It is called United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, and it hasn't "officially" been contradicted on the show thus i think it should stay as the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Imagine Wizard (talkcontribs)
Support UNIT is the most used name, and most people think, for example, The Brigadier works for UNIT, not The Brigadier works for the United Nations Intelligence Task Force. My only suggestion might be something like "UNIT (Doctor Who)" or something like that, to separate it from other uses of UNIT. Borg Sphere (talk) 00:38, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Though UNIT 'might' be it's more common name, using the non-abbreviated name I feel would be more appropriate for the article and have 'UNIT' redirected to United Nations Intelligence Taskforce as it is currently. When looking up an abbreviated name that you want to find out about, what is usually the first thing you want to see? The actual name. Shieked :3 02:10, 7 April 2008 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

The discussion above regarding the official name for the unit misses the point completely. And perhaps it's just as well. If it were just a matter of a humourless and bureaucratic UN objecting to Dr Who's usage of their name, I'd be very tempted to vote for retaining their name here on those grounds alone! But there's no need to disrupt Wikipedia as it turns out. Andrewa (talk) 03:09, 15 March 2008 (UTC)

Then just what is the point? And if it isn't "just a matter..." (which is certainly what it looks like to me, and as an American, I definitely don't much care how the UN feels, either), then what is it? And I do see it as a legitimate question and not a violation of "disruption" policies (I did check that link). Indeed, your posting, so utterly failing to make a point, seems to me to be flirting with it. Ted Watson (talk) 22:19, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Can I just point out that having been "United Nations Intelligence Taskforce" for 40 years, so that should still remain its article name. Simply "UNIT" is an acceptable compromise, under WP:COMMONNAME. Think Sarah Michelle Gellar/Prinze or The Rock (entertainer)/Dwayne Johnson. (And now I feel ashamed, because those examples give away that I've seen Southland Tales.)~ZytheTalk to me! 19:10, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Edits by IP:[edit]

There has been a series of edits by IP: and reversions by various editors, on the last instance applying the word "vandalism," which I am certain is inappropriate. For "Foundation" he/she has said "1968," which is the first year UNIT appeared in the program, i.e., from a production perspective when it was founded. I have no doubt that these edits, whatever they lack in true validity, have been made in good faith. Ted Watson (talk) 18:53, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

On Air[edit]

Well, unless they edit the episode between now and Saturday, The Sontaran Stratagem will be the first use of Unified Intelligence Taskforce on air. This comes from the preview clip on the website, but I suppose it might be a little presumptive to add it. --Kiarboz (talk) 13:43, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

And they said in the episode that they are funded heavily by the United Nations .Little dig back at being made to change name maybe Garda40 (talk) 18:25, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Name should be changed, get over it[edit]

The recentism article having been thoroughly read, I can safely say that moving the article to Unified Intelligence Taskforce was not recentism. When it was previously (and correctly) moved back to "United Nations...", it was because the name had not been mentioned on-screen. It now has. So it is the fully fledged and 100% official name of the organisation, and it was from the very second it was mentioned. Shall we have a similar example? Yeah, why not. BBC News 24 was renamed to plain old BBC News on Monday, and is almost certainly better known by its former name (which it used for many years). Was it wrong to rename the article to BBC News (TV channel)? Of course it wasn't. No further questions. U-Mos (talk) 18:39, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Because it's different. BBC News is a real thing, therefore it's "the BBC News, formerly known as BBC News 24." UNIT is fictional, it is "UNIT, rendered as United Nations bla bla between 196X and 2007, and and known as Unified bla bla since 2008". Therein lies the difference.~ZytheTalk to me! 22:14, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Please discuss on talk page before moving. Also, please read and contribute to the "move to UNIT" survey above. DonQuixote (talk) 00:19, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

I do apologise for moving the page without discussion, but I was under the impression that a clear (and obvious) consensus had been reached that, in the event of the new name being mentioned on-screen, the article would be moved. In response to Zythe's point, I fail to see how being fictional or not makes any difference in this instance. You could ask the question "What is the name of the BBC's news channel?", where many people would say the old name and be technically incorrect. You could also ask Doctor Who viewers "What does UNIT stand for?", and many people would use the technically-wrong old acronym. Doctor Who uses a near-present day timeline, is still being made, and the name change has taken place in the mainstream programme, not in any spin-off media or the like. To continue to use the out-of-date acronym as the main name is insane. And calling the article UNIT I don't agree with, as it is Wikipedia practice to use full names. It just seems to be a way of avoiding any arguments a day after all arguments became irrelevant due to the renaming becoming official. U-Mos (talk) 12:07, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

