Doctor Who: Tin Dog Podcast
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TDP 168: The Revisitation Box set Number 2

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Direct download: TDP_168_REGEN_BOX_2_v4.mp3
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TDP 167: Space and Time (for Red Nose Day 2011)


[edit] "Space"

Amy is trying to get the Doctor's attention while he fixes the TARDIS. She discovers that Rory is helping the Doctor by installing thermal couplings underneath the glass floor of the TARDIS. Rory and Amy then start a small argument, when the TARDIS suddenly shakes and the lights go out. The Doctor asks Rory if he dropped a thermal coupling, which Rory admits to and apologises for doing. Amy then apologises as well, and, at the Doctor's confusion, explains that Rory was looking up her skirt through the glass floor when he dropped the thermal coupling. The Doctor then notes that they have landed through "emergency materialisation" which should have landed the TARDIS in the safest space available. The lights come on, revealing another TARDIS inside the control room - the TARDIS has materialised inside itself. The Doctor experimentally walks through the door of the TARDIS inside the control room and instantly walks back into the control room through the door of the outer TARDIS. The Doctor tells Rory and Amy that they are trapped in a "space loop" and that nothing can enter or exit the TARDIS ever again. Despite the Doctor's words, another Amy walks through the TARDIS door.

[edit] "Time"

Continuing from the ending of "Space", the other Amy reveals that she is from a few moments in the future, and is able to come into the current outer TARDIS because "the exterior shell of the TARDIS has drifted forwards in time". The other Amy knows what to say and do because, from her perspective, she is repeating what she heard herself say earlier on. The Doctor sends the current Amy into the TARDIS within the current TARDIS, in order to "maintain the timeline". However, not long before the current Amy is gone when another pair of Rory and Amy walk in through the door of outer TARDIS, explaining that the Doctor, from their perspective, just sent them into the inner TARDIS. The current Doctor promptly sends the current Rory and now current Amy through the inner TARDIS. The Doctor then explains that he will set up a "controlled temporal implosion" in order to "reset the TARDIS", but in order to do so he must know which lever to use on the control panel. Moments after he speaks, another Doctor walks though the outer TARDIS door and tells him to use "the wibbly lever", which he quickly pulls, then steps into the inner TARDIS to tell his past self which lever to use. The inner TARDIS dematerialises while the outer TARDIS (being the same TARDIS) does the same, and the Doctor assures Amy and Rory that they are now back in "normal flight", and then advises Amy to "put some trousers on".

[edit] Continuity

The situation where a TARDIS materialised within a TARDIS in a recursive loop has occured before in previous episodes in the Third Doctor and Fourth Doctor's era, "The Time Monster" and "Logopolis". However, in both cases, it was the Master's TARDIS that had joined with the Doctor's, whereas in "Space" and "Time", the same TARDIS materialised within itself.

In attempting to explain "conceptual space" to Rory, the Doctor used the analogy of the curve of a banana, the mentioning of which being a running joke since the episodes of the Ninth Doctor.

Amy's line "Ok kids. This is where it gets complicated" is similar to one she delivered in "The Big Bang".

[edit] Production

This is the third charity short produced since the program's return in 2005, the other two having been made for Children in Need. The first, with an official title of only "Doctor Who: Children in Need", aired in 2005. The second, "Time Crash" (also written by Moffat, and also featuring a time loop and ontological paradox), aired in 2007. An earlier charity short in aid of Comic Relief, The Curse of Fatal Death, also written by Moffat, aired in 1999. This story also involved a time loop within a time loop.

