Rating: All Ages on Teaspoon; I would probably say "Teen" if it were my own fic
Word Count: 4,973
Author's Summary: What is the strange object that has crash landed in the north of Scotland? What connects it to a similar incident in the Russian Ural Mountains? What really happened at Tunguska in 1908? Will Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and U.N.I.T. find out the truth?
Characters/Pairings: Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, John Benton, Mike Yates, Other Character(s), UNIT
Warnings: Some combat-related violence and descriptions of same, in one instance self-administered
Recced because: As sincere as my admiration is for what I have seen of the Twelfth Doctor up to now, there is one issue where I cannot in all conscience agree with his position. I think somebody once said something about hating the game rather than the player, and while I certainly agree with the Doctor that war and war-related activities are to be avoided if at all possible, and are definitely not to be encouraged, I can't really get alongside the blanket condemnation of soldiers. What, after all, was the Brigadier if not the most soldierly soldier ever to wear the uniform? And while they may not always have agreed on methods and approaches, the Brig and the Doctor were, I think it is fair to say, pretty fast friends after a certain point, and forever after.
You see, I've always had a certain sympathy for the Brig and the UNIT boys. As much as I love the characters and admire the stories in which they appear during the Two, Three and Four eras, they seem to spend a lot of time as stooges and fall-guys, making the Doctor look clever and capable at their expense. And when it actually comes to action against alien threats, they tend not to fare too well. Admittedly, they are fighting well out of their weight class most of the time, but I think I prefer it when they show at least a modicum of professionalism and competence.
And that, to come finally to the point, is the reason I really like this fic. It gives us a glimpse at classic UNIT in action without the Doctor to call upon (he's off on another jaunt, possibly to Peladon or somewhere), and they actually manage to survive and do a reasonably credible job. They don't exactly come to grips fully with the particular extraterrestrial menace they're facing, and they end up resorting to methods that would probably earn a scornful rebuke from the Doctor if he were on the scene, but in the Brig's own words from Battlefield, they do the best they can. The author also clearly has a bit of knowledge of matters military and brings it to bear providing the kind of small details that make the UNIT operation portrayed here seem very believable. The fic is also very nicely written with lots of great little character touches (of course Mike Yates would blithely get his African countries completely mixed up, and of course Sgt Benton seems to be two steps behind everybody else, while the Brig portrayed here is definitely the harder-edged less cuddly Brig of Season 7), some fun OCs (I chuckled a bit at the names used for the various lower-ranking UNIT soldiers) and a pleasing cameo from another Who supporting character who wasn't part of the UNIT years but has been linked with them in the spinoff media.
All this, and references to "real"-life "world of the unexplained" type goings-on too. Take a look, and if you like it (if you're a UNIT well-wisher, I'm sure you will), leave some words of appreciation for the author.
‘Good, Captain. Now, do we know what we have here?’
Yates looked at the object and then back at the officer in front of him and said, ‘It’s a spacecraft of some kind, sir.’
The officer, Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, looked at him. ‘Yes, Captain, we do know that, but do we know where it came from? And if you say space, I will be very upset.’