It should be UNIT because it is usually reffered to by that name (like TARDIS). It's much easier to have the line like Zythe said above. ("UNIT, rendered as United Nations bla bla between 196X and 2007, and and known as Unified bla bla since 2008") (talk) 14:36, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Ah, but the TARDIS is a name that the Time Lords gave their ships. TARDIS stands for time anf relative dimension in space, but the ships aren't called time and relative dimension in space...s, are they? UNIT would presumably be an organisation registered under the name United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, and then later changed to Unified etcetera. U-Mos (talk) 15:34, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

And Bono isn't the real legal name of the singer.It is however the name he is best known by and if you type his real name into the search box you are redirected to the article Bono .In other words the article is listed under the name it is best known by with redirects to that title and an explanation for those redirects in the introduction . Whatever the initials may stand for , the name it is best known by is UNIT , and if we're also going to include mentions on air then mentions of UNIT outnumber anything else . Garda40 (talk) 17:14, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Bono is not an abbreviation for Paul Newson (or maybe Hewson, I forget). UNIT is (an abbreviation of its name, not Bono's). As the only example that currently springs to mind, DEFRA is hardly ever called by its full title. Its Wikipedia page is found there, because it is the proper name. I have not come across any other page named from an abbreviation, because I'm pretty damn sure there'll be one of those annoying policy pages forbidding it somewhere. So to summarise: UNIT is an abbreviation, United Nations Intelligence Taskforce is out-of-date. This is an absolute no-brainer! The page has to be moved, and I will officially nominate it as soon as I have the time. U-Mos (talk) 19:04, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Ah, but the TARDIS is a name that the Time Lords gave their ships. No, it isn't. The very first episode specifically states that the character of the Doctor's granddaughter, who was calling herself Susan Foreman, coined that from the initials. It is therefore not the official Gallifreyan name, or at least not at its creation. I must admit that, judging from dialogue in later stories featuring various Time Lords, it does appear to have subsequently become a quite common usage among them, but there is no evidence that it is any more official than "UNIT". Therefore, the above fails to counter the claim that its article title sets a precedent. The fact that just what this acronym stands for is subject to real-world objection and consequently fluid means that the article should indeed be titled UNIT (or U.N.I.T., if the statement in a posting from CzechOut to the thread "Requested move" near the end of its subsection "Survey" can be verified). Ted Watson (talk) 19:34, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
My Point name it is best known by Garda40 (talk) 20:10, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

But even if she coined the name, it isn't a "time and relative dimension in space". That makes no sense. It's a TARDIS, the name TARDIS being derived from "time and relative dimension in space". U-Mos (talk) 20:16, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Nevertheless, that phrase is the official name of the device (and given that Susan's claim was even in the pilot, not necessarily just in-universe), and titling the article with its acronym establishes a precedent for using such. Certainly, the established real-world fluidity of what UNIT stands for means that nothing should be trusted to last there. If the USA has its way, the UN will return to the diplomatic body it was created to be and quit trying to be a world government, and if that happens, UNIT's meaning might well revert to the original. With an allowance for the possibility that the periods might be confirmed as proper, I vote for "UNIT." Ted Watson (talk) 20:33, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

U-Mos, there is no "current state" when discussing fiction; you are treating UNIT as a real thing, rather than a fictional thing which has recently been called something else. Please read Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction).~ZytheTalk to me! 14:15, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