[edit] Broadcast and reception

The Guardian responded positively, noting it "manages brilliantly to nod to just about every Whovian in-joke, demographic and fetish within the span of two tiny instalments". [1]

[edit] References

Direct download: TDP_167_Space_and_Time.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:09pm UTC

Direct download: TDP__SILVER_TARDIS_for_sale.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:25pm UTC

TDP 166: Snakedance (Mara box set DVD2)


The arrival of the TARDIS on Manussa, formerly homeworld of both the Manussan Empire and Sumaran Empire, triggers nightmares in Tegan, who dreams of a snake-shaped cave mouth. It is evident to the Fifth Doctor that the Mara is reasserting itself on her mind following her possession by the entity while on the Kinda planet of Deva Loka (Kinda). He attempts to calm her by taking her and Nyssa in search of the cave but Tegan is too scared to enter when they find it, and runs away. Alone and confused Tegan lapses under the control of the Mara once more, revelling in horror and destruction. The emblem of the snake soon returns to her arm.

Manussa is in the grip of a festival of celebration of the banishment of the Mara from the civilisation five hundred years earlier. In the absence of the Federator, who rules over the three-planet Federation, his indolent son Lon is to have a major role in the celebration, supported by his mother the Lady Tanha and the archaeologist Ambril, who is an expert in the Sumaran period. Lon is intrigued with the notion that the Mara might one day return as prophesied, but Ambril is unconvinced and believes such talk is the product of cranks. When the Doctor tries to get Ambril to take the threat seriously he too is dismissed as a maverick, though the young deputy curator Chela is more sympathetic to the Doctor and gives him a small blue crystal called a Little Mind's Eye, which is used by the Snakedancers, a mystical cult, in their ceremonies to repel the Mara. The Doctor realises the small crystal and its large counterpart, the Great Mind's Eye, can be used as focal points for mental energy and can turn thought into matter. This, he determines, is how the Mara will transfer from Tegan's mind to corporeal existence. He realises that the Manussans must once have been a very advanced people who could use molecular engineering in a zero-gravity environment. They created the Great Mind's Eye without realising its full potential, and the crystal drew the fear, hatred, and evil from their minds, amplified it and fed it back to them. Thus the Mara was born into Manussa and the reign of the Sumaran Empire began.

Meanwhile Tegan makes contact with Lon and passes the snake mark of the Mara to him too. They visit the cave from Tegan's dream which contains a wall pattern which could accommodate the Great Crystal. Lon is sent back to the Palace while she causes more havoc and takes control of a showman, Dugdale, who is used for her pleasure. Lon meanwhile covers his arm and goes about trying to persuade Ambril to use the real Great crystal in the ceremony, placing it in a position in a wall carving that will evidently enable the Mara to return as the Doctor predicted. To persuade him to comply, Ambril is shown a secret cave of Sumaran archaeological treasures and warned they will all be destroyed if he does not help him. Ambril thus agrees to the change in format.

The Doctor and Nyssa have meanwhile been aided by Chela, who shares with them the journal of Dojjen, a snakedancer who was Ambril's predecessor. All three venture to the Palace to persuade the authorities to do something about the situation, but soon see Lon is in the grip of the Mara and orchestrating a very dangerous situation. All three escape and the Doctor now uses the Little Mind's Eye to contact Dojjen, who lives in sandy dunes beyond the city. They venture there and the Doctor communes with Dojjen by opening his mind after being bitten by a poisonous snake. He is told by the wise old snakedancer that the Mara may only be defeated by finding a still point in the mind. All three now head back to the city to prevent the ceremony of defeating the Mara using the real Great Crystal. The festivities are now at a peak, with a procession taking place which culminates in a ceremony at the cave. Lon plays the role of his ancestor Federator in rejecting the Mara. After a series of verbal challenges he seizes the real Great Crystal and places it in the appropriate place on the wall. Tegan and Dugdale arrive and she displays the Mara mark on her arm, which is now becoming flesh having fed on the fear in Dugdale's mind. With the crystal in place, the Mara is able to create itself in the cave, becoming a vast and deadly snake. However, the Doctor arrives in time and refuses to look at the snake or recognise its evil, relying instead on the still place he finds through mental commune with Dojjen via the Little Mind's Eye. This resistance interrupts the manifestation of the Mara and its three slaves are freed while the snake itself dies and rots. The Doctor comforts a distraught Tegan, sure that the Mara has at last been destroyed.

