"I'm sorry, Doctor, but I must insist. My place is with the men out there, trying to do something about that... whatever it is out there, not standing about here, messing around, looking for some damn fool flute!"Any senior military person in a sci-fi drama who is a good guy. Will sometimes be skeptical of the existence of the Monster of the Week. When convinced and facing the current menace, Five Rounds Rapid is usually his default response to deal with it. However, when that fails, he is generally ready to admit when he is wrong and is immediately open to other ways to handle the situation. By senior, we mean someone above the rank of Colonel or naval Captain. Often, The Brigadier is also a Reasonable Authority Figure. Often paired with a Technical Pacifist main character, either to prove that violence wouldn't solve the problem anyway, or to allow the Technical Pacifist to have someone else fire the guns. A natural employment for an Officer and a Gentleman. See also: Four-Star Badass. The law-enforcement equivalent is The Commissioner Gordon. Contrast General Ripper, Insane Admiral. In the rankings of Authority Tropes, the next lower step is Colonel Badass and The Captain. The next steps up are are the Four-Star Badass, The Caligula, The Good Chancellor, Evil Chancellor, Standard Royal Court and Deadly Decadent Court. Note that The Brigadier is not necessarily a Brigadier (as in General), but may have any number of stars.
— Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Doctor Who
open/close all folders
- Almost all of the military staff on the side of good in Fullmetal Alchemist fall into this, but one of the prominent examples is Olivier Armstrong.
- The Colonel in AKIRA is one of these, even if the other good guys take a while to realize it (his constantly trying to arrest them as revolutionaries didn't help).
- In The Iron Giant. General Rogard is actually a good guy who is only fighting the Giant because Kent lied to him that it was a killer. Once he learns the truth, he immediately stops attacking it.
- In Starship Troopers, Carl Jenkins quickly rose to this position thanks to his talents, contrast to Rico climbing the ranks to Lieutenant. In Marauder, Brigadier General Dix Hauser fills this role while trying to sidestep an obstructive Government Conspiracy to rescue his girlfriend, Captain Lola Beck.
- In Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation, General Jack Gordon Shepherd subverts the totalitarian style of the (film universe's) Terran Federation by staying behind with a select few troopers to cover the retreat of the rest of the platoon. Miraculously, he survives this and turns out to be The Mole, under the control of a Puppeteer Parasite.
- In Starship Troopers: Invasion, General Johnny Rico fills this role, and leads The Cavalry to save the heroes in the film's climax.
- General Grey in Independence Day. AKA the "They're preparing to fire their primary weapon!" guy.
- Group-Captain Mandrake, from Dr. Strangelove.
- Lord General Zyvan in the Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM) novels is a highly competent commander and on close personal terms with the eponymous commissar.
- In the later Gaunt's Ghosts books, Lord General Barthol Van Voytz has a relationship with the title character similar to Zyvan and Cain's. Van Voytz pulls political strings to get Gaunt out of trouble more than once (most notably in His Last Command). Van Voytz is also a contrast to the early series' parade of treacherous General Rippers: Dravere (First and Only) Lugo (Honour Guard) and Sturm ( twice, in Necropolis and Traitor General).
- Sir Colin Campbell receives this treatment in George Mac Donald Fraser's Flashman novels, first at Balaclava and then at Lucknow.
- Pellaeon from the Hand of Thrawn duology. Yes, he's the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Forces, but he kicks off the plot with his attempts to make peace with the New Republic.
- In the Wheel of Time series, most senior military commanders are portrayed in this light, especially Gareth Bryne and Davram Bashere. The only real exceptions are the Whitecloak Lords Captain.
