A homage to the men and women of U.N.I.T
“We deal with the odd, the unexplained. Anything on Earth… or even beyond…”
THE U.N.I.T FANNUAL 1974
NEWS: Beermat Productions has been charged with the task of bringing THE U.N.I.T FANNUAL 1974 back out of retirement. This collection of short stories was originally announced via many popular Doctor Who news sites back in March 2014. Despite being taken hostage and a spell in Peru, Beermat Productions is now accepting new submissions until 1st June 2017. After this date, absolutely no more story submissions will be accepted (sorry!) and construction on the FANNUAL will begin. We aim to complete this in time for Christmas 2017, which is a huge challenge and as with all fan produced projects the completion date is provisional and will be restricted by contributors free time and our sanity. We aim to paint new pictures with words and wrap them up in camouflage. Wish us good luck…
The cover featured here is the second draft and is unused.
Following on from the Peter Cushing Dr. Who Fannual
published in 2014, the follow up, a U.N.I.T themed Fannual was announced
shortly after on 16th March 2014 but sadly it was ultimately cancelled. The project has was indefinitely shelved and despite the best intentions to resurrect it years later by a new team, this fell by the wayside too. So… on 2nd March 2017 via Facebook
we announced that we were going to give it our best shot and started accepting new written submissions for the project. As an added bonus we’ve managed to pick up the pieces from all of the original submissions and these will be included too!
If you’d like to sign up for duty with a U.N.I.T story please contact us here at email@example.com Please include your full name and home address in order to receive a special free contributors copy of the completed work. Please note that a minimum of 2 written stories must be submitted and approved in order to qualify for this and artists must provide illustrations for 2 stories or 1 story and its illustration. Stories must not have been published elsewhere and be exclusive to this project.
Only the televised adventures of U.N.I.T are in “our” canon, so nothing that appears in audio/books/comics is to have any influence on submitted work. However, please note the following BEFORE emailing or creating any work.
The setting is ‘the near future’ in terms of the original airdate of the early-mid 1970s but no specifics, please. Britain has a space programme (Ambassadors of Death) and is still seen as a prime mover in global politics (The Mind of Evil/Day of the Daleks etc).
The Doctor, after the events of The Three Doctors, has been given back use of the TARDIS, if not total control, so events are parallel with Season 10 – how do U.N.I.T cope in the Doctor’s absences? Sometimes Jo is with him, so she is also absent (Carnival of Monsters, Frontier in Space, etc.), on other occasions she is present (such as when the Doctor is testing TARDIS or wants a solo exploration – re: Metebelis 3 in The Green Death).
It is worth noting that U.N.I.T did not only deal with alien threats. In the Doctor’s absence the threats can be from any quarter which is ‘odd’ or ‘unexplained’. The Silurians/Sea Devils and Inferno showed ‘alien’ threats can be from Earth too. They can be environmental (The Green Death) or technological (Inferno), as well as ‘paranormal’ (The Daemons). Inspiration (but no character references please) can also be drawn from the BBC’s Doomwatch and Quatermass series, or other similar formats like Kolchak, The X Files, A Town Called Eureka and Warehouse 13.
Innovative looks at 1970s technology/environmental issues/paranormal/military issues would be preferred over straight sequels to televised adventures. Create new characters and threats that U.N.I.T has the remit to deal with! Remember that U.N.I.T, being United Nations, is also an international taskforce even though the UK seems to be a hot spot…
Aim for stories between 4,000 to 12,000 words in length. Any stories submitted may either be used in print and/or narrated on audio and edited to suit. The editor’s decision is final. We are also taking submissions for U.N.I.T facts and comic strips.
When writing please make a list of characters used and their fate at the end of the story (Alive/Dead/Kidnapped/On Holiday etc.) in order for us to maintain continuity with any other submissions.
Please only refer to UNIT personnel from the Doctor Who TV stories post The Invasion and preferably post the transmitted television stories post 1970
You are writing from the viewpoint of early 1973, and can use the U.N.I.T continuity up to and including Season 10 up to Planet of the Daleks, so you have no knowledge of any stories beyond that point. While we do not mind writers having a knowledge of U.N.I.T stories/chronology beyond this point, please do not make wholesale references or hang whole plot devices on them. In fact, we would prefer you use your knowledge to skirt any continuity busting issues! This also applies to later related series like Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures and K9.
The one exception we have made is including Harry Sullivan, the U.N.I.T medical officer. He is newly seconded to U.N.I.T at this point and yet to know of the absent Doctor’s unique physiology – something he will not discover until ‘Robot‘. We preferred a familiar face there, and are sure you do too.