[edit] Cast notes

Features a guest appearance by Martin Clunes. See also Celebrity appearances in Doctor Who. Brian Miller is the husband of Elisabeth Sladen who portrayed long-time companion Sarah Jane Smith. He later played Harry Sowersby in The Mad Woman in the Attic, an episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Brian Grellis previously played Sheprah in Revenge of the Cybermen and Safran in The Invisible Enemy.

[edit] Continuity

  • Every story during Season 20 had the Doctor face an enemy from the past. For this story, the enemy was the Mara, who was featured in the previous season's story Kinda (1982).
  • In the redesigned TARDIS of the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, one of the consoles displays different time eras such as the Rassilon Era, Humanian Era and the Sumaron Era. The Sumaron era may be a reference to this episode.

[edit] Production

Serial details by episode
Episode Broadcast date Run time Viewership
(in millions)
"Part One" 18 January 1983 (1983-01-18) 24:26 6.7
"Part Two" 19 January 1983 (1983-01-19) 24:35 7.7
"Part Three" 25 January 1983 (1983-01-25) 24:29 6.6
"Part Four" 26 January 1983 (1983-01-26) 24:29 7.4
  • In post-production, episode four of this story overran very badly. As a result, it had to be completely restructured. Originally the door for a third Mara adventure was to be left open, with closing scenes discussing the ultimate fate of the Great Crystal. Furthermore, a sequence in which the Doctor comforts Tegan had to be removed. The scene was reincorporated into the beginning of the subsequent serial, Mawdryn Undead (1983).
  • The success of Kinda and this story prompted Script Editor Eric Saward to commission Bailey to write a third and final story to feature the Mara: May Time. However, the story was abandoned due to production problems.
  • This is one of the very few Doctor Who stories in which no one dies.

[edit] In print

Doctor Who book
Book cover
Series Target novelisations
Release number 83
Writer Terrance Dicks
Publisher Target Books
Cover artist Andrew Skilleter
ISBN 0-426-19457-8
Release date 3 May 1984

A novelisation of this serial, written by Terrance Dicks, was published by Target Books in January 1984. It was the first of several to feature Peter Davison's image in the logo.

[edit] Broadcast and VHS release

  • This story was released on VHS in December 1994.
  • This story was released on DVD on 7 March 2011 along with Kinda in a special edition boxset entitled Mara Tales.

[edit] References

  1. ^ From the Doctor Who Magazine series overview, in issue 407 (pp26-29). The Discontinuity Guide, which counts the unbroadcast serial Shada, lists this as story number 125. Region 1 DVD releases follow The Discontinuity Guide numbering system.
  2. ^ Shaun Lyon et al. (31 March 2007). "Snakedance". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 31 July 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2008. 
  3. ^ "Snakedance". Doctor Who Reference Guide. Retrieved 30 August 2008. 
  4. ^ Sullivan, Shannon (7 August 2007). "Snakedance". A Brief History of Time Travel. Retrieved 30 August 2008. 

[edit] External links

[edit] Reviews

[edit] Target novelisation

Direct download: TDP_166_Snakedance.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:08am UTC

TDP 165: The UK Census 2011

Jedi knights?!

Lego Jedi - Should you put Jedi on the census?How many Jedi Knights were in the UK 2001 Census?

Over 390,000 people answered “Jedi” in the 2001 census for England and Wales and 14,000 in Scotland (a lower proportion). This is more than the number of identifying Sikhs, and more than Jews and Buddhists combined. However, this did not mean that Jedi became an official religion- it doesn’t work like that!

Why answer Jedi?

Much of the public and media discussion focused on legitimate concerns with the census, which the “Jedi” answer could be disruptively used to promote. Some reasons people answered “Jedi” include:

  • concern about how ‘religion’ data might be used
  • concern about the inclusion of a question on religion at all
  • making a statement about privacy or annoyance with interference
  • a reaction against the apparent presumption of having a religion
  • making a point about the way people tend to legitimize religion based on its antiquity or number of adherents

Should I answer “Jedi”?