That would depends what fiction you're talking about. If you're talking about a chronological television programme that is still being made, there most certainly is. I'm no expert on this, but I belive that if, say, Peggy Mitchell from EastEnders got married to a man named Jones and took his name, her article would immediately be moved to Peggy Jones. U-Mos (talk) 15:03, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I can find nothing on the page Zythe linked in that supports his "no 'current state' when discussing fiction" claim. Nothing at all. As U-Mos points out, logic demands that there is. Ted Watson (talk) 21:18, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Ted Watson, but it explicitly tells you that fiction should be written with the focus on it being fictional and therefore what is most recent or "current" does not matter, whereas what the concept is best known as does. For example, should Homer Simpson become Homer Thompson permamently in an episode of The Simpsons and stay this way through to the very final episode the article would still be best located at Homer Simpson.
And U-Mos, there are some major flaws with the EastEnders Wikiproject concerning characters changing names, as well as that club that keeps changing its name. For example, Stacey Branning should be located at Stacey Slater, but Pat Evans has been Pat Evans for years now. If Peggy Mitchell married Max Branning and became Peggy Branning, the article should still be at Peggy Mitchell. EastEnders Wikiproject also commits the cardinal sin of referring to fictional characters as if they've ceased to exist in the realm of fiction after death, with lead sentences like "Tiffany Mitchell was a character in EastEnders." As for the club, besides concerns it is not notable enough for its own article, it should be referred to by whichever name it has had the longest time or perhaps simply "the club".~ZytheTalk to me! 19:23, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I totally agree with the point about there being no current state in fiction as mentioned by Zythe above (Fiction once created is a static thing with static attributes that can be described), and also I should point out again that there's no such thing as an 'official' source for UNIT (it not being real, -official sources for the BBC perhaps, but there's no such thing as an official name for the organisation, just what it happens to be called within the show) but even ignoring that, in regards to the idea of it being a 'current name', it should be considered that Doctor Who involves time travel. If the Characters were depicted as being 'currently' involved in an adventure set during the early 80's with UNIT, then what would be the current by that definition on-screen name of the organisation? UNIT is the best name for the article.Number36 (talk) 23:47, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Fiction once created is a static thing.... There is nothing "static" about a television programme that has been in production, and thereby developing and evolving, for most of the last forty-five years, has had comic stories, audio adventures and novels (as opposed to novelisations of the TV stories) in what comparatively little TV downtime there has been (some elements first used there are now all-but official canon, Season 6B at the head of that list), and is developing and evolving as we write. That sort of fiction does indeed have a "current state," period. This, BTW, puts "bogus" to the general non-fiction vs. fiction tense rule here. The same reasoning applies to soap operas that have been running continuously for decades and mainstream comic books that have been turning superhero methods-of-operations and costumed names over to other, almost always younger (but the Spectre is a definite exception to that), characters. In those articles, discussions of elements/characters/set-up formats that have come and gone should be in the past tense as they are no longer current, and there is no logical way to argue otherwise, only to stand by an arbitrary and illogical rule. And to Zythe's example of Homer Simpson becoming Homer Thompson, that would depend on just how long "the rest of the run" is; if it were to be another twenty years, an entire generation would know Homer as Thompson. Sorry, but I don't see that this example, almost totally lacking in specifics as to just what happens there, makes any point whatsoever. Don't misunderstand me, Zythe, as you are certainly free to elaborate on it if you think it can help your position. Ted Watson (talk) 19:38, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry but you are incorrect. Fiction once created is most assuredly a static thing. No matter what is written afterwards the static real world facts of what was written on the page/shown on the screen, do not change. To talk about fiction in the present tense, as though the events of the narative are actually happening, breaks the wikipedia rule of treating the fictional narative as fact, it's an in-universe POV, these things are not actually happening, currently or otherwise, but are merely facts about what is within the narative of a fiction, no one fact about that is more true because it is in a more recent part of the narative.Number36 (talk) 23:24, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Requested move #2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no move. JPG-GR (talk) 00:29, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

UNITUnified Intelligence Taskforce — UNIT is an abbreviation, and the old name is out of date. —U-Mos (talk) 20:16, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Survey 2[edit]

Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Oppose - we have a consensus for UNIT. Sceptre (talk) 20:45, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - we've gone through the article location too recently to reopen it now. Timrollpickering (talk) 21:06, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose It is Wikipedia practice to use the name that is best known which in this case is UNIT Garda40 (talk) 21:11, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Ditto on the fact that we just moved it. Also, it's best known as UNIT. See also TARDIS, AIDS and laser. DonQuixote (talk) 23:21, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, we have found a compromise which should appease everyone.~ZytheTalk to me! 14:17, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, current name of the article is an excellent compromise. Alientraveller (talk) 14:26, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, "UNIT" addresses both the old and the new definitions and is the most common term used. --Ckatzchatspy 18:56, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per prior consensus, WP:COMMONNAME and WP:RECENT. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 21:59, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Recent name change does not mean that UNIT will not longer be the primary search item. Three dozen years of use of UNIT in the various Doctor Who episodes cannot be erased as long that the film and videotape of the Troughton, Pertwee, Baker, Davison, and McCoy episodes exist. The new (Doctor Who universe) name can redirect to this. B.Wind (talk) 04:04, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose per prior consensus, and reasons which still stand.Number36 (talk) 23:50, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Discussion 2[edit]