We would encourage story pitches before committing, so we have a balance and not 12/13 stories of alien invasion only. We would prefer the scope of: Aliens/UFOs / Space Programme / Supernatural/Paranormal / Strange creatures / Unusual Phenomena / Ecological / Technological / Psychic/Spiritual
Characters / Situations that are ABSOLUTELY NOT making an appearance:
The Doctor (any incarnation – sorry!) Mentions of him are only allowed when referring to him as the occasional scientific advisor but under no circumstance is there an appearance.
The Daleks/The Cybermen/Yeti (There are so many potential monsters for the team to face off screen… Create a new one!)
Anne Travers (or any related family from The Web of Fear)
Private Gwynfor Evans (from the The Web of Fear)
The Great Intelligence (from the Web of Fear / The Abomiable Snowmen)
Harold Chorley (from the Web of Fear)
The Vault (as referred to in Gary Russell’s The Scales of Injustice novel and any characters affiliated with this)
Torchwood or any future U.N.I.T (or any member past and present of it)
No mentions or fore-knowledge of future U.N.I.T or mentions of Torchwood. So in other words, no time-portals where 70’s U.N.I.T are talking to future U.N.I.T members. We’d like to keep it authentic to the time and style of the following characters.
Sarah Jane Smith– As we’re setting our stories around 1973/74 slightly before she joined U.N.I.T. We’re presuming that the Doctor’s exile on Earth has been lifted and during the years U.N.I.T was most active on TV, it was never stated what years the show was set in (The Tenth Doctor reflected on this in The Sontaran Stratagem saying he wasn’t sure whether it was the 70’s or the 80’s that he worked for UNIT) so please just avoid mentioning the year or any historic events that happened in those decades!
I know, it’s unlikely the Brig would bump into these but just be on the safe side… No but thanks anyway!
The Brigadier or “The Brig” the original commander of U.N.I.T’s British contingent. During the Doctor’s exile on Earth, he hired the Doctor as his Scientific Advisor. He is only to be named as such. No full name is to be given other than this. U.N.I.T. Call sign: Greyhound One or Greyhound Leader
Captain Mike Yates was the Brigadier’s assistant for several adventures during the Third Doctor’s tenure with U.N.I.T. Call sign Greyhound Two
Sergeant John Benton
He was the senior NCO of the British contingent of U.N.I.T (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, later retitled: UNified Intelligence Taskforce for the new series), an international organisation that defends the Earth from alien threats. Call sign: Greyhound Three
Jo Grant (partial use of only please)
A civilian employee of U.N.I.T who was assigned as assistant to the Scientific Advisor, the Third Doctor. The character appears from the serial Terror of the Autons in 1971 until The Green Death in 1973. She maintained communication with her former U.N.I.T colleagues, as discussed in Invasion of the Dinosaurs. Call sign: Greyhound Four
Sergeant Tom Osgood
Served in Devil’s End as UNIT’s Technical Adviser, during the Master’s interference there, as seen in the Third Doctor story The Dæmons (1971). He fought against Azal and Bok. He had the unenviable task of trying to build a device designed by the Doctor to be used against Azal. In his 40s he is something of a technical and electronics master but sometimes it just doesn’t quite work out as expected… However, left to his own devices he can achieve small miracles. As you’d expect, we do not see him at his best when purposely bamboozled by the Third Doctor over how to defeat the heat barrier in The Daemons. Call sign: Greyhound Five
Corporal Carol Bell
Administrative support staff. She appeared in the Third Doctor serials The Mind of Evil (1971) and The Claws of Axos (1971). In her early 30s, she is the emotional compass for our stories, the compassionate humanistic viewpoint, as one of the highest ranking woman in U.N.I.T inner command. Call sign: Jupiter
Dr. Harry Sullivan
Surgeon-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, was a medical officer in UNIT at the time of the Doctor’s third regeneration and became his companion for several adventures. Call sign: Starlight
The original choice for U.N.I.T scientific adviser. Older and wiser, she might be available every now and then… (please use sparingly) Call sign: Acorn
These are associated with U.N.I.T from The Invasion through to The Three Doctors can be used but we’d prefer you to create new ones.
U.N.I.T HQ / Mobile or otherwise Call sign: Trap One
Soldiers in the field Call sign: Trap Two
U.N.I.T Helicopter Call sign: Windmill 347 or Eagle
The Police Call sign: Bluebottle
Other characters associated with U.N.I.T from The Invasion through to The Three Doctors can be used.
Please use “Double Quotations” when signifying a character is speaking and not single quotes. Single quotes tend to be used in Novels but in the classic World Annuals they are double.
Please note that artwork is not to be signed and dated. All credit will be given in the index. This is in keeping with the general rule of the format of the World Distributors Annuals, even though there have been exceptions to this.
