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RIP, Nicholas Courtney

I’d hoped my first post-Gallifrey blog would be a happy one, but alas. I’m sorry to report that legendary Doctor Who actor Nicholas Courtney, who portrayed the stalwart Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart opposite every classic Doctor except two, has passed away at the age of 81. He had reportedly been in failing health in recent years.

Courtney’s Brigadier and Pertwee’s Third Doctor were the perfect Watson/Holmes-esque duo, and the Brig remains one of the best-loved characters in the show’s long history. As a massive fan of the Pertwee era, and the Brigadier specifically, I’m deeply saddened by this. To pay homage, I want all of you to watch Nicholas Courtney’s best performance, playing dual roles in 1970’s “Inferno.” We salute you, Brig.


Image: BBC

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  1. Kyle says:

    Maybe Steven Moffat will write a tribute episode or special in Nicholas Courtney’s honour. Considering how much the Brigadier contributed to the Doctor Who universe it would be a nice gesture and also be a way of re-introducing the character to the new generation of fans.

  2. Bob Davidson says:

    Oh! and I forgot to say. “Brigadier, when you see the chaps with the wings… hold fire. Those are the good guys”. Good night, God bless, RIP Nick

  3. Bob Davidson says:

    What a sweet, generous, funny and gorgious human being we lost on Tuesday. Nicholas Courtney was, without doubt the perfect guest at a convention. He would tell old tales, answer any question, chat with you in the lobby, have a drink with you in the bar. He made Noobies welcome an regular covention goers feel like old friends. And on top of all that, a true gentleman and a proper actor laddie. He really will be greatly missed by all the fans of Doctor Who and of course all who knew him.

  4. J0sh K says:

    Extremely bummed out. I was really hoping Nicholas would have the opportunity to appear in an episode of “new” Who. I knew he was in declining health and it’s too bad to hear he passed. RIP Brig.

  5. Scott says:

    He was around for the era when Doctor Who really started experimenting and doing cool stuff. I am happy he lived a full life, I wish all of us were able to make an impact in the hearts of others like he did. Bravo to him and his life, he was one of my favorites.

  6. strutterms says:

    I’m JUST getting into Classic Who, and I only wish I’d been able to check out some of the Brigadier eps before hearing about this, and just after Gallifrey One no less.

    RIP. Such a shame.

  7. emily says:

    Very sad news, especially after such a positive event like Gallifrey One. He will be sorely missed. Time to go watch some UNIT-era stories in his honor.

  8. Samantha D says:

    Damn! When I heard the news, I immediately recalled the episode Doctor Who and the Silurians, but I’d forgotten how fantastic he was in Inferno. Sad, sad news. 🙁

  9. Coconutphone says:

    Wow! I was JUST listening to his commentary for “The Three Doctors” last night! He was also in one of the bonus features appearing briefly at a Who convention with Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning.

    RIP Brig. *salutes*

  10. Scott says:

    I recently watched The Death of the Doctor on Sarah Jane Adventures, and was disappointed that it had UNIT but no Brigadier. I think he was on an episode earlier, though.

  11. Sean says:

    Sad news, I wish they had brought him back for the new series at least once. Such a lost opportunity.

  12. Artie says:

    The Brig’s were indeed the best episodes of the 70s (or was it the 80s?)

  13. Mike says:

    RIP Brigadier.

    Instead of a 21 gun salute, they should do five rounds rapid at his funeral.

  14. Bruno says:

    He was a great, and Inferno was not just a classic Who story, but some damn fine Sci-Fi ideas to boot.

  15. Dan says:

    Very sad. I always loved seeing the Brig on Doctor Who.