Our recommendation is that if you are not religious, answer “No religion”, because at some time or place, someone will refer only to the explicit “No religion” answers, from which you will be left out if you answered “Jedi”. If you want to write Jedi as a protest against anwering the question at all, see Why should I answer the question at all?

Direct download: TDP_165_Census.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:01am UTC

TDP 164: Kinda (Mara tales DVD 1)


    * Peter Davison (Fifth Doctor)


    * Matthew Waterhouse (Adric)
    * Sarah Sutton (Nyssa)
    * Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka)


    * Richard Todd — Sanders
    * Nerys Hughes — Todd
    * Simon Rouse — Hindle
    * Mary Morris — Panna
    * Sarah Prince — Karuna
    * Adrian Mills — Aris
    * Lee Cornes — Trickster
    * Jeff Stewart — Dukkha
    * Anna Wing — Anatta
    * Roger Milner — Annica

Writer     Christopher Bailey
Director     Peter Grimwade
Script editor     Eric Saward
Producer     John Nathan-Turner
Executive producer(s)     None
Production code     5Y
Series     Season 19
Length     4 episodes, 25 minutes each
Originally broadcast     February 1–February 9, 1982
← Preceded by     Followed by →
Four to Doomsday     The Visitation

Kinda is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four twice-weekly parts from February 1 to February 9, 1982.

    * 1 Synopsis
    * 2 Plot
    * 3 Continuity
    * 4 Production
    * 5 Outside references
    * 6 In print
    * 7 Broadcast and VHS release
    * 8 References
    * 9 External links
          o 9.1 Reviews
          o 9.2 Target novelisation

[edit] Synopsis

An idyllic paradise-like planet, Deva Loka, is not as it seems. Its inhabitants, the Kinda, are a gentle and seemingly primitive people. On the surface, a perfect place to colonise. But if it is so perfect, why are the colonisation team disappearing one by one? When Tegan sleeps near the Windchimes she is confronted by the true evil that threatens Deva Loka.
[edit] Plot

An Earth colonisation survey expedition to the beautiful jungle planet Deva Loka is being depleted as members of the survey disappear one by one. Four have now gone, leaving the remainder in state of deep stress. The leader, Sanders, relies on bombast and rules; while his deputy, Hindle, is evidently close to breaking point. Only the scientific officer, Todd, seems to deal with the situation with equanimity. She does not see the native people, the Kinda, as a threat, but rather respects their culture and is intrigued by their power of telepathy. The social structure is also curious in that women seem dominant and are the only ones with the power of voice. The humans are holding two silent males hostage for "observation". Todd believes they are more advanced than they first appear, as they possess necklaces representative of the double helix of DNA, indicating a more advanced civilisation.

Elsewhere in the jungle the TARDIS crew are also under stress, especially Nyssa of Traken, who has collapsed from exhaustion. The Fifth Doctor constructs a delta wave augmenter to enable her to rest in the TARDIS while he and Adric venture deeper into the jungle. They soon find an automated total survival suit (TSS) system which activates and marches them to the Dome, the colonists' base. Sanders is a welcoming but gruff presence, further undermining Hindle at regular intervals. At this point Sanders decides to venture out into the jungle in the TSS, leaving the highly strung Hindle in charge. His will is enforced by means of the two Kinda hostages, who have forged a telepathic link with him believing their souls to have been captured in his mirror. The Doctor, Todd and Adric are immediately placed under arrest as Hindle now evinces megalomania.

