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Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart
Also known as: The Brigadier
Race: Human
Home Planet: Earth
Home Era: 20th - 21st century
Appearances: List of Appearances
Actor: Nicholas Courtney

Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (commonly nicknamed The Brigadier or The Brig) was one of the founders of UNIT and commander of its UK operations. From his second incarnation onwards, and notwithstanding some early tension between the two during the start of his third incarnation, the Doctor has long considered the Brigadier one of his most trusted Human allies and closest friends. His long association with the Doctor has caused some to include him in the rosters of the Doctor's companions.





Early life and military career

Lethbridge-Stewart was born in 1930 (NA: Blood Heat, No Future), an only child. He was raised in Simla, India until the age of eight, which he was sent to an English prep school; his mother died after he left for England. (PDA: Island of Death) He attended Holborough, where he first met Teddy Fitzoliver. (BBCR: The Paradise of Death)

The young Alistair suffered a lot of pressure to live up to the military traditions of the Lethbridge-Stewart family. (DWM: The Warkeeper's Crown)

He began his military career around 1953 and attended Sandhurst Military Academy with Major General Rutlidge. (DW: The Web of Fear, Mawdryn Undead) He was noted for having high ambitions even then. (MA: Who Killed Kennedy)

Shortly after the end of the Second World War, a 21-year-old Alastair was assigned to a Royal Navy mission to update British maps of the Greek Islands, and also ended up in Albania in a mission against Stalinist rebels. This was his first encounter with the extra-normal, as he came into contact with the Immortals and went on a quest into the Greek Underworld; his mind would be wiped of these memories. (PDA: Deadly Reunion)

He later joined the Scots Guards and was stationed for a time at Aldgate. (DW: The Green Death)


He lost his virginity to a girl named Vera whilst drunk on the night of his passing out as a fully commissioned second lieutenant. (PDA: Deadly Reunion)

While in Greece, a young Lethbridge-Stewart fell in love with the Immortal Persephone. He went into the Underworld and fought against Hades for her, and they spent two weeks together before she reluctantly wiped his memory. They would meet again in the 1970s, which saw his memory restored. (PDA: Deadly Reunion)

In Sierra Leone, Lethbridge-Stewart met Mariatu, the daughter of a chieftan, who bore a son by him, Mariama. (NA: Transit)

Some time in the 1960s, eleven years before the spider invasion, he had a romantic encounter with Doris on Brighton Beach (DW: Planet of the Spiders); they had a relation of unknown length, which ended peacefully when Lethbridge-Stewart was dispatched overseas. (DWM: The Warkeeper's Crown)

Upon returning to Britain, the Brigadier met and married Fiona. (MA: The Scales of Injustice) Fiona and Alistair had one child together, conceived following the London Event, who they named Kate. (MA: The Scales of Injustice, Downtime).

Formation of UNIT

The then-Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart was the second commander of the British Army forces during the Great Intelligence's assault on London, replacing the deceased Colonel Pemberton. He was the sole survivor of a Robot Yeti assault at Holborn before heading down to the London Underground to take command. Here, for the first time, Lethbridge-Stewart met the strange little man known as the Doctor. Lehtbridge-Stewart showed a quick, decisive manner, and a ready acceptance of events, even believing the story about the TARDIS from the start. (DW: The Web of Fear)

Shortly after the London Event, Lethbridge-Stewart had a meeting with Air Vice-Marshall "Chunky" Gilmore and learned from him of the Shoreditch Incident, in which hostile aliens had visited Earth in 1963, which Gilmore himself had helped to fight off, with the help of the Doctor. He also learned that evidence of alien visits to Earth existed which went back millennia. (MA: Downtime)

The Colonel went to the government and pitched the idea of a permanent military intelligence group with rapid-reaction capabilities, which would investigate alien and other unusual phenomena which might threaten the security of the nation. When this was turned down, he risked his career by petitioning the United Nations to form such a group instead. (MA: Who Killed Kennedy) UNIT was soon formed, and Lethbridge-Stewart found himself appointed head of the United Kingdom branch and elevated to the rank of Brigadier. (DW: The Invasion) This action made him unpopular with many senior-ranking British officers. (MA: Who Killed Kennedy)

The UNIT years

Four years after the Yeti invasion, UNIT was investigating the mysterious activities of electronics industrialist Tobias Vaughn. Vaughn was allied with the Cybermen in one of the earliest of their many attempts to invade and conquer Earth. With the assistance of the Doctor, the Brigadier and his men were able to thwart this invasion attempt. (DW: The Invasion)

When the Doctor was forced to undergo another regeneration and was exiled to 20th century Earth by the Time Lords, the Brigadier took on the new Doctor as UK UNIT's scientific advisor. (DW: Spearhead from Space)

The new Doctor and the Brigadier lacked the easy rapport that they had enjoyed during the Doctor's previous incarnation. Their relationship was further strained after Lethbridge-Stewart set off explosive charges around the Wenley Moor Silurian colony after promising the Doctor that he had no hostile intentions towards them. The Doctor considered this action murder, if not genocide. (DW: Doctor Who and the Silurians)

During a second encounter with the Silurians, the Brigadier's marriage to Fiona began to fail. (MA: The Scales of Injustice)

Fiona and the Brigadier would later divorce and Alistair would find himself estranged from his daughter, Kate.

