Wednesday, March 12, 2008


The new issue of SFX includes a new interview with Russell T Davis and, according to the,
"he confirms that UNIT, the fictional military organisation returning to the show in the new series, is now the Unified Intelligence Taskforce, and not the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce as it was previously known."
Apparently, the UN didn't approve of the fictional organisation that so effectively (if fictionally) has curbed alien invasions, weird diseases and mining operations. I wonder if they'd also be bothered by a re-make of North by Northwest.

Anyway, ages ago a bunch of like-minded writing types discussed what UNIT might stand for if not the United Nation's Intelligence Taskforce. My suggestion, which I'm still far too pleased with, was:

You Know It's Topsecret.


SK said...

Oh good grief. Why should the BBC be the only people in the world to give a flying what the UN thinks about anything?

0tralala said...

Quite a lot of people give a flying what the UN thinks. The point of making UNIT a UN operation in the first place was because of the authority it gave.

And surely any organisation gets to object about how they're depicted. I can imagine Ban Ki-Moon watching the end "Dr Who and the Silurians" and calling in his legal team.

SK said...

So if MI-5 decided to complain about Spooks, you'd shut it down?

0tralala said...

No. But, if MI-5 objected and depending on their complaint, a production team might think it simplest just to add a line saying, "We're not strictly speaking part of MI-5, you know." And then carry on with the conspiracies and explosions as before.

We still get UNIT. We still get UNIT doing what they do. But, for practical reasons, the initials stand for something slightly different.

SK said...

Hm. I just don't like it when people kowtow to the things like the UN.

Still, nothing to stop a future producer from setting it (and everything else that's currently done wrong) right, so one more thing to add to the hopes list.

0tralala said...

> Hm. I just don't like it when
> people kowtow to the things like
> the UN.

What, like the Kenyans did? :)

And I suppose a future producer could over-turn it. But why would they bother?

Anonymous said...

That's so terrible I'm going to have to slap you for it.

Nimbos said...

What I have heard is the SIS are thrilled with Spooks coz it's given them a degree of free exposure at the same time that they are having a recruitment drive.
But the UN, as an organisation, has every right to react to the way they are portrayed in fiction just as a commercial organisation does. It's not a case of kow-towing - it's not invesatigative journalism.

Anonymous said...

I also think Simon missed out the most important bit of why Russell wanted to change it. He didnt want kids going and setting up lots of websites using the name United Nations all over the web.


SK said...

The UN are worried about kids' websites? And Davies changed it for that? Good grief.

Anonymous said...

Given the current low opionion so much of the world has of the UN, you'd think that anything giving them even remotely positive kudos would be welcomed.

And what are they going to do if U.N.I.T is kept?