Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Nicholas Courtney 1929 - 2011

Nicholas Courtney Profile
TV Action - June 30, 1973
I'm sad to hear of the passing of actor Nicholas Courtney, aged 81.

Like many other Doctor Who fans, I associate him with the classic Doctor Who era of the early 1970s when he starred opposite Jon Pertwee's Doctor as Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce.

He was born William Nicholas Stone Courtney in Cairo, Egypt on 16 December 1929, and following a stint of National Service joined the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art before moving on to repertory theatre in Northampton.

TV roles followed in The Avengers and The Champions before Nicholas made his Doctor Who debut in the 1968 serial The Web Of Fear opposite Patrick Troughton and returned later that year in The Invasion.

Perhaps my favourite Brigadier moment is from 1973's The Three Doctors, when The Brigadier, Sgt Benton, The Second Doctor, The TARDIS and the entirety of UNIT HQ are sucked into a black hole and arrive on a sandy landscape on an alien planet.

True to fashion, The Brigadier takes control, refusing to believe he's been transported through space and time: "No, I'm Pretty Sure That's Cromer!".

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