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Dying to hear the inside Doctor Who dope from Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart himself? Then this Nicholas Courtney VHS tape is for you.

January 7, 2013

nicholascourtney

Nicholas Courtney has a certain trenchcoated Inspector Clouseau elan up there, no? Do you have a leesance? 

I’ve been watching a lot of the Jon Pertwee Third Doctor serials lately, the only iteration of Doctor Who that I count myself a true fan of. The warm, bantering relationship between Courtney’s Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and the dandified, Venusian-karate-chopping Doctor is a big chunk of why this period of Earth’s favorite Time Lord gets the nod over the others, even the definitive Tom Baker regeneration. It’s hard not to love watching the Brigadier’s straight-arrow worldview clash with the eccentricities of UNIT’s scientific advisor, and how, in moments of bemused consternation, he had to often restrain from beating himself into unconsciousness with that omnipresent swagger stick of his. There was always a flicker of sadness, at least in these quarters, when it became clear that the Doctor’s newest adventure would be off-world, and the man with the mustache likely wouldn’t be making an appearance. No one would ever confuse Lethbridge-Stewart with a damsel in distress (though he ran and fought at times like a man not in full control of his limbs), but he has to sit near or at the top of any ranking of the Doctor’s companions, a designation at which he would surely bristle.

That said, there’s something so depressing about old VHS tapes floating around out there with a fine actor reminiscing about times gone by, memories preserved on a defunct format. Something about the world going round and round and leaving us all behind. Ugh. That Mr. Courtney passed on two years ago doesn’t help. R.I.P.

(It should be noted that the original Myth Makers tape has seen a reissue on DVD. Track it down if you crave hearing from the Brigadier in a format that’s somewhat less defunct.)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. cliff permalink
    January 8, 2013 3:30 pm

    I had the good fortune to meet nick a few years ago. He is one if the most charming people I ever met in or out of who circles

    • January 8, 2013 5:54 pm

      It’s a relief to hear that he wasn’t one of those off-camera horror stories.

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