Reviews of TV stories featuring UNIT
(All TV stories up to The Three Doctors are allowed for review purposes only)
We are accepting TV reviews of the following Doctor Who stories and any fun fact style articles related to them for possible inclusion:-
The Web of Fear
Spearhead from Space
The Ambassadors of Death
Terror of the Autons
The Mind of Evil
The Claws of Axos
Day of the Daleks
The Sea Devils
The Time Monster
The Three Doctors
The Making of Doctor Who, 1972 Piccolo Edition. Please note the Brigadier makes reference to the Doctor being found on 3 Jan 1970 (actually the airdate of episode 1 of Spearhead from Space). As stated above, the U.N.I.T stories take place in a period approximately five years beyond the transmission dates in a fictional and somewhat more technologically advanced parallel to our own reality but please, no specifics. You can have dates but hedge around the year (as seen in Day of the Daleks!).
The UNIT Dating Controversy – Day of the Daleks DVD
The Doctor Who UNIT Special (1991) – but again, concentrate on the 1973 Season and before. No references to Mawdryn Undead, Remembrance of the Daleks, etc.
The Doctor Who Annuals, 1971, 1973 and 1974
UPDATE: 24th March 2018
Where did 3 months go? The deadline is the end of next week but unfortunately it has not been possible to meet it. During the last few months there has been new work commissioned and this will take some time to complete. The focus of late has been to attempt to record as many stories as possible for audio presentation. A change in direction that whilst you are waiting for the FANNUAL to be completed will allow for a few short stories to be released giving you a real flavour of what is to come. A huge thank you to everyone for their patience and for their time to help put this project together. At this point it’d be a mistake to offer another completion deadline but suffice to say, it is definitely coming… You can find all of the current releases here
UPDATE: 8th February 2018
Another audio treat has been recorded and uploaded to Youtube. Charley’s War by Paul Cooke. Narrated by Jonathan Carley Music by Westley James Smith
To accompany the release of the FANNUAL, a FREE tape cassette featuring at least 2 stories will be given away to a limited number of lucky readers (only in the UK). This is very much a home made effort with little budget at hand… A stack of recycled and new cassette tapes with custom made labels applied and a tape deck from 1995 (Sorry, don’t have one from 1973) that has been unused for at least a decade has been put back into service for perhaps its final job, to provide you with these bonus UNIT stories!
The sound quality of these tapes is surprisingly good too! At the moment it is being decided whether to provide cases and inlay cards either with the tapes or online to print your own. As everything is literally being recorded in real time only a small number can be produced daily, so it will take some time to organise this very retro treat…
UPDATE: 25th December 2017
As a special Christmas Day treat, Whitaker Hill by Mike Wilson has been recorded as an audio adventure! Narrated by James Maton. Music by Tony Diana
UPDATE: 23rd December 2017
31st MARCH 2018 FINISH LINE
All of the new stories have now been accepted and illustrations and comic strip adaptions are being worked on for them. All being well, the release of the FANNUAL should happen on 31st March 2018. If anything is outstanding by the end of January 2018, its inclusion is not guaranteed in order to meet this deadline. It has been a long haul to get this far but with all of the help and support it is finally taking shape.
Here is a rough draft of the U.N.I.T FANNUAL 1974 taken on holiday in September for measurement and proofing that was unfortunately covered in sun cream and had to be dried out. The cover is not actually the final artwork, so expect a surprise!
In the meantime… Get ready for a special audio adventure written for the FANNUAL that has just been completed this morning ready for Christmas Day…
UPDATE: 8th August 2017
STRIPPED FOR ACTION!
A last chance to contribute to the 1974 UNIT FANNUAL is now available. There is a space for a new comic strip and we are looking for a writer/illustrator who’d jump at the chance to send UNIT into unknown alien territory. If you would like to pitch an idea for a story that would cover at least four pages, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org before 1st October 2017.
UPDATE: 3rd June 2017
Just a reminder… only those written stories pitched before 1st June 2017 are being included for the printed FANNUAL and it’s planned audio adaptions. Please email us if you intended to alter any stories as these are currently being edited. For those stories that are currently in progress you have until the end of this month to finalise or these will be rejected. Please take the time to check the guidelines and re-read your entire story before submitting it. If possible, please supply in Microsoft Word only. The Beermat inbox is going to take some time to get through, so your patience is very much welcome during this time.
Here is the original news release of the UNIT FANNUAL from The Doctor Who News Page (2014) presented here for archival purposes only. Do not use the email address mentioned within the article…
“Over and Out”
This is a fan produced project and is created with love and respect for the BBC’s classic series Doctor Who. No copyright infringement is intended. All story submissions have been supplied for free. This is a not for profit collection of stories written by fans for fans.