Tegan faces a more metaphysical crisis. She has fallen asleep near the euphonious and soporific Windchimes, unaware of the danger of the dreaming of an unshared mind (one not engaged in telepathic activity with another humanoid). Her mind opens in a black void where she undergoes provocation and terror from a series of nightmarish characters, one of which taunts her: “You will agree to being me, sooner or later, this side of madness or the other". The spectres are a manifestation of the Mara, an evil being of the subconscious that longs for corporeal reality. Mentally tortured, she eventually agrees to become the Mara and a snake symbol passes to her own arm. When her mind returns to her body she is possessed by the Mara. In a scene reminiscent of the Book of Genesis she passes the snake symbol to the first Kinda she finds, a young man named Aris, who is the brother of one of the Kinda in the Dome. He too is transformed by evil and now finds the power of voice.

Back at the Dome, Hindle has conceived a bizarre and immolatory plan to destroy the jungle, which he views as a threat. Adric plays along with this delusion. Hindle’s world soon starts to fall apart when first Adric 'betrays' him and then Sanders defies expectation and returns from the jungle. However Sanders is radically different from the martinet in earlier episodes. Panna, an aged female mystic of the tribe, presented him with a strange wooden box (the 'Box of Jhana') which when opened has regressed his mind back to childhood. Sanders still has the box and shows it to Hindle, who makes the Doctor open it.

The Doctor and Todd see beyond the toy inside and instead share a vision from Panna and her young ward, Karuna, who invites them to cave. The shock of the situation (accompanied by strange phenomena) allows the Doctor and Todd to slip away into the jungle where they encounter Aris dominating a group of Kinda and seemingly fulfilling a tribal prophecy that “When the Not-We come, one will arise from among We, a male with Voice who must be obeyed.” Karuna soon finds the Doctor and Todd and takes them to meet Panna in the cave from the vision, with the wise woman realising the danger of the situation now Aris has voice. She places them in a trance like state and reveals that the Mara has gained dominion on Deva Loka. The Great Wheel which turns as civilisations rise and fall has turned again and the hour is near when chaos will reign, instigated by the Mara. The vision she shares is Panna’s last act: when it is finished, she is dead.

In the Kinda world, multiple fathers are shared by children, just as multiple memories are held, and at Panna's death her life experience transfers to Karuna. She urges Todd and the Doctor to return to the Dome to prevent Aris leading an attack on it which will increase the chaos and hasten the collapse of the Kinda civilisation.

Back at the Dome Hindle, Sanders and Adric remain in a state of unreality, with the former becoming ever more demented and unbalanced, and infantile. Adric eventually escapes, and attempts to pilot the TSS but is soon confronted by Aris and the Kinda. He panics, and Aris is wounded by the machine (which responds to the mental impulses of the operator) and the Kinda scatter.

The Doctor and Todd find an emotionally wrecked Tegan near the Windchimes and conclude that she was the path of the Mara back into this world. They then find Adric and the party heads back to the Dome where Hindle has now completed the laying of explosives which will incinerate the jungle and the Dome itself: the ultimate self-defence. Todd persuades Hindle now to open the Box of Jhana, and the visions therein restore the mental balance of the two. The two enslaved Kinda are freed when the mirror entrapping them is shattered. The Doctor then realizes the only method of combating the Mara- he realises the one thing evil cannot face is itself and so organizes the construction of a large circle of mirrors (actually reflective solar panels) in a jungle clearing. Aris is trapped within it and the snake on his arm breaks free. The Mara swells to giant proportions but then is banished back from the corporeal world to the Dark Places of the Inside.

With the threat of the Mara dissipated, and the personnel of the Dome back to more balanced selves, the Doctor, Adric and an exhausted Tegan decide to leave (as does Todd, who decides 'its all a bit green'). When they reach the TARDIS, Nyssa greets them, fully recovered.
[edit] Continuity

    * The Mara features again in the next season's serial Snakedance.
    * Delta waves reappeared in the 2005 episode "The Parting of the Ways". Far from the brain wave-enhancing recuperation devices from Kinda, however, delta waves were described by Jack Harkness as being "waves of Van Cassadyne energy...your brain gets barbecued."
    * A fairy like creature which is compared to a Mara features in the 2006 Torchwood episode Small Worlds, however there may be no connection between the two.
    * In Time Crash (2007), the Tenth Doctor asks the temporally misplaced Fifth where (i.e. when) he is now – and speculatively references Tegan, Nyssa and the Mara from his own memories.
    * In Turn Left (2008), the time beetle on Donna Noble's back is also revealed when faced with a circle of mirrors.