This relationship lasted through the Doctor's next regeneration and even after the Time Lords' rescinding of the Doctor's exile. (DW: The Three Doctors) The Brigadier relied on the Doctor's scientific and technical expertise to defeat various alien and domestic threats. The Doctor's formal ties with UNIT gradually waned, all the more so in his fourth incarnation, though he did leave with the Brigadier a space-time telegraph which the Brigadier could contact him if needed. (DW: Revenge of the Cybermen) Despite this, he was openly resentful when the Brigadier proceeded to use said device to summon him back to Earth. (DW: Terror of the Zygons)

After UNIT

1970s and 1980s

Lethbridge-Stewart retired from UNIT and the military, taking a post as an A-level maths teacher at Brendon Public School. In 1977, the Brigadier saw and touched hands with his own future self from 1983. The time differential shorted out, causing an energy discharge - the Brigadier fell unconscious and Lethbridge-Stewart spent the next six years in a state of partial amnesia, having forgotten ever having met the Doctor. In 1983 the Brigadier encountered the Doctor, whom he did not recognize, met his past self from 1977 and in so doing completed the original temporal paradox. (DW: Mawdryn Undead)

Later, Brigadier was attending an anniversary reunion of UNIT when, along with the second Doctor, he was captured and transported to the Death Zone on Gallifrey. (DW: The Five Doctors)

In 1989, Lethbridge-Stewart conducted an investigation of the dealings of SenéNet and was captured. He was later rescued by the Doctor, who uncovered and stopped yet another invasion attempt by the Nestene Consciousness. (PDA: Business Unusual)


By the late 1990s, Lethbridge-Stewart married his second wife, Doris, with whom he had that memorable holiday years ago. (DW: Battlefield) The Doctor changed time to a minor extent so that he could attend the wedding, even though originally he had missed it because he had known of it. (DWM: A Romantic Evening)

The Brigadier worked with UNIT again during yet another attempt by the Great Intelligence to conquer Earth, together with two of the Doctor's former companions, Victoria Waterfield and Sarah Jane Smith. He reunited with his estranged daughter, Kate and for the first time met his grandson, Gordon. (MA: Downtime)

The Brigadier would come out of retirement briefly to help UNIT and its new commander, Brigadier Winifred Bambera, deal with an invasion from a parallel universe by the sorceress Morgaine. Once again, he met up with the Doctor, now in his seventh incarnation and together defeated Morgaine. Lethbridge-Stewart distinguished himself during these events, singlehandedly taking on the Destroyer and dispatching him, armed only with a revolver loaded with silver bullets. (DW: Battlefield)

In 1997 the Brigadier collaborated with the Doctor's eighth incarnation and Bernice Summerfield during an interplanetary crisis between the United Kingdom and Mars. At the end of the Martian crisis, Lethbridge-Stewart was promoted to the rank of General, although he still preferred to be called "Brigadier." Later, he was also knighted. (NA: The Dying Days) He would later go on to have a role in Scotland's devolution. (BFA: Minuet in Hell)

In 1999 he enlisted the help of the Fifth Doctor and his companions Tegan and Turlough to stop an invasion of Earth by the Jex. (PDA: The King of Terror)

21st century


During one part of this decade, Lethbridge-Stewart served as an undercover operative for the United Nations; while officially using his experience in devolution to advise the newly-formed state of Malebogia in the USA, he was secretly investigating the use of a medical device that could be used to alter human minds. During this time he encountered the Doctor again. (BFA: Minuet in Hell)

While teaching at Sandhurst Military School, the Brigadier met the Doctor in yet another incarnation. (DWM: The Warkeeper's Crown)

Sir Alistair at home (SJA: Enemy of the Bane)

Lethbridge-Stewart was knighted. He continued his association with UNIT and with Sarah Jane Smith. The Brigadier formally announced the true purpose of UNIT at a press conference without first telling anyone he would do so beforehand. He would end up assisting UNIT and its agent Colonel Emily Chaudhry against their attempted replacements ICIS, first by undermining their reasons for replacing UNIT in front of the media (BFA: The Coup) and eventually with direct military action. (BFA: The Wasting)

Emily Chaudry had secretly traveled with the Doctor. (ST: Incongruous Details)

During the attempted Sontaran invasion of Earth in 2009, Colonel Mace mentioned that Sir Alistair was stranded in Peru (DW: The Poison Sky). Shortly afterwards, Sarah Jane Smith wanted his help to break into the Black Archive a UNIT base which housed artifacts of great danger and power. He did so but was interrupted in his brief with Cal Kilburne. He helped Sarah Jane and Rani Chandra to smuggle themselves into the Archive to get the Tunguska Scroll for the Bane called Mrs Wormwood who claimed she wanted it for honourable purpose. As he escaped with Sarah Jane he was chased by UNIT officers (SJA: Enemy of the Bane). He would've attended the wedding of Sarah Jane, but for some reason, he was back in Peru. (SJA: (The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith).