Any additional comments:

I'd just like to point out that the circumstances for this name changed when the full name was mentioned on-screen on Saturday. You can't deny that. The consensus for UNIT was reached weeks before this, just the article was not moved until the weekend. So the consensus for choosing UNIT is now null and void. And it also pretty much makes the timing for the name change incorrect, so to say that it's only just been moved so shouldn't be again is also an irrelevant argument. The fact is, although acronyms are used occasionally when the acronym's usage far surpasses the full name's (ie the examples listed above), UNIT would not, and indeed did not, meet this criteria before there was confusion in the name. The most appropriate name should be used, not the one that will cause less arguments. Hell, United Nations Intelligence Taskforce is prefereable to UNIT in my book. U-Mos (talk) 14:57, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

You're confused. It belongs as Unified Intelligence Taskforce on Wikia, or a fansite. However, "UNIT" refers to a fictional entity and the article is supposed to describe how it has been written, created, its plot function, its real-world implications. Wikipedia doesn't care for fictional histories/biographies, although it does care about how a specific storyline was written and in what way if there is a relevant source. I say the name it has always gone for a bazillion years (with the annotation saying that they can no longer call it that and it is called this now bla bla) or the excellent neutral compromise should be the only viable otions for Wikipedia. For anyone confused that this article might be about people shouting about CPU components, or Unit the album by some Australian band, there is a disambiguation link at the top of the article.~ZytheTalk to me! 20:10, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
According to Doctor Who Magazine Special Winter 1991 ("UNIT Exposed"), the acronym was devised by The Invasion director Douglas Camfield and what it stood for subsequently formulated by the staff to fit. Applying much of U-Mos's own interpretations of the regs to that fact, since "UNIT" per se is the actual and original creation, that's what's primary and what should head the article. I do maintain my previously stated provision re: CzechOut's claim that the periods were invariably present—if that can be confirmed (and a simple check of the relevant vids is all that's necessary) it should be that way. Ted Watson (talk) 21:32, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Zythe: I would say you're confused, as your response doesn't appear to have any relevance to the points I made above. What I believe, all other things aside, simply boils down to that UNIT was chosen as a "compromise", which is not how article names should be chosen. I would fully support a reversion to "United Nations Intelligence Taskforce" as the name that has stood for longest, although I do not personally agree with this, rather than see the article remain at this point, which very few people seem to believe is the best place for the article to be. U-Mos (talk) 15:02, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Just a couple of points...first, UNIT was chosen as a compromise because many references refer to both UNIT and United Intelligence Task Force, whilst the 2005 revival refers to both UNIT and Unified Task Force (as of last week). The common link is the acronym UNIT. Second, we don't know if the new name will be long lasting, therefore changing the article to Unified Intelligence Task Force might be a bit premature (see Greatest American Hero, specifically the changing of the protagonist's name from Hinkley to Hanley and then back to Hinkley). DonQuixote (talk) 19:12, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I think U-Mos is incorrect in saying that "very few people" believe that UNIT is the best location for this article. I, for one, think it's completely appropriate, per WP:COMMONNAME. Incidentally, that page and WP:ACRONYM support the use of UNIT as opposed to U.N.I.T. — it's like NASA. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 19:27, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Josiah Rowe's comparison to NASA[edit]

WP:COMMONNANE...and WP:ACRONYM support the use of UNIT as opposed to U.N.I.T. - it's like NASA. — Joaiah Rowe, in the above closed off section.

