Operating under the auspices of the United Nations and initially led by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart , its purpose is to investigate and combat paranormal and extraterrestrial threats to Earth. Originally referred to as the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce , executive producer Russell T Davies said in that the UN was no longer happy to be associated with the fictional organisation and the UN's full name could now no longer be used. He credited both scriptwriter and script editor Derrick Sherwin and producer Peter Bryant as having come up with the idea beforehand, claiming that they were testing the concept in The Invasion before it had become central to the show in the Doctor Who serial Spearhead from Space Dicks also said that the idea of exiling the Doctor was done because making every serial take place on Earth was cheaper to produce than if every serial had to have a new alien planet built, and that UNIT was an idea Sherwin had come up with to answer the question of what to do with the Doctor after he was exiled to Earth. In another interview in Doctor Who Magazine , Sherwin recalled that after submitting his scripts for The Invasion to Bryant, which included UNIT, Sherwin, who was also working freelance as a script editor, was told by Bryant to introduce his UNIT idea earlier, as it could "take some of the weight off [the] shoulders" of actor Patrick Troughton , who played the Doctor. Sherwin told Doctor Who Magazine in that while working as script editor on the Doctor Who serial The Web of Fear , which also involved an army, he told scriptwriters Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln to include all of the characters that he had originally invented for The Invasion.
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