Bit of sad news to round out the day, as word going around on the internet is that Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart actor, Nicholas Courtney, has passed away at the age of 81. While I have not received an “official” word, it seems as though the story is legit. Courtney lived a long and by all accounts, full life. His contributions to Doctor Who are perhaps more vast than any other actor in the franchise’s history.
Courtney actually first appeared not as the Brigadier (or even Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart), but as Space Security Agent Bret Vyon in the William Hartnell first Doctor era. Shortly after he would begin the role that made him famous, encountering the Doctor (now in his second incarnation) as Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart. Eventually the character would be promoted to Brigadier and became a fixture on the program for decades. The Brigadier simply became his “name” to most Who fans.
Nicholas Courtney was also famous for his role as the Narrator in the cult classic, Rocky Horror Picture Show. His health waned in recent years, and he never did appear in the modern Doctor Who series. He did however have a brief cameo in the Sarah Jane Adventures and has been a fixture in the classic Who DVD commentaries and special featurettes as well as Audio Plays for some time. A Brigadier figure has been rumored for potential release this year. With that, we say farewell to an old friend and know that he’ll live forever in space and time as part of the Doctor Who mythos.