As I've said before, if CzechOut's claim earlier on this page that periods were used consistently and invariably (even if the latter should need to be qualified as "almost") can be confirmed as accurate, then the article has to be named "U.N.I.T.", no legitimate argument otherwise possible. Ted Watson (talk) 19:48, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Really? I'd have thought that "UNIT" vs. "U.N.I.T" was purely a stylistic question, and as such covered by the Manual of Style and guidelines like WP:COMMONNAME, which says:
Several guidelines try to systematise certain types of article titles, for example article titles using abbreviations:
Oddly, WP:ACRONYM itself no longer speaks to the question of "NASA" vs. "N.A.S.A.", but I think it used to.
Anyway, if we're going by what was seen on screen, the article should be at U·N·I·T, because that's what the sign in The Three Doctors said. Obviously, nobody's going to type that in a search (not least because they won't know how to get the "·" character). Anyway, unless someone can provide some screencaps showing "U.N.I.T." the question is academic. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 04:36, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Considering that the current episodes have UNified Intelligence Task Force, it would be less confusing to simply have it as UNIT. DonQuixote (talk) 14:01, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what Josiah Rowe was trying to do with the "sign" link, but it doesn't work. As for his bottom line, "unless someone can provide..." equates to my own 'if...[it]] can be confirmed...." Ted Watson (talk) 19:44, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Dunno why the other link went dead, but try this one. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 02:18, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
That one works fine. Thank you. Ted Watson (talk) 20:20, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I believe the novels, at least always have UNIT. I've checked Target novelisations, NAs, EDAs and the new series books, and I've not seen a single U.N.I.T. This also seems to be the form used in DWM. Since these are both official sources and the two places people are most likely to see "UNIT" written down, I'd say that makes it the official version. Daibhid C (talk) 21:14, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Out-of-universe material needed[edit]

This article needs more out-of-universe material on the creation, development and use of the UNIT concept in the television series and other media. There's some useful info in the Howe-Stammers-Walker books, and this Radio Times article has some info about the creation of UNIT and its recent revival. I'm busy with other stuff, so if anyone wants to add this here it would be great. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 01:42, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Regardless of how much OOU stuff is in the article, it's one of the cases for inherent notability, by way of the dating controversy. Sceptre (talk) 07:16, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, I tried to find something yesterday but having watched very few classic serials and due to overly-detailed Wiki aricles about them I had a hard time figuring out which writer "invented" UNIT and which key writers developed the concept etc.~ZytheTalk to me! 19:14, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Colonel Mace the Commander?[edit]

Sorry, but where is it explicity stated that Mace is the Commander of the UK branch of UNIT? I think it seems unlikely given that the position has traditionally been filled by a Brigadier (Not just Lethbridge-Stuart, but also his replacement in The Five Doctors and Bambera in Battlefield) As far as I could make out Mace is definitely the commander of a battalion (as makes sense given his rank) but I can't recall a single reference as to him acting as any kind of divisional commander. I could be wrong though, but I think a reference is in order. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:13, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart's replacement in "The Five Doctors" was a colonel: Colonel Crichton. (talk) 01:47, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Category renaming[edit]

Please go to Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2008_April_27#Category:United_Nations_Intelligence_Taskforce where there is a debate and vote on renaming Category:United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. Type 40 (talk) 14:05, 3 May 2008 (UTC)


"Beginning in the later Torchwood episode "Fragments" UNIT is depicted as having little regard for law or human rights." I'd dispute this. I know that they locked Toshiko up indefinitely, but she had aided terrorists (ableit they'd kidnapped her mother, so it was unwillingly) who could have used the sonic whatever to kill people. And isn't there a Government rule that they don't negotiate with hostage takers? Steel Talon (Interrogation room) 18:08, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

The key is that she was held indefinitely and without trial. If you don't have a trial, your rights are being abused — even if you're guilty. I'm rather saddened that people can't see this distinction. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 18:36, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree, but it would be hard to cover up a trial about technology that UNIT would frankly want to keep away from the public. Steel Talon (Interrogation room) 18:42, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't change the fact that imprisonment without trial represents a violation of human rights and law (unless we're meant to believe that in the Doctor Who universe UNIT has some legal authority from the UN that exceeds the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other such articles of international law, let alone UK law). I'll grant you that there's a legitimate argument saying that UNIT would have fair reasons not to put Tosh on trial; but if they decide that those reasons are more important than her right to a trial, then that more or less supports the article's claim.
But we're getting into WP:NOTAFORUM territory here. The question is whether the evidence presented in the Torchwood episode is sufficient to justify the article's wording. I think it is, but I'm open to alternative suggestions. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 23:32, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Admitting going in that I haven't seen the Torchwood episode, I feel that there is a big difference between "having little regard" for something and being willing to violate it when circumstances dictate. Yes, this smacks of "the end justifies the means" but any given end justifies some means. Two examples from real world history:
1. The "end": Abolishing slavery in the southern part of the USA when the governments of those states made it clear that they would give no consideration whatsoever to doing so themselves. The "justified means": The federal government violating the "Doctrine of States' Rights"; probably justified the Civil War (in general), too.
2. The "end": Stopping Hitler, Tojo and their atrocities. The "justified means": World War II (again, in general; don't bring up isolated incidents of atrocities committed by Allied personnel).
Again, I admit that I don't know what "the evidence presented in the Torchwood episode" is, and it might well invalidate a defense of, "We don't like doing it, but we will when we feel we have to for the greater good." So I will certainly leave any decision up to people who do know. But by my definition, the phrase "having little regard" is not automatically justified by the UNIT actions described above. --Ted Watson (talk) 19:25, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

