Vale: Nicholas Courtney

UK actor Nicholas Courtney, best known as Doctor Who‘s Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, has died, aged 81.

Originally slated to play Captain Knight, he was ‘promoted’ to the role of Colonel by director Douglas Camfield and returned as a newly promoted Brigadier in The Invasion, a role he was to become associated with for over forty years.

Appearing as one of the main characters throughout the Third Doctor’s incarnation, he was then to appear with every other classic series Doctor, plus an appearance in the spin-off  The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Other shows included Callan, Sword of Honour, The Saint, The Champions, The Avengers, Randall and Hopkirk, All Creatures Great And Small, Sink or Swim, Shelley, Yes Prime Minister The Bill, Doctors, Casualty and Only Fools and Horses

In 1997, he became the Honorary President of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society.

He is survived by his wife Karen, his son Philip and daughter Bella.

Source: Doctor Who News



  1. Just found out the Nicholas Courtney has just passed away. As a Doctor Who fan, he will be simply known as the Brig. I enjoy watching his era on DVD and I will be watching him on DVD very soon. He will be sadly missed by all fans of Doctor Who. RIP Brig. 🙁

    I couldn’t agree with you more Nathan. Well put.

  2. I am devastated … and in tears … he was a wonderful bloke and a legendary character … thank god we got to see him again in The Sarah Jane Adventures …
    Greatly missed but greatly appreciated also!

  3. The audio story with David Tennant that Doctor Ry had refer to was called Sympathy with the Devil and hopefully Nick is not with the Devil right now.

  4. I too was somone who grew up watching Nicholas on Dr Who and The Brigadier was one of my favourite characters. He was always there, it seems wrong somehow that he is no longer with us. But, as someone on twitter said, “Nick Courtney has passed but The Brigadier will live in our hearts and imaginations forever.”

  5. He also appeared opposite David Tennant in an audio story; though Tennant was playing a Unit officer…

    I said, elsewhere, that I always though that Courtney would live forever, so it just devastates me to see the Brig is as human as the rest of us. God bless, Nick. See ya on the other side.

  6. Nick Courtney had actually appeared with the first eight Doctors.

    He appeared with Doctors 1,2,3,4,5 and 7 during the “classic” series, with the Sixth Doctor in the 30th anniversary skit Dimensions In Time and in a much more proper adventure between the two in the audio drama The Spectre of Lanyon Moor and with the Eighth Doctor in another audio drama Minuet In Hell.

  7. He was a fantastic, wonderful and enthusiastic supporter of Dr. Who fandom and a very charming gentleman.

    I grew up watching him on Dr. Who and will always value the contribution he made to the show over the decades.

    RIP Nick – you’ll certainly never be forgotten.

  8. Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart’s last DW-related appearence was in the last 2 eps of “The Sarah Jane Advbentures s2”, called ‘Enemy of the Bane Prts 1 & 2’.

  9. Sorry David there’s an error in your research.

    Nicholas Courtney appeared beside 6 doctors, he appeared in the Camfield directed Dalek’s Master Plan as Bret Vyon beside the First Doctor William Hartnell.

    Finally, I want to say Nicholas Courtney was one of life’s true Gentleman, he was a great man and actor who was beloved by the Doctor Who community. He will be sadly missed by all.

  10. Not good news to hear – Have love Nicholas as the Brig
    Will be sad not to see him take on the role again

    Makes one realise how Short life really is

    Will always remember your work Nicholas

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