[edit] Production
Serial details by episode Episode     Broadcast date     Run time     Viewership
(in millions)
"Part One"     1 February 1982 (1982-02-01)     24:50     8.4
"Part Two"     2 February 1982 (1982-02-02)     24:58     9.4
"Part Three"     8 February 1982 (1982-02-08)     24:17     8.5
"Part Four"     9 February 1982 (1982-02-09)     24:28     8.9

    * The working title for this story was The Kinda.
    * This was the first story to feature Eric Saward as script editor.
    * In the ancient language Sanskrit, "Deva Loka" means "Celestial Region".
    * Nyssa makes only brief appearances at the start of episode 1, and at the end of 4, because the script had largely been developed at a time when only two companions for the Doctor were envisioned. When it was known a third companion would also be present, rather than write Nyssa into the entire storyline it was decided she would remain in the TARDIS throughout and be absent through most of the narrative. To account for this absence Nyssa was scripted to collapse at the end of the previous story, Four to Doomsday. In this story she remains in the Tardis, resting. Sarah Sutton's contract was amended to account for this two-episode absence.[4]
    * For the scene in episode 2 in which the two Tegans talk to each other about which of them is real, John Nathan-Turner allowed Janet Fielding to write her own dialogue.

[edit] Outside references

    * Writer Christopher Bailey based this story heavily on Buddhist philosophy. He used many Buddhist words and ideas in writing Kinda; most of the Kinda and dream-sequence characters have names with Buddhist meanings, including Mara (temptation — also personified as a demon), Dukkha (pain), Panna (wisdom), Karuna (compassion), Anicca (impermanence) and Anatta (egolessness). Additionally, Jhana (also spelt Jana in the scripts) refers to meditation.
    * This serial was examined closely in the 1983 media studies volume Doctor Who: The Unfolding Text by John Tulloch and Manuel Alvarado. This was the first major scholarly work dedicated to Doctor Who. Tulloch and Alvarado compare Kinda with Ursula K. Le Guin's 1976 novel The Word for World is Forest, which shares several themes with Kinda and may have been a template for its story. The Unfolding Text also examines the way "Kinda" incorporates Buddhist and Christian symbols and themes, as well as elements from the writings of Carl Jung.[5]

[edit] In print
Doctor Who book
Book cover
Series     Target novelisations
Release number     84
Writer     Terrance Dicks
Publisher     Target Books
ISBN     0-426-19529-9
Release date     15 March 1984
Preceded by     Mawdryn Undead
Followed by     Snakedance

A novelisation of this serial, written by Terrance Dicks, was published by Target Books in December 1983.

In 1997 the novel was also issued by BBC Audio as an audio book, read by Peter Davison.
[edit] Broadcast and VHS release

    * The serial was repeated on BBC One over 22-25 August 1983, (Monday-Thursday) at 6.25pm. This story was released on VHS in October 1994 with a cover illustration by Colin Howard.
    * This story is set to be released on DVD in 2011 along with Snakedance in a special edition boxset entitled Mara Tales. It will feature an audio commentary by Peter Davison, Matthew Waterhouse, Janet Fielding and Nerys Hughes.[6]

[edit] References

   1. ^ From the Doctor Who Magazine series overview, in issue 407 (pp26-29). The Discontinuity Guide, which counts the unbroadcast serial Shada, lists this as story number 119. Region 1 DVD releases follow The Discontinuity Guide numbering system.
   2. ^ Shaun Lyon et al. (2007-03-31). "Kinda". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
   3. ^ "Kinda". Doctor Who Reference Guide. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
   4. ^ a b Sullivan, Shannon (2007-08-07). "Kinda". A Brief History of Time Travel. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
   5. ^ Tulloch, John; and Alvarado, Manuel (1983). Doctor Who: The Unfolding Text. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-21480-4.
   6. ^ Matthew Waterhouses' autobiography Blue Box Boy

