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Originally called the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, the United Nations officially asked the BBC in 2005 to "tone down" the connection to the UN. Thus, it's currently known mainly by its acronym. However, in the 2008 televised series — though not as yet in comics — the acronym was explained to mean "Unified Intelligence Taskforce". Nevertheless, the modern UNIT has been explicitly said to be funded by the United Nations.
Whatever the nomenclature, though, the task of U.N.I.T. has always been the same: investigation of alien and paranormal threats. First appearing at the end of the Second Doctor's televised run, the para-military organization, led by the austere Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, would play an almost weekly role in the adventures of the Earth-exiled Third Doctor.
Following the Doctor's reprieve from exile, the organization all but vanished from television screens, with each Doctor thereafter encountering UNIT an average of one time in their run.
With the 2005 revival, however, U.N.I.T. has again gained greater prominence, showing up to stave off various alien threats to Earth. They are also shown to have some sort of relationship with the new organization, Torchwood, though the dimensions of this relationship are, as yet, undefined. To date, it appears that U.N.I.T. knows Torchwood's telephone number, and that Torchwood might well outrank U.N.I.T., at least in matters that affect the United Kingdom only. The jurisdictional lines seem to be that, while both organizations have broadly the same goals, U.N.I.T. is a global body with a primarily investigative role, while Torchwood is a domestic organization with a primarily defensive role.
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Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time (2013)
#3 - '3rd Doctor, 1970-1974'Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor (2014)
Doctor Who: The Forgotten (2008)
#2 - 'Part 2: Renewal'The Dr Who Annual (1965)
The Mark of Mandragora (1993)
TV Comic (1951)
#944TV Comic Annual (1951)
TV Comic Doctor Who Special (1973)
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