It's still 'United Nations'...[edit]

First of all, let me say, I was never happy with the name change. It was uneccessary because Ecclestone already called it 'United Nations Intelligence Taskforce' once on screen. They never had to use its full name again, really, so they were OK. Now around the time of the change to 'Unified' (RTD's sole decision), I put forth the theory on the forums that although they had verbally referred to it as 'Unified' (to keep them out of trouble), that within the confines of the Doctor Who universe, the name had not actually changed. This based on the fact that the acronym was still U.N.I.T and not UN.I.T (plus my stubborn refusal to accept the name change.)

I have just watched part 1 of the latest 'Sarah Jane Adventures' episode, 'Enemy of the Bane' (I should point out that the events of this episode take place AFTER those in 'The Sontaran Stratagem'). It features the return of the Brigadier, and at one point there is a U.N.I.T facility. Stencilled on one set of glass doors is the U.N.I.T logo, complete with the full name underneath. The picture quality on iPlayer is not sufficient to read the words, but there are four seperate words. This would indicate that 'United Nations Intelligence Taskforce' is still the official name of the organisation (within the Who universe). If this can be confirmed (I have requested screengrabs), I would like to request that the 'Unified' name change be REMOVED from the opening paragraph, and instead mentioned only in the appropriate place in the main article as a 'brief attempt at change' (or something to that effect).

With Russell T Davies FINALLY leaving and Stephen Moffat taking over, there have already been efforts to give Moffat a 'clean slate' as it were; it is possible that the 'Unified' name change is something Moffat was not comfortable with and wanted changed back.The Legendary Shadow! (talk) 01:45, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

The name change has happened. It's been stated on screen a few times now - I think in three different episodes by three different characters. You can't really demand that something be removed because you don't like it. And at least RTD hasn't done something really stupid like displacing the UNIT era by nearly a decade. Eleventh Doctor (talk) 17:22, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

The Legendary Shadow! there is no chance that Moffat will change the name back to United Nations Intelligence Taskforce as the reason behind the change was not RTD's decisions simply the UN was not happy with the show using its name any more- so it wont be changing back - whether UNIT was called United Nations Intelligence Taskforce is an episode after the Poison Sky episode means nothing - as Eleventh Doctor has said the change has happened and been mentioned in multiple episodes. Alexsau1991 (talk) 19:27, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Discuss UNIT British contingent merge suggestion[edit]

User:DeadlyAssassin has added a tag to the article suggesting that the article UNIT British contingent be merged into this one, on the grounds that the other is "mostly in-universe cruft." I have examined that article and don't see that as valid, but nevertheless support the suggestion itself as that article is essentially redundant given this one. In fact, I did not even know it existed until now. Given that the programme almost by definition focuses on the British branch when it does deal with UNIT, this article predictably emphasises that. Again, I vote in favor of the suggested merge on the grounds of redundancy. --Ted Watson (talk) 21:30, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Merge Well, another user had added the mergefrom tag to UNIT British contingent, I'm not sure who, but I didn't see any discussion here on that. Given that the word Cruft probably has certain connotations, I'll withdraw that word, but I do believe that there is a problem with that article in that it is in-universe content, not to mention unreferenced. --Deadly∀ssassin 05:10, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Ah hah! You merely duplicated the tag that's there on this article. I had misinterpreted the "...not sure who..." in your edit summary to mean the idea had been brought up on the other's discussion page. I clicked on the "Discuss" link on the tag on this article and it brought me here. Didn't think to check that talk page. All's understood now. --Ted Watson (talk) 21:01, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, someone added the mergefrom but hadn't added the corresponding mergeto here or started the discussion. :) Sorry for the confusion. --Deadly∀ssassin 22:02, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
merge - most of the times we see UNIT it is in britain - not mnuch point in having two articles. (talk) 13:24, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
oops - that IP was me not logged in - Eleventh Doctor (talk) 17:22, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Merge - I don't see the need for a separate article. If this one still isn't merged a month or two from now, I'll consider nominating it for deletion, for the reasons raised by Deadly Assassin and Tbrittreid above. Robofish (talk) 19:27, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