[edit] External links

    * Kinda at BBC Online
    * Kinda at Doctor Who: A Brief History Of Time (Travel)
    * Kinda at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
    * KI'n'DA - Cardiff Doctor Who group

[edit] Reviews

    * Kinda reviews at Outpost Gallifrey
    * Kinda reviews at The Doctor Who Ratings Guide

[edit] Target novelisation

    * On Target — Kinda

Direct download: TDP_164_Kinda_1.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

TDP 163: William Nicholas Stone Courtney (16 December 1929 – 22 February 2011)

William Nicholas Stone Courtney (16 December 1929 – 22 February 2011)[1][2] was a British television actor, most famous for playing Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who.[3]



Early life

Courtney was born in Cairo, Egypt, the son of a British diplomat and educated in France, Kenya and Egypt. He served his National Service in the British Army, leaving after 18 months as a private, not wanting to pursue a military career. He next joined the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art,[4] and after two years began doing repertory theatre in Northampton. From there he moved to London.

Prior to Doctor Who, Courtney made guest appearances in several cult television series, including The Avengers (1962, 1967), The Champions (1968) and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969) and as a racing driver in Riviera Police (1965).

Doctor Who

Director Douglas Camfield originally considered Courtney for the role of Richard the Lionheart in The Crusade (1965), a role that ultimately went to Julian Glover,[citation needed] and kept him in mind for future casting. Courtney's first appearance in Doctor Who was in the 1965 serial The Daleks' Master Plan, directed by Camfield, where he played Space Security Agent Bret Vyon opposite William Hartnell as the Doctor. Camfield liked Courtney's performance, and when the director was assigned the 1968 serial The Web of Fear, he cast Courtney as Captain Knight. However, when David Langton gave up the role of Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart to work elsewhere, Camfield recast Captain Knight and gave the part to Courtney instead.

Lethbridge-Stewart reappeared later that year in The Invasion, promoted to Brigadier and in charge of the British contingent of UNIT, an organization that protected the Earth from alien invasion. It was in that recurring role that he is best known, appearing semi-regularly from 1970 to 1975. Courtney made return appearances in the series in 1983, and his last Doctor Who television appearance was in 1989 in the serial Battlefield (although like many other former cast members, he returned to the role for the charity special Dimensions in Time). Coincidentally, he appeared with Jean Marsh in both his first and last regular Doctor Who television appearances.

Courtney has played Lethbridge-Stewart, either on television or in audio plays, alongside every subsequent Doctor up to and including Paul McGann, as well as substitute First Doctor Richard Hurndall. He did not appear in the revived series. While he has acted with Tenth Doctor actor David Tennant in the Big Finish audio dramas Sympathy for the Devil and UNIT: The Wasting, Tennant was playing a different character, Colonel Ross Brimmicombe-Wood, on both occasions.

The character is referenced in the Series 4 episode "The Poison Sky" and is said to be "stuck in Peru". Fifteen years after Dimensions in Time, Courtney returned as Lethbridge-Stewart (now, Sir Alistair), freshly returned from Peru, in "Enemy of the Bane", a two-part story in the Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures aired in December 2008, starring Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith. The story pitted Sir Alistair and Sarah Jane against Commander Kaagh and Mrs. Wormwood who try to wake Horath using the Tanguska Scroll. It was intended by the Sarah Jane Adventures production team that Courtney would reappear in the following year's The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith so that Lethbridge-Stewart would meet the Tenth Doctor, but Courtney was recovering from a stroke and unable to take part.[5]

After Doctor Who

Courtney continued to act extensively in theatre and television after his main Doctor Who appearances, guest-starring in such popular television programmes as Minder (1984), All Creatures Great and Small (1980, episode "Matters Of Life And Death"), Only Fools and Horses (1988) and Yes, Prime Minister (1986). In 1982 he was cast alongside Frankie Howerd in the World War II-set comedy series Then Churchill Said to Me but the series remained untransmitted for over a decade due to the outbreak of the Falklands War. He also had a regular role in the comedy French Fields between 1989 and 1991. He has also appeared in the Big Finish Productions audio drama Earthsearch Mindwarp, based on a James Follett novel, broadcast on the digital radio station BBC 7.

