As many of my regular readers may know, I'm a very big Doctor Who fan. I was introduced to the original series when I first started dating my husband and have become as much of a geek about it as he is. One of my favorite characters has always been Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, or The Brig. Minutes ago, I read the sad news that Nicholas Courtney, the man who was the Brig, passed away tonight.
I can't remember which was the first episode of the Brig's that I saw. But that doesn't matter. He was so important to the Doctor Who universe. He was the steady rock of earth, the Doctor's ally even when no others were around. He was, in my mind, one of the Doctor's best friends.
One of my favorite episodes was Mawdryn Undead. I was able to imagine him as a math teacher at a boys school surprisingly easily... in large part because of Nick Courtney's masterful acting. Seeing two Brigs, and seeing the reason for the blanks in his mind, were brilliant.
And then there was Battlefield. An episode made for the Brig, from what I've read. A chance for us to see his Doris. And a chance to show that almost 25 years of playing the character didn't mean that Nick lost any of his handle on this wonderful character.
But one quote, from Battlefield, sums the Brig and Nick Courtney up for me. The Destroyer asks if the Earth could do no better than him for the champion. And the Brig responds: "Probably. I just do the best I can."
Your best was more than good enough, Nick. And you will be missed.