In 2010, along with Doris, Mike Yates and Benton, he attended the wedding of the Doctor's former companion, Bernice Summerfield to Jason Kane in Cheldon Bonniface. He had learned by this time that he had a terminal illness and had only weeks (at most) to live. As ever, danger and adventure ensued in the Doctor's footsteps and following a series of events, though, he had his youth restored to him and the disease rid from his system. (NA: Happy Endings)

Later, during a boat outing with Doris, Lethbridge-Stewart's boat capsized and Doris was drowned, an event which haunted him for years. In 2012, the Brigadier met the Doctor in Avalon where they got caught up in struggles between that realm's ruler, Queen Mab, and the Unseelie Court. (EDA: The Shadows of Avalon)


With his life extended, Lethbridge-Stewart managed to live on considerably past the normal span for Humans of his time, dying at last sometime in the 2050s. (PDA: The King of Terror)

Alternate Brigadiers

  • The Earth of Inferno is known to have had its own version of the Brigadier, known as the Brigade Leader. Loyal to the fascist leader who governed his version of Britain, the Brigade Leader was the antithesis of the Brigadier. He was shot and killed by his lieutenant Section Leader Elizabeth Shaw while trying to force the Doctor at gunpoint to help him escape his doomed Earth (DW: Inferno).
  • In another reality the Doctor died at Wenley Moor and the Silurians took over Earth in a hostile manner, leaving the Brigadier and the remnants of UNIT to fight for thirty years against the Silurians. The Doctor and his companions arrived in that universe and assisted in a reconciliation between the species. (NA: Blood Heat)
  • In another timeline, the Doctor's exile on Earth occurred in 1997 rather than the earlier part of the 20th century. During this time, Lethbridge-Stewart lived out his retirement running a bar in Hong Kong. He then went off with the Doctor in the TARDIS. (DWU: Sympathy for the Devil).

Other information


As noted above, he was often referred to simply as the Brigadier and on rare occasions as "the Brig." During his second and third incarnations, the Doctor sometimes called him by his surname, while in his third and fourth incarnations, the Doctor at least once addressed him as Alistair.


Behind the Scenes


Colonel Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart was originally meant to have appeared only in The Web of Fear as a supporting character. He was therefore the creation of writers Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln, to whom royalties had to paid when the character was subsequently used. Like Nyssa and K-9, he is a rare example of a series regular to whom the BBC does not enjoy sole copyright. Unlike Nyssa, however, the copyright situation is not so favorable to the writers. While Haisman and Lincoln do own the basic character, they own nothing of the copyright to UNIT, which is an almost indivisible part of his essential character. The writing duo's part ownership was acknowledged in SJA: Enemy of the Bane, a Series 2 season finale of The Sarah Jane Adventures.


The Brigadier first appeared onscreen with the Second Doctor. He has since appeared with the Third, Fourth, Fifth and Seventh Doctors. In the The Five Doctors, he appeared with Richard Hurndall as the First Doctor (Nicholas Courtney, had however, appeared with the original First Doctor, William Hartnell playing Bret Vyon rather than the Brigadier, and they both appeared in The Three Doctors, with Hartnell's material recorded separately from the other actors) and in the arguably canonical Dimensions in Time with the Sixth Doctor. In audio form he has appeared with the Sixth Doctor in The Spectre of Lanyon Moor and with the Eighth Doctor in Minuet in Hell. He has not (so far) appeared with the Ninth Doctor. The Brigadier has appeared with the Tenth Doctor in The Warkeeper's Crown comic in Doctor Who Magazine though not, to date, in any other form.

See also

Companions of the Third Doctor
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart  • Liz Shaw  • Jo Grant  • Sarah Jane Smith
Other media
Arnold  • Jason  • Crystal  • Zog  • Jeremy Fitzoliver

This article uses material from the "Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 07, 2010

From Lostpedia

"The Brig"

May 2, 2007
Running time
Production code
Centric character(s)
Directed by

Episode transcript
[[{{{transcript2}}}|Part Two]]

[[{{{audiotranscript}}}|Commentary transcript]]

"The Brig" is the nineteenth episode of Season 3 and the sixty-eighth produced hour of the series as a whole. It was originally broadcast on May 2, 2007. The Others offer Locke the chance to join them if he shows his commitment. Unable to do what they ask, Locke recruits Sawyer to do it for him. Meanwhile, Desmond questions whether or not the Flight 815 survivors trust Jack enough to tell him about the woman they saved.




Day 81

Anthony Cooper bites Locke as he removes Cooper's gag. Tom shocks Cooper in the process.

Locke looks through the doorway at Cooper, gagged and tied to a chair. Locke asks Ben what's going on; Ben replies "You tell me, you brought him here." Locke denies this, and despite Ben's warning to be careful, un-gags a very distressed Cooper, who viciously bites Locke's hand until Tom zaps him with a Taser. Cooper roars, "Don't you know where we are?" and Tom shuts Locke and Ben out of the room before he can say more. As Ben escorts John away, he tells him that they are leaving for a new place, then corrects himself, saying that it's actually an "old place." Ben invites Locke along, and after some hesitation, John agrees. "Good," Ben says, then suggests that Locke might want to say goodbye to Kate.