He also appeared in an episode of the long-running BBC TV series The Two Ronnies alongside Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett as the character of 'Captain Dickie Chapman', a fellow prisoner-of-war (POW) in Colditz during World War II, in a sketch based on the original BBC TV series, Colditz.

In 1985, Nicholas played 'The Narrator' in The Rocky Horror Show. Amanda Redman also starred in the production as Janet.

Courtney starred as Inspector Lionheart opposite fellow Doctor Who actor Terry Molloy in the audio series The Scarifyers, from Cosmic Hobo Productions. The first two Scarifyers adventures, The Nazad Conspiracy and The Devil of Denge Marsh, were broadcast on BBC 7 in 2007; the third, entitled For King and Country in 2008, and fourth, The Curse of the Black Comet, in 2010.

He regularly made personal appearances at science fiction conventions and was also from 1997 the honorary president of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society. His theatrical agent was former Doctor Who actress Wendy Padbury.

In 1998, Courtney released his autobiography, titled Five Rounds Rapid! (ISBN 978-1852277826) after an infamous line of dialogue the Brigadier had in the 1971 Who serial The Dæmons. He recorded his memoirs, subtitled A Soldier in Time for release on CD in 2002 by Big Finish. An updated autobiography, Still Getting Away With It (ISBN 978-1871330731), was published in 2005, with co-author Michael McManus. Until his death, he lived in London with his second wife, Karen.

In 2008 he appeared in the film Incendiary, as the Archbishop of Canterbury, alongside Ewan McGregor.


Nicholas Courtney's death was reported by SFX[1] and The Stage[2] early in the morning of 23 February 2011. The exact nature of his death was not given in these early reports. Doctor Who audio play producers Big Finish, with whom Courtney had worked on several releases in his continuing role as the Brigadier, confirmed the date of his death as 22 February 2011.[6] The BBC reported that he had "died in London at the age of 81".[7] According to his official web site, he died following a long battle against illness.[8] Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss called him "a childhood hero and the sweetest of gentlemen".[7] Former Doctor Tom Baker also paid tribute, having visited him on the Friday before his death. Baker wrote "We shall miss him terribly" in a newsletter on his website, in which he also indicated that Courtney had been battling cancer.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Nicholas Courtney RIP". SFX (Future Publishing). 23 February 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Scott, Matthewman (2011-02-23). "Doctor Who’s Brigadier Nicholas Courtney dies". The Stage. The Stage Newspaper Limited. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 
  3. ^ Clapperton, Guy (November 2, 2006). "Regenerating an original Doctor Who". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  4. ^ Alumni of the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art: Penelope Keith, Angela Lansbury, Paxton Whitehead, Eva Green, Ross Kemp, Terence Stamp. LLC Books. 2010. ISBN 1155690842. 
  5. ^ McManus, Michael (26th February 2011). "Nicholas Courtney: Actor known for his long-running role as the Brigadier in Doctor Who". The Independent. Retrieved 27th February 2011. 
  6. ^ Briggs, Nicholas (2011-02-23). "Nicholas Courtney 1929-2011". Big Finish website: News (Big Finish Productions). Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Doctor Who 'Brigadier' Nicholas Courtney dies aged 81". BBC News (BBC). 2011-02-23. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  8. ^ Official web site
  9. ^ Nick Courtney: The Brigadier is dead

External links

Direct download: TDP_163_Nicholas_C.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:39am UTC