One of the talking points of the New Year special Resolution is this: has UNIT actually been disbanded? I suspect not, but whatever the explanation for Polly the call centre operator’s update on UNIT, there are implications. One is Big Finish has to do something to close the gap from where they are now to this (brave) new world. Another is just where are they now? Have Kate, Osgood and the rest retired to their allotments? Are alien threats no more? Have all artefacts been made safe? I think not.
My solution? UNIT: Dissolution.
It may be we won’t see Kate Stewart or Osgood again on TV (even if Osgood is a Zygon). It may be UNIT is no more. Perhaps a trial, accusations of failure or alien collaboration. Perhaps they all end up in super-secret prisons. Perhaps.
I suspect the name may have changed but in certain regards UNIT continues. In terms of Resolution it kept the focus on the Dalek and the Doctor, and parked all the Doctor you’ve changed! scenes for another day. My guess is it will come in series 12. My working assumption is Kate Stewart will return as she is a deep part of continuity, preceding Jemma Redgrave. Osgood is more modern but a fan favourite, even if the previous regime rendered her character rather complex.
So, what might have happened? We have hints of Brexit style problems on the international stage. Why not add to this a dose of US politics in the form of Arachnids in the UK‘s Robertson. Following events in Sheffield he could easily find out more about aliens, advanced technology and UNIT. What if he decides the US isn’t getting enough benefit from UNIT commitments? There’s a big piece of funding in jeopardy. What if he things the role of UNIT should be to stop aliens from landing in the first place. What if he wants to build a space wall, at least around US interests?
Add to that Brexit uncertainty, and Geneva might well decide to take a more central role than now, making the UK much more of a satellite. The UK team could be split among several countries and functions. The vault(s) could even be moved. A home might have been found for the Zygons (that’s a good topic for a Big Finish boxset). UNIT may exist as a set of pieces under other remits. Polly the call centre operator may just not have been asked the right question and could have referred the Doctor to the local branch of TIU (Taskforce Intelligence Unifié). Kate Stewart could still be based in the Tower with a rag tag team of loyal soldiers.
Geneva could have split the remit into detect / respond / study. Osgood could be in Washington in a US led laboratory, Kate is part of the Europe-wide response team and the detect has been folded back into local defence organisations. It’s not efficient, but it could happen.
My final thought: yes UNIT as we know it may be over, but it may just be changed a bit. Let’s wait and see!