Doctor Who is back and — according to its creators — better than ever. On Wednesday, BBC sources confirmed that one of the show’s new spin-offs will be based on the fictional military research organization UNIT, and will star Jemma Redgrave as its leader, Kate Stewart.
The report (made by Deadline) arrived as many Whovians are in anticipation for the new wave of Whoniverse creations expected to crop up since Russell T. Davies returned as showrunner last fall. Now on Disney+ with a Disney-sized budget, the show’s fourteenth series is on the way alongside a number of spin-offs. “I always believed in spin-offs,” Davies told GQ.
UNIT is the organization tasked with protecting Earth from paranormal and extraterrestrial threats. It was first introduced during the era of the Second Doctor back in 1968, and became a recurring part of the show thereafter. Since the reboot launched in 2005, UNIT has since made several more appearances. Redgrave’s character, Kate Stewart, debuted on the show in 2012 as UNIT’s Chief Scientific Officer and de facto leader.
Much about the spin-off — including plots, release dates, etc. — is still unknown, but the confirmed premise has augmented excitement. Speaking to BBC Radio 2 (via Radio Times), Davies alluded to several of the projects in work under the new Disney deal, including Doctor Who’s upcoming fourteenth series, which includes an episode that he described as “one of the greatest things I’ve ever made in my life.” While the show isn’t receiving a “Star Wars or Star Trek level” budget, it’ll still be a noticeable bump in capacity. “It’s more than I’ve ever had to work with,” Davies explained to GQ.
Along with the spin-off news, Whovians also have the show’s upcoming 60th anniversary to celebrate. David Tennant and Catherine Tate are both set to appear for that special, as well as the new Doctor, portrayed by the Rwandan-Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa. Read more of our coverage on all-things Whovian here.