- The Royal Air Force has its equivalent rank of Air Commodore. Air Commodore "Baggy" Bletchley is the Brigadier in RAF blue. In the works of Derek Robinson, he is a hangover from WW1 biplane fighting who pops up in a series of books to give hearty encouragement, interspersed with contradictory, confused and frequently impractical or impossible orders to his beleagured squadron commanders. In Hullo Russia Goodbye England it is revealed he went sand-happy in North Africa note and had to be retired to a desk job at the Air Ministry in London. note
Live Action TV
- Doctor Who:
"Look in your records and you'll find a man named Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. I'm his daughter." Mass Oh, Crap moment for alien menace.
- The aforementioned Lethbridge-Stewart as played by Nicholas Courtney is the Trope Namer. His first few appearances embodied this trope a lot stronger than he did later, as repeated encounters with the Doctor mellowed him out somewhat. In the serial "Battlefield" he had retired and been replaced by Brigadier Winifred Bambera... though when he does show up, he still gets called "Brigadier" far more often than anything else (like, say, Alistair).
- Colonel Mace in the 2008 Sontaran two-parter: the Trope Namer is mentioned, and now has a knighthood (this must disappoint Nicholas Courtney greatly - he expected the Brig to have a peerage by now).
- Kate Stewart, the new Head of Scientific Research at UNIT as of "The Power of Three", is very much this, as she has been pivotal in reshaping UNIT as a military organization led by scientists. Her father, Alistair, taught her that "science leads", something he said he learned "from an old friend". When she joined UNIT, she dropped the name Lethbridge so she would rise in the ranks on her own merits without any favoritism.
- In The Sea Devils, Captain John Hart.
- Father Octavian in "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone".
- Stargate SG-1:
- General Hammond goes from being The Brigadier to becoming a Four Star Bad Ass in later seasons.
- General Landry as well. Actually since the air-force is more or less portrayed in a positive light, many of upper brass can fit this trope, provided they get enough screen time and aren't made out to be evil.
- Jack O'Neill progresses from being a Colonel Badass through being The Brigadier to become a Four-Star Badass by the time of Stargate Universe.
- Commodore Ross from Space: Above and Beyond. His rank is even the naval equivalent of Brigadier.
- Speaking of guys named Ross, Vice Admiral William Ross, a secondary character from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine who spent most of his time behind the scenes leading the Federation war effort against the Dominion (which is actually a little bit odd, seeing as Vice Admiral, even in Trek, is only a three-star rank and the equivalent of a Lieutenant General. Ross should have been a Fleet Admiral).
- Parodied in Monty Python's Flying Circus; Graham Chapman's recurring character of the Brigadier, a stereotypically uptight senior British army officer, pops up to end sketches and advance the action by walking briskly in and barking "Silly! We'll have none of that silliness around here!" or "Sergeant-Major, get a bit of discipline into these men!" In one episode, he steps out from behind a desk to reveal he is in full British Army uniform only from the waist up - but in a ballerina's tutu and tights from the waist down.
- Admiral Steven Hackett and Captain/Councilor David Anderson from Mass Effect are these, being a staunch supporter of Shepard to the point where the former denied a request to detain and interrogate Shepard due to Cerberus ties and confirmed Shepard being alive without actually meeting them and the latter risks court-martial or getting shot to help you do your thing in the first game and is the only one in the Council to actually believe you in the second.
- At the Super Hero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe, there's a huge security staff, headed up by ex-military officer Security Chief Franklin Delarose. At Whateley Academy, near Dunwich New Hampshire, the security officers have to be prepared to handle troublesome teenaged superpowered students, not to mention the occasional monster or invasion. So he's a lot more Genre Savvy than the usual Brigadier.
- Bill 'Bulldog' Maddicks is the most prominent canon example in Freedom City Play By Post. The tough, no-nonsense commander of STAR Squad, the local super-SWAT team, Maddicks can best be understood as an honest, clean-living Harvey Bullock.
- General Newcastle on Challenge Of The Go Bots.
- Although she doesn't show up very often, Bravestarr has Commander Kane.
- General Flagg in the first season of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Obviously, Duke and Flint also count, though they're lower down the totem pole. The third season introduced Hawk (an actual brigadier general).