Sunday, August 30, 2009

2|Entertain Shot Liberty Valance Hall

I know, I know... you're all eagerly awaiting Nabu San's report upon yesterday's fan event at Manchester's Trafford Centre - but for now, you'll have to settle for silly old me! I can reveal a little exclusive however, as I too was at the event. It's not much, and I shan't be telling you in what context this stands, but here's your tease. Just one word, mind: Orange.

Make of that what you will.

In actual, real, not-teasing-this-time-but-actually-telling news 2|Entertain (a BBC Worldwide company, who issue Doctor Who on DVD) released earlier this month the long-rumoured "Black Guardian" trilogy. In the opening story, Mawdryn Undead, Nicholas Courtney reprises his role as Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart - almost 25 years before he'd do the same thing in The Sarah Jane Adventures!

Filmed months before his SJA appearence, Liberty Hall is just one of the boxset's many special features. It is a dramatisation, staring Courtney in character as Lethbridge-Stewart, reflecting upon his time as a school teacher - as well as the other side of his personal history, his time at UNIT.

It was after filming this that Courtney was asked back to the Doctor Who universe for Sarah Jane. The intention was to have him back again for this year's series*, but sadly Courtney suffered a stroke at the start of the year and had to drop out of the SJA's third series. He wasn't even well enough to commit to BBC Audio's 4th Doctor adventure, Hornet's Nest.

According to reports, Courtney has now almost fully recovered, but it's still heart breaking to hear that such a fan favourite has been so unwell. Everybody at wishes him well, and sends their love and affection.

You can pick up the Black Guardian trilogy, starring Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, online for around £25.

* Courtney (as Lethbridge-Stewart, of course) was slated to appear as a grandfather-type figure to the team in a handful of episodes - including The Wedding of Sarah Jane - and was going to get to meet both K9 and the Tenth Doctor. These plans were ultimately shelved.
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