R.I.P. The Brigadier, Nicholas Courtney Dies at Age 81

The2ndDoctor's picture

The2ndDoctor - Posted on 23 February 2011

It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart, that I report the passing of Nicholas Courtney,  best known for his role as the Brigadier. 

He was first seen in Doctor Who as Bret Vyon a security agent in the 12 part "The Daleks Master Plan" Later taking up the Role of Colonel Lethbridge Stewart in "The Web of Fear" and then comming back one year later as Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart in the Invasion. 

Nicholas was last seen on TV, actually as the Brigadier in Sarah Jane Adventures two parter "Enemy of The Bane," but had actually had a very active role in audio With Big Finish, first comming back in the Doctor Who main range along side Colin Baker in "The Spectre of lanyon Moor" but also staring partly in the UNIT audio dramas. Also he had his own Companion Chronicle called "Old Soldiers" 

My thoughts, and indeed our thoughts are with his family at this time. 

Dalzo's picture

The passing of Nicholas Courtney is a huge loss for Doctor Who fans both old, new and future... My condolenses go to his friends and family. It is hard to believe that we will never see/hear the Brigadier again as he always seemed to turn up when you least expected it! For so many years, it was Nicholas Courtney who linked all the Doctor' s together having met all from 1st to 8th. I always hoped he would have a chance to meet up with a current Doctor but it wasn't to be. I am so glad he agreed to reunite with Sarah Jane a couple of years back.


Nicholas Courtney was a class act and a fantastic ambassador to Doctor Who... It is hard to imagine the Doctor Who universe without him. A heavy loss for us all...

Agreed: this is a terrible loss. My sympathies to his family and friends, as well as the thousands of Dr. Who fans he has touched. I started watching Dr. Who in 1979 and Nicholas Courtney has *always* been there. He will be missed.

This is sad news indeed. I saw him at a convention once around 1985 or so. 

I just recently watched that SJA story "Enemy of the Bane."

Idiom's picture

Such sad news.

I was just thinking the other day about why they hadn't yet called him in for the new series. Also I was listening to the Big Finish audio Masters of War, in which he gives the usual sublime performance.

So sad. In a series with so many companions, he has often been overlooked as the companion which survived more doctors than any other. His presence in the series added charm, grace and a comedic element that was often much needed during the Pertwee years.

He has always come across as a real gentleman and a great amassador for the series.

He will be greatly missed. Time to dig out some Pertwee DVDs and remember the Brig at his best.

Abersoch's picture

I'm more sorry than I can say to hear the news that the Brig is gone.  He was one of my earliest memories from the series (Jon Pertwee's Doctor, Miss Grant and the Brigadier) and it was always something a little bit special when the Brigadier made an appearance in the story.  You knew you were in for a treat.  

Like others, I quietly hoped for an appearance in the new series and it was great to see him in the Sarah Jane Adventures but I did think, at the time, that he was looking rather frail.  I'd heard he wasn't well but had hoped for a recovery.  Sad to think that he won't be appearing in any other Big Finish works.

It's always sad when someone from the series leaves us but there are few whose passing will leave as big a gap as Nicholas Courtney.

Rest in Peace.

Troy Baker's picture

BBC has put a tribute to Nicholas Courtney on the 'Doctor Who' website along with the story of his death.


First the story about his passing:

BBC - Nicholas Courtney

With-in this story there is a clip from the episode 'Terror of the Autons'. Be sure to check it out.



Next the home page for the tribute.


Nicholas Courtney: A Tribute


Near the bottom they have four places for stories about Nicholas Courtney - just click on them. Each encompasses a different aspect of his time with the show. Each story has a clip from episodes he was in and they clips do not seem to be region-locked (but that may change). Currently there are two sections but, like I said earlier there is four spaces and they will be filled in soon.



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