Day 86

The Others are setting up tents in a valley. Cooper is there, tied to a large pillar which seems to be part of a larger ruin or folly. Locke helps Cindy set up her tent; Others nearby are openly curious, glancing at Locke. "They're excited you're here. They've been waiting for you," Cindy explains. Tom tells Locke that Ben is asking for him.

Ben sits in his tent listening to Juliet's report recorded in The Staff.
Ben is listening to the tape Juliet left for him at the Staff. When Locke approaches, Ben switches the recorder off and leaves it on top of a wooden chest of drawers. He reveals to Locke that Juliet has infiltrated the camp to determine if any of the women are pregnant, so the Others can go in and take them. Ben tells John not to worry, that they have done this before and no one will get hurt. Ben asks John to pass him his cane, and stands up, casually putting the tape recorder in the top drawer; Locke watches closely. Ben says that a week ago he couldn't move his toes, but that when Locke arrived, suddenly there were "pins and needles." "I can't wait to show you what this island can do," Ben says, but tells him that John isn't ready yet. He tells John that he won't be free until he releases himself from his father's hold. John asks if he is talking about the magic box. Ben says that is just a metaphor, and that when people join them on the Island they must of their own free will make gesture of commitment, and that's why John will have to kill his father.
Ben urging Locke to murder his own father.

The Others' tents are all lit from inside. Ben wakes Locke, who is sleeping outdoors, and tells him it's time. He brings John to the pillar. Cooper is still gagged and appears distressed. Ben hands Locke a knife and suggests that although it won't be easy, "the quicker, the better." Cooper's gag is removed and he mocks John. John stalls, saying he has to think. Ben baits Locke, suggesting he is hesitating due to part of him feeling there might be some reasonable explanation for Cooper stealing his kidney and throwing him out of an eight story window. Ben talks about Locke being thrown off his Walkabout in Australia because he couldn't walk. Cooper addresses Ben as Bug-Eye and suggests John won't kill him because he is spineless. Slowly, a crowd of silent Others, adults and children, gather. They watch as John holds the knife up to Cooper's neck, but then finally backs away. Cooper starts to gloat but Ben knocks him out with his cane. Ben takes the knife from John and announces to the Others that he's sorry, but John is not the man they all thought he was; John walks away through the silent observers.

Day 87

Richard and Locke discuss Ben and what happened the night before.

The next day, Locke is taking in the view of the encampment from the hillside. He looks down towards the pillar where Cooper is still bound and gagged. He takes the bandage off of his hand, discovering that his wounds have already healed. Richard Alpert approaches, remarking on the beautiful scenery and saying that he never gets tired of that view. He introduces himself to Locke. He tells John that Ben knew Locke wouldn't kill his father, and had put him in front of the camp so everyone would watch him fail. When John asks Richard why Ben would do that, Richard explains that Ben was worried because the Others were starting to think Locke might be very special. Richard says Ben has kept them occupied with 'novelties' like fertility issues, wasting their time, and that Locke could remind them of the more important reasons they are there. Richard wants Locke to find his purpose. For that to happen, his father "has to go." Richard knows that Locke won't kill him, but suggests that he could enlist someone else to do it. He hands him a file on Sawyer. Locke is confused as to why Sawyer would want to kill Cooper, but Richard tells him to keep reading. Locke looks down at the file as Richard leaves. The page he is looking at is an INTERPOL[1] report written in French.

Day 88

Locke is left behind by Ben and The Others.

John wakes to the sounds of the Others packing up. When he asks, Ben explains that they are moving on and leaving John and Cooper behind. John says they can't leave him behind; "Don't tell me what I can't do, John," Ben replies. "But I thought I was special," Locke pleads. Ben says that everyone makes mistakes. They will leave a trail for John to track, but he shouldn't bother unless he arrives carrying the dead body of his father on his back. John does not attempt to follow the Others as they leave.

At the Black Rock

At night (Day 88), Locke reads the contents of a red folder by fire light. A muffled voice struggles to make itself heard but Locke tells the man to save his breath because no one will hear him. He throws the folder and its contents into the fire.

Locke confronts Sawyer as he relieves himself.

Shortly before sunrise (Day 89), at the beach in Sawyer's tent, Kate gets restless and starts to dress. Sawyer stirs and asks where she's going. Kate says that she can't sleep unless she's in her own tent. Sawyer replies "Fine, we'll go to your tent." Kate gives him a smile and tells him it's nothing personal, just "old habits." Sawyer smiles at Kate and tells her, "Fine then. Scram," and playfully pushes her away. Sawyer offers to walk her home, saying that he needs to pee anyway; Kate declines, kisses him goodbye and leaves. Sawyer picks up his gun and follows her out, to find Hurley and Jin acting suspiciously outside a tent. He asks them what they're doing; they ask him the same question. He says he's going to take a leak; so are they. Sawyer ends the standoff by going off to urinate, and while doing so hears footsteps. Sawyer pulls his gun, and Locke emerges from the jungle, shining a flashlight. Locke addresses Sawyer as James and tells him to zip his pants. Sawyer aims his gun at Locke, accusing him of joining the enemy and asking angrily if he's back from his "blow up everything that could get us off the Island tour." Locke explains that he has infiltrated the Others and kidnapped Ben. John asks Sawyer to kill Ben. Sawyer claims he isn't a killer, but Locke says he has read the Others' files on him, which reveal his murder of the man in Sydney. Locke tells Sawyer that the Others have files on all of them. When Sawyer continues to defend his innocence, Locke starts to leave. Sawyer orders him to stop but Locke ignores him; ultimately Sawyer follows him, barefoot, into the jungle.

