Posts tagged ‘R.I.P.’

R.I.P. Maurice Hurley

This was overshadowed by Nimoy’s hospitalization and subsequent death, but we also lost Maurice Hurley last week.  He was instrumental in the development of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and as the writer of the episode “Q Who” he was the creator of the Borg.  Sigh.

Movie time again tomorrow for my family: “Q Who,” “The Best Of Both Worlds” parts 1 & 2, and “Family.”  Heavy sigh.



R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy

I’m at a bit of a loss here.  When I heard Leonard Nimoy was hospitalized earlier this week, I knew deep down it would not end well.

I grew up watching Star Trek, even before I discovered Doctor Who.  I grew up watching Spock, and I learned a lot of things from him.  The most important one to my young mind was his line from the episode “Operation: Annihilate!” – “Pain is a thing of the mind.  The mind can be controlled.”

But he was so much more than Spock.  And he was fascinating to watch in any role.

A legend is gone.  Tonight, my family and I will be sitting down to watch Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan in his honor.  It’s the perfect night for that.


Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith

Elisabeth Sladen died today.  Unless you’re a fan of British sci-fi, you probably don’t know that name.  But she was, along with Tom Baker and Ian Marter, an iconic part of my childhood.

Elisabeth Sladen played Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who and its spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures.  She was the one constant in the tumultuous period at the end of the Third Doctor’s time and the beginning of the Fourth Doctor’s oh so long reign.  As good as she was playing up against Jon Pertwee, she & Ian Marter positively glowed alongside Tom Baker.  Tom Baker’s first series is one of the balls-out best full series of Doctor Who.

Jon Pertwee was always my favorite Doctor, but Elisabeth Sladen’s Sarah Jane Smith was always my favorite companion on the show.

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet both of them at a Doctor Who convention in Chicago in the early ’80s.  I distinctly remember having to push myself to work up the courage to tell her how beautiful I thought she was, since I knew I’d never have another chance to do so.  Here I was, a starstruck crush-ridden teenager telling her that.  She seemed touched, though … little did I know she had literally just gotten off a long trans-Atlantic flight and came straight to the theatre.  She felt tired, she felt worn out, she felt anything but beautiful … until I said those words and her wonderful smile lit up her face.

I still have the picture of her and Tom Baker that she signed.  Time has not been kind to it.  They used felt-tip pens rather than Sharpies to sign their autographs there, so the ink is slowly deteriorating along with the photo.  But I can still make it out: “To Robert Love Elisabeth Sladen.”  That was an amazingly happy day for me.

From what I see online, Doctor Who fandom is stunned.  She kept her battle with cancer out of the publicity machine.  With Nicholas Courtney, a lot of us knew he was ill.  With Lis, few of us did.

I’ve yet to watch all of her Sarah Jane Adventures episodes, so at least I have that to look forward to.  The BBC commissioned a fifth series of that, but I’m not sure how far the production got before her death.  Interestingly enough, what was the title of the final story of the fourth series?  “Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith.”

There’s not enough beer in my world right now …..

The BBC’s announcement.

Digital Spy’s obituary.

R.I.P. Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart

I can’t stop crying.

Nicholas Courtney was 81.  I know he had been having health problems lately.  He was as old as my dad.  But somehow I always thought Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart would always be around.

I discovered Doctor Who in the mid-70s, when Chicago’s PBS station started showing episodes starring Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor.  This was during the time period when our beloved Time Lord was exiled to Earth and working as scientific advisor to UNIT.  The commanding officer in charge of UNIT in the U.K. was the Brigadier, played by Nicholas Courtney.

I grew up watching Doctor Who.  As much as I loved every actor’s interpretation of the role, my favorite was always the Doctor I started with.  The ensemble during this time has been referred to as “the UNIT family,” and the show has rarely ever been able to recapture that chemistry.  Jon Pertwee will always be my Doctor, Katy Manning’s Jo Grant will always be his companion, and Nicholas Courtney’s Brigadier will always be there, appropriately frustrated and flustered (flustrated?) by the Time Lord’s antics.

I can’t type anything else right now.  No … wait … one last thing: I miss you, Brigadier.

Nicholas Courtney, ‘Doctor Who’  actor, dies at 81

R.I.P. John Barry

I was washing dishes Saturday afternoon when a track called “007” from the From Russia With Love soundtrack popped up on my iPod.  That led me to jump to a few other tracks from James Bond soundtracks, but I kept coming back to “007.”  I’ve always loved the interaction between the various instruments in that track.  As iconic as the James Bond Theme is, for me the one musical piece I always associate with 007 is “007.”

Surprisingly enough, when I suggested watching From Russia With Love Saturday night, nobody objected.  My kids don’t necessarily like older movies the way I do, so I expected someone to pipe up with some other suggestion.  Nope.  The boys had never seen it and my daughter didn’t remember it, so Saturday night we put on Sean Connery’s best Bond film, with Robert Shaw in his most menacing performance.

And the one thing that inspired me to do so was John Barry’s “007.”

John Barry, OBE, died yesterday.  Film music lost a legend.  Although he did not compose the James Bond Theme, his music helped define the James Bond filmgoing experience.  He was always one of my favorite film composers, right up there alongside Bernard Hermann and Ennio Morricone.

John Barry, you will be missed.

BBC News Obituary: John Barry