We were very sad to hear about the death of Nicholas Courtney. Our condolences go out to his family. More details here.
TV Cream was fortunate enough to chat to the actor in 2008, when he was returning to the role of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart for The Sarah Jane Adventures. “You’re a Doctor Who fan of old?” declared the Brig. “Well, that’s alright. Good!”
Explaining the amount of time it had taken for his character to return to the DW fold, he continued: “After Sylvester’s last one, Doctor Who was off the screen for a long time. But then when they started the new series they had to wait a long time while they worked out how to reintroduce him. I’m glad they reintroduced him in Sarah Jane, because it’s a good script and I enjoyed it. It was good seeing Lis again – so I think it was quite a good idea.”
As far as Nicholas was concerned, during the interim the Brig had been in Peru “on some damn fool mission!”
“It wasn’t odd being with Lis again. Having been on camera with her before, it just came quite naturally, like the character of the Brig keeps coming back. But I’ve done a lot of audios as well, so he’s been around, but not on the screen.
“The Brig aged with me, and put on some weight too. Perhaps a bit too much! He’s not quite the lithesome Brigadier of old. When I first played him, why I had a moustache was because Douglas Camfield thought I looked too old. I started my own facial hair from The Five Doctors. Before then I didn’t think it grew military enough.”
Finally, he had some more fundamental thoughts about the character. “He was a bit nervous about women, the Brig. So that’s why he called them ‘Miss’. He was happier with a sergeant, probably. Having a pint.”