As they walk through the jungle together, Sawyer asks about his file. John says it contained high school transcripts and criminal records for con jobs but didn't explain why his father shot his mother and then turned the gun on himself when Sawyer was a child. He asks James why he chose the alias "Sawyer." Sawyer knocks John to the ground with the gun and demands to know at knifepoint what con Locke is trying to pull. He wants to know why Locke won't kill Ben himself. Although Sawyer is furious, Locke remains calm and, continuing to address Sawyer as James, insists he is telling the truth. Sawyer screams at John to stop calling him James. Locke says and that he brought Sawyer because he can't kill Ben himself. Sawyer agrees to come with him, but says he won't kill him, he'll only bring Ben back to the camp. Locke says he believes Sawyer will change his mind when he hears what the captive has to say.

In the jungle, Locke and Sawyer rest at a river. Holding his knife, Sawyer stands in the river to soothe his bloodied feet. Sawyer asks John what Ben would say to make him want to kill him, but Locke says it isn't his place to tell. Sawyer tells Locke he didn't mean to kill the man in Sydney, that he thought he was someone else. Locke asks who he meant to kill. Sawyer asks if they are almost at their destination and Locke says they are.

Sawyer and Locke arrive at the Black Rock.

Later, John and Sawyer arrive at the Black Rock. Locke tells Sawyer it's a slaving ship from the mid-nineteenth century, and that Ben is locked up in the brig. He speculates that the captain brought the slaves to try to mine the Island. As they enter, Sawyer investigates a box which Locke informs him is full of dynamite; Sawyer moves away. There is a human skeleton chained to the wall of the ship. A muffled voice cries out and Sawyer is surprised that there is actually a prisoner. He reiterates his refusal to kill the captive and Locke replies, "Whatever you say, James." Leaving his knife outside, Sawyer enters the brig; Locke suddenly slams the door and locks Sawyer inside. Sawyer beats on the door, then turns around and takes off the bag covering the prisoner's head, revealing not Ben but Cooper, whom Sawyer doesn't recognize.

Sawyer bangs on the door and demands to be let out. Rousseau enters the ship. Locke and Rousseau do not seem too surprised to see one another. They calmly greet each other by name, ignoring Sawyer's shouting, and Locke asks her what brings her to the Black Rock. She tells him she is there for dynamite, and asks why he is there. He doesn't answer, just points her towards the box with his torch, warning her that it's unstable. She takes a crate labeled 'EXPLOSIVES' and leaves. Sawyer continues to bang on the door, unaware that Rousseau has been in the Ship.

Sawyer attempts to keep Anthony Cooper silent during the ordeal with Locke.

Cooper is yelling through his gag. Sawyer removes the gag and gestures at Cooper to keep quiet. Sawyer yells at Locke and threatens to shoot through the door. John tells him if there had been bullets in the gun, Sawyer wouldn't have held a knife to his throat earlier. Cooper chuckles about not raising a dummy and explains that Locke is his son. Sawyer asks Cooper how he got to the Island. He says he was driving down I-10 through Tallahassee when someone slammed into the back of his car, sending him through the divider at 70 miles per hour. He remembers being put in an ambulance, where one of the paramedics smiled at him, and then waking up gagged and tied to a chair. A door opened and he was staring at his dead son Locke. Sawyer is confused: he asks if Locke died from falling out of the window, but Cooper says that only paralyzed him. Locke died, he says, when his plane crashed in the Pacific. Sawyer tells him that he was on the plane, Locke wasn't crippled, and they crashed on the Island, not the Ocean. Cooper suggests that they're not on an island, and that’s it’s too hot for Heaven.

Sawyer looks at his parents' killer.

Sawyer asks Cooper why he threw Locke out the window. He says Locke became a nuisance after Cooper conned him out of a kidney. Sawyer is surprised that Cooper is a fellow con man and asks him his name. Cooper says he has had many names including Adam Seward, Anthony Cooper, Ted MacLaren, Tom Sawyer, Louis Jackson, and Paul. Sawyer has a moment of realization: "Sawyer is my name, too," he says.

Sawyer chokes Cooper with chains in the brig of the Black Rock.

Sawyer asks Cooper if he's been to Jasper, Alabama, and Cooper admits it. Sawyer accuses Cooper of killing Sawyer's father. He pulls his letter from his back pocket and orders Cooper to read it. Cooper starts to read it aloud, realizing that Sawyer wrote it as a child, holding Cooper responsible for Sawyer's parents' murder/suicide. Cooper trivializes what happened to Sawyer's parents, saying that he pulled the same con dozens of times. As his eyes fill with tears, Sawyer tells him his mother's name was Mary and Cooper remembers her. He says she practically begged him to take her $38,000 and rescue her from her "sorry little life." Cooper says he only took their money and isn't responsible for their deaths. Cooper tells Sawyer that if his father killed Sawyer's mother and then himself, he must be "down here somewhere" and maybe Sawyer should take this up with him. Sawyer demands that Cooper finish reading the letter, but Cooper rips it into little pieces. Sawyer asks him if he wants to go to hell, wraps a chain around Cooper's neck, and strangles him to death.