  • I've made the merge as I believe we have consensus here. There wasn't an awful lot that was additional to what appeared in the article already, however I did include some content in the 20th century and Organisation sections. See diff [3] for the actual changes I made. --Deadly∀ssassin 21:07, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Children of Earth[edit]

Where's the update for Children of Earth? -- (talk) 04:50, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

In-Universe Content[edit]

I'm going to have a go at tackling the in-universe content in this article. Firstly I'm going to create a separate History of UNIT article populated with the history content from this article. This will let me abbreviate the history section and make this real world - an approach that's worked well for the Dalek article. I'm then going to work through the rest of the article, and any substantial content I remove I'll place on this page. --Deadly∀ssassin 06:19, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Call Signs[edit]

I have removed the call signs table - this strikes me as unencyclopedic and inherrently in-universe.

Call Sign Rank + Name
Eagle UNIT Helicopter
Greyhound 1 Brigadier Lethbridge-Stuart
Greyhound 3 Captain Mike Yates
Greyhound 6 Doctor Martha Jones
Greyhound 15 Private Harris
Greyhound 16 Private Steve Gray
Greyhound 40 Private Ross Jenkins
Hawk Major Unit Carrier Ship Valiant
Trap One Centre of operations
Trap Two Soldiers in the field
Windmill 123 UNIT Helicopter
Windmill 347 UNIT Helicopter
I think describing what the acronym stands for as (UNified Intelligence Taskforce, formerly United Nations Intelligence Taskforce) reflects an in-universe perspective in the use of the word 'formerly'. It does (present tense) stand for that in existing stories. Referring to an in-story change in the past tense would be like describing Sherlock Holmes as a retired man living on a Bee Farm, who was formerly a detective, in the article on that character. There is no real organization that changed its name, only stories, which co-exist, where it is one or the other. I will change the 'formally' to 'or' to reflect this, and the article goes on to explain the context of the different usages.Number36 (talk) 20:55, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Restoring UNIT Dating[edit]

I don't agree with the reasons for removing this section. It could be better referenced and could benefit from expanding, but the issue of when the Pertwee UNIT episodes occurred is one that is widely discussed by fans (I recall reading an article on this in Dr Who magazine significantly more than a decade ago) and the ambiguity has latterly been referenced in the series itself. It is a crucial question, as, for example, Terror of the Zygons cannot have been set the year it was broadcast as the Brigadeer speaks to a female PM (and Thatcher was still a few years off from being elected at the time, so it wasn't a reference to her). In particular, given that certain other Dr Who related pages link to the old UNIT dating page, which then direct to the UNIT page, it's helpful to have some reference to this here. Others are free to disagree and even remove the dating section again... but if they do please clean up all the links from other pages to UNIT dating. (talk) 17:19, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

Homeworld Security[edit]

In The Sarah Jane Adventures, 1st December 2008, Enemy of the Bane Pt 1, it was stated that UNIT was part of "Homeworld Security" or at least governed by some sort of Homeworld Security Mandate:
KILBURNE: I'm sorry, sir, but the Homeworld Security Mandate dictates
BRIGADIER: Homeworld Security. That's the trouble with UNIT these days. Too many buzzwords, too many directives. At least in my day we maintained the benefits of common sense.
Full transcript here:
This was never, as far as I know, mentioned again in the context of the Dr. Who universe - it was especially surprising because there's a Homeworld Security in Stargate.
This isn't mentioned anywhere on this page, I'm wondering if it should be, and if so where it should be placed? Marcus Rowland (talk) 11:16, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

'Formally United Nations Intelligence Taskforce'[edit]

I think this line in the opening represents an incorrect use of past tense with an in-universe perspective; going by WP:FICTENSE and MOS:INUNIVERSE, its use in older stories is as relevant as the more recent; as all those stories still exist to be watched at any time. (And 'currently' is of questionable worth in a series about Time Travel from an in-universe perspective as well come to that). It would be more correct to simply note that it stands for both (i.e. X or Y, type thing) and let the article expand on that. -It's also questionable whether that almost decade-old superficial change needs to be expanded upon in the lede rather than body of the article. (talk) 09:48, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

You have a good point. DonQuixote (talk) 14:41, 7 June 2017 (UTC)