Nicholas Courtney first appeared in Doctor Who in 1965 in the story “The Dalek’s Master Plan” playing Bret Vyron. He later returned in 1968 where he played Lethbridge-Stewart for the first time, and after that the character became a regular in the classic series throughout the early 1970s. He returned on several occasions, and had played against all first eight Doctors either on screen or on audio.
It almost became part of the Doctor Who tradition that the new Doctor was not really ‘The Doctor’ until he had met the Daleks and his old friend ‘The Brigadier’.
Nicholas Courtney returned to the character recently in the new Doctor Who spin off series ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’.
I had the pleasure of meeting Nicholas Courtney at several Doctor Who events, where he was always a marvellous ambassador for the series, always warm and generous to the fans.
However I first met him in Pizza Hut in Wimbledon where he and a small party with him sat at nearby table. We ended up comparing notes as to what was good on the menu. I will always treasure that memory of our first meeting.
Here is a photo of the Fine Art Castings 80mm figure of the Brigadier I painted in the mid 1980s, and another picture of the other figureheads of the programme already passed over, who I am sure were there to greet him.
A memorial tribute has been set up in memory of Nicholas Courtney by Hirst Publishing, raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. If you would like to donate please follow the link to the 'Just Giving' website.