Locke opens the door and thanks him. Outside the Black Rock, Sawyer vomits. Locke tells him he can go back now. Sawyer asks why Locke did it. He says Cooper ruined both of their lives and had it coming. Then he reveals that Juliet is a mole, and that the Others will raid the beach in three days. He tells Sawyer to go back to warn them, but that he himself won't be returning. He explains that he was never undercover, but rather that he's on his own journey now. Sawyer is worried he won't be believed, but Locke gives him the tape recorder as proof. Sawyer asks if Cooper really threw Locke out a window, paralyzing him. Locke responds, "not anymore," and disappears into the jungle, carrying his father's dead body in a bag on his back.

At the beach

Jack asks Charlie about the camping trip.

During the day, Charlie hurriedly piles food from the kitchen area into a suitcase lid. Jack arrives and asks him about his camping trip. Charlie affects nonchalance, nervously telling him they were exploring, male bonding, and just got back early this morning. Jack tells him to sign him up for the next time. Charlie goes back to a tent and gives the food to Jin, who ducks into the tent. Charlie suggests to Desmond that they should tell Jack. Desmond doesn't trust Jack: Jack was with the Others too long and is too cozy with Juliet. Desmond is protective of their secret; he points out that Naomi is their best chance of getting off the Island. Desmond tells Charlie to bring them someone they can trust.

Sayid works as Hurley approaches him about Naomi's arrival.

Hurley finds Sayid digging in the jungle with a shovel, asks him if he can keep a secret, and brings him back to the tent. Sayid is relieved to hear that no one has told Jack yet. Sayid goes inside introduces himself to the parachutist. She speaks with an English accent, and tells Sayid that her name is Naomi Dorrit. She flew the helicopter from a freighter 80 nautical miles west, as part of a search and recovery team.

Naomi tells Sayid a bit about her mission to find Desmond.
When he asks her about Flight 815, she says the entire plane was found off the coast of Bali in an ocean trench four miles deep. Submersible robots explored the wreckage with cameras, which showed that all of the bodies were there. Her company was hired to find Desmond by Penelope Widmore, whom she never actually met; she only gave them a set of coordinates in the middle of the ocean. They had been conducting a differential GPS grid search, but considered it a fool's errand because they knew of no land in the area. Three days ago she was heading back to the ship when the clouds parted and she spotted land. The instruments started spinning and she knew the helicopter was going to crash in the ocean so she grabbed her parachute and bailed out. Sayid asks Desmond if he actually saw the helicopter, and Desmond confesses he did not. Naomi asks if Sayid thinks she's lying. He asks her if she had any communication device. She asks Sayid to confirm his name again before she shows him the satellite phone, and tells him to remind her not to rescue him.
Sayid tries to use Naomi's phone after he manages to get it working.

Sayid is attempting to use the satellite phone. He tells Hurley that he's never seen such sophisticated equipment. He manages to turn it on, but can't find a channel and hears only interference. Kate discovers them and Hurley tries to make up a story about finding the phone in the luggage. Kate is incredulous, and Sayid asks her to keep her discovery quiet.

Kate confronts Jack about the camp's suspicion of his relationship with the Others and Juliet.
Back at the beach, Jack and Juliet are eating together. Kate rushes up and asks to talk to Jack in private. Juliet immediately agrees to leave but Jack stops her. Despite Kate's requests for privacy, Jack insists that Juliet stay. Kate becomes annoyed and tells Jack the truth about the woman in the tent. Jack asks why nobody told him; Kate replies that they don't trust him. Jack catches Juliet's eye for a few moments. He insists on knowing how Naomi was supposed to contact the boat. Kate tells him about the phone. Juliet tells Jack that they should reveal something to Kate, but Jack says "not yet" and rushes off to find Naomi, leaving Kate and Juliet alone together.



  • A brig is a compartment that serves as a jail aboard a ship, especially on a warship.
  • Cooper claims the Island is hell. A popular (debunked by producers) theory is that the Island is not hell, but purgatory.
  • Locke's hand was injured and wrapped in "Left Behind" because his father bit him in this episode's first flashback.
  • The "column" that Cooper is tied to may be what was referred to by Ben as an "old place", suggesting it has been on the Island for a very long time.
  • The files that Richard gives to Locke include a police report in French, labeled "Ford, James (aka. Sawyer)".
  • Zack and Emma, the kidnapped tail section children, are shown in the Others camp along with Cindy.
  • When the satellite phone searches for a channel, it shows its point of origin as being on the West Coast of North America.
  • Locke suggests the Black Rock is a mid-19th century ship. This is consistent to what was revealed in the Lost Experience, about the Black Rock illegally transporting slaves and having disappeared in 1881. It's also consistent with the facts that the abolition of slavery in the UK occurred in 1807, and that dynamite was invented in 1866.
  • Pilots do not normally "bail out" of helicopters. Helicopters normally are able to auto-rotate and are controllable even without power.

Production notes

  • Claire and Sun do not appear in this episode.
  • A podcast rehash for the episode was released on May 04th, 2007. (Official Lost Podcast/May 4, 2007)
  • This is the fourth episode that takes place completely on the island.
  • This is the first of only two episodes of Lost not to feature any new characters, the other one being "This Place Is Death". It is also the only one to date not to feature any new cast members.
  • Naomi's name is revealed onscreen in this episode, although ABC had placed it on press releases for the previous two episodes. She even mentions her full name as being Naomi Dorrit.
  • The bonus feature "Lost in a Day" from the season 3 DVD boxset includes a meeting in the writers' room, in which they are discussing early ideas for the plot for what would eventually end up as "The Brig". Details regarding Sawyer's confrontation with Anthony Cooper still differed vastly from what ended up being in the actual episode. One of the early ideas for this scene was that Sawyer and Cooper were to meet inside a well rather than in the Black Rock's brig, and Richard Malkin would be there as well. The idea for that scene was that no explicit reference to "Raised by Another" would ever come up, and remembering Malkin from earlier episodes was supposedly irrelevant as well. However, Sawyer was supposed to vaguely remember Malkin from somewhere, thus implying that Malkin might have been intended at one point to be revealed as the "Real Sawyer".
  • This episode was the final episode with Kevin Blank as a visual effects supervisor. He was replaced by Mitch Suskin. (Season 4 Arrives!)
  • It was originally reported that this episode would have no flashback. [2]

Bloopers and continuity errors

  • When Sayid is digging, the bandage on his arm is small. In the next scene when he visits Naomi it is bigger but in the scene following that when he is fixing the satellite phone it goes back to being a smaller bandage again.
  • Anthony Cooper tells Sawyer that he has gone by the name "Alan Seward" when in fact the name was revealed to be "Adam Seward" in "The Man from Tallahassee".
  • This might not necessarily be a blooper. Anthony Cooper ran cons all of his life. He did go by the name of "Adam Seward", but that doesn't tell that he never took the name of "Alan Seward". He might have used this name in some other con we are not aware of as viewers
  • Anthony Cooper tells Sawyer that Locke was dead because his plane crashed in the Pacific. He then explains how Flight 815 was found on the bottom of the ocean. While Flight 815 did really crash in the pacific the fake wreckage was found in the Indian Ocean and nowhere near the Pacific.

Recurring themes

Recurring themes in Lost
Black and whiteCar accidentsCharacter connectionsDeceptions and consDreamsEyesFate versus free willGood and bad peopleImprisonmentIsolationLife and deathMissing body partsNicknamesThe NumbersParent issuesPregnanciesRainRebirthRedemptionRelationshipsRevengeSacrificeSecretsTime
  • Cooper claims he was abducted after a car accident. (Car accidents)  (Prisoner and hostage situations)
  • Ben and Juliet's plan is to find out which women are pregnant at the survivors' camp, and kidnap them. (Prisoner and hostage situations)  (Pregnancies)
  • Locke's father is the same man who conned Sawyer's parents, causing his father to kill his mother and then himself. (Character connections)
  • Locke tells Sawyer about Juliet's mission, whilst Jack and Juliet publicly demonstrate to Kate that they are hiding something. (Secrets)
  • Locke lied to Sawyer with the ultimate intent to make him kill Cooper. (Deceptions and cons)  (Life and death)
  • Ben tells John he has to make a gesture of free will. (Fate versus free will)
  • John locks Sawyer in the brig of the Black Rock in order to force him to do his dirty work and kill Anthony Cooper. (Fate versus free will)
  • Sawyer calls Locke "Tarzan," "bald bastard", and "Johnboy". Cooper calls Ben "bug-eye", Sawyer "friend" and Locke "Bald headed bastard". Interestingly, Sawyer and Cooper come up with similar nicknames (Sawyer has referred to Ben as "bug-eyed" in the past). Locke uses Sawyer's real name, James. (Nicknames)
  • According to Naomi, the wreckage of Flight 815 was found in an ocean trench 4 miles deep. (The Numbers)
  • According to Ben, Locke has to kill Cooper so he can move on from the person he was before the Island. (Rebirth)
  • Locke hates his father, but can't bring himself to kill him. (Parent issues)
  • Sawyer became the man he is because Anthony Cooper is indirectly responsible for the deaths of his parents. (Parent issues)
  • According to Cooper, he has conned James Ford's father and took US$38,000 from him. 38 = 15 + 23. (The Numbers)
  • Anthony Cooper tells Sawyer "Don't tell me I'm your daddy" to tease him about his questions. In more than one way, Anthony Cooper is more of a father to Sawyer than to Locke, he even inherited the same "nick name/last name". (Parent issues)
  • Kate wakes up in Sawyer's tent after having sex with him. (Relationships)
  • Ben says in a previous episode, "We're not murderers," and Locke was unable to vouch for Kate after finding out she killed her father. But Ben forces Locke to kill his own father before he can follow the Others. (Parent issues)

Cultural references

Cultural references in Lost
(direct references only)
ArtBooksCarsGamesMovies and TVMusicPhilosophyReligion and ideologiesScience
  • The books in Ben's tent include:
  • Tom Sawyer. Anthony Cooper used the alias Tom Sawyer, a reference to the fictional character in the book of Samuel Clemens (pen name Mark Twain). (Literature). Titles include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894), and Tom Sawyer, Detective (1896). He also appears in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). Cooper jokes that he took the name because "Huckleberry Finn" was already taken
    • Sawyer leaves with Locke without putting his shoes on, most likely an homage to the fictional character who was almost always barefoot.
    • One of the best-known episodes from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the scene where Tom tricks other people into doing his work for him (painting a fence). Appropriately, in this episode Locke is the one playing the same kind of trick on Sawyer.
  • Star Wars: Sawyer strangles Anthony Cooper with a chain, the same way Princess Leia kills Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi. Producer Damon Lindelof is known to be an avid fan of that series of films.
    • Ben pushing John to kill his own father was reminiscent of the Emperor taunting Luke Skywalker to kill Darth Vader (his father) in 'Return of the Jedi'. The aim was the same - to turn Luke/John over to the 'Dark Side'/'Other side'.(Movies)
  • Little Dorrit. The parachuter's name is revealed to be Naomi Dorrit. Amy Dorrit is the name of the protagonist of this serial novel by Charles Dickens published originally between 1855 and 1857. It is a work of satire on the shortcomings of the society, government and corrupt patent offices of the period.
  • Tarzan of the Apes. Sawyer calls Locke Tarzan, after the protagonist of this 1914 novel written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, its two dozen sequels and many adaptions for movies and television. Tarzan ("White Skin" in the ape language) is raised by animals in ignorance of his human heritage. (Books)  (Movies and TV)
  • The Waltons. Sawyer calls Locke “John Boy” after the very sensitive young man in this American television series (1971-1981). John-Boy is a bit of a wimp, very family orientated but stubborn enough to do what he feels is right.

Literary techniques

Literary techniques in Lost
ComparativeIronyJuxtapositionForeshadowing PlottingCliffhangerPlot twist Stock Characters:  ArchetypeRedshirtUnseen character
Story:  FlashbacksFlash-forwardsFlash-sidewaysRegularly spoken phrasesSymbolismUnreliable narrator 
  • This is the fourth episode to have all events occur on the Island, after "The Other 48 Days," "Maternity Leave" and "Three Minutes." Several other episodes, including "Walkabout," "Live Together, Die Alone," and the introductory portion of "A Tale of Two Cities," have featured on-Island flashbacks to the crash. (Flashbacks)
  • Ben says in a previous episode, "We're not murderers," and Locke was unable to vouch for Kate after finding out she killed her father. But Ben forces Locke to kill his own father before he can follow the Others. (Irony)
  • Nearly his whole life, Sawyer has pursued the man that indirectly caused his parent's deaths. The twist: the man Sawyer pursues is a man the Lost audience is already acquainted with: Locke's father, Anthony Cooper. Sawyer's sudden discovery of Cooper's true identity is called Anagnorisis. (Plot twist)
  • Cooper's death actually frees Locke and Sawyer from the bitterness they kept for a lifetime against the same man. (Irony)
  • Anthony Cooper discovers James Ford used his alias on "... some kind of revenge kick." It turns out the name Cooper used, Tom Sawyer, was also taken from the character by the same name, and is not his real name as well. (Irony)
  • Anthony Cooper tells Sawyer "Don't tell me I'm your daddy" to tease him about his questions. In more than one way, Anthony Cooper is more of a father to Sawyer than to Locke, he even inherited the same "nick name/last name". (Irony)

Storyline analysis

Storyline analysis in Lost
  • Sawyer kills Anthony Cooper. (Crimes) (Revenge)
  • Ben says "don't tell me what I can't do, John." (Regularly spoken phrases)
  • Locke is faced with the possibility of killing the person who ruined his life, but can't do it. Sawyer finds in that same person the enemy he's been after his whole life. (Rivalries)

Episode references

  • Anthony Cooper biting Locke's hand explained the bandage seen in an earlier episode. ("Left Behind")
  • Ben referred to a previous conversation with Locke when he said that the magic box was just a metaphor. ("The Man from Tallahassee")
  • The episode bears some structural similarities to "Three Minutes." Both episodes begin with a character burning a piece of paper, the contents of which are revealed later on. Both episodes have flashbacks showing what a missing character has been doing with the Others for a large chunk of time. Both episodes came late in the season. ("Three Minutes")
  • Sawyer dreamed about the events that led up to his own parents' deaths, which Kate had figured out earlier. ("Outlaws")
  • Locke was unable to kill Cooper on his own. This was foreshadowed when Eddie told Locke that he was "not a murderer." ("Further Instructions") Of course, Hibbs told Sawyer, "We both know you ain't the killing type," ("Outlaws") but since that time Sawyer killed at least three men (Duckett, an unnamed other, Cooper and later Tom).

External links

  • Primetime grid: Excel Doc
  • Trailer on YouTube

This article uses material from the "The Brig" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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