Archive for July, 2022
Not a good week. Now we mourn the loss of another Star Trek icon, Nichelle Nichols, who passed away at the age of 89. Nichols played Uhura in the original series. Well respected by and respectful of the fans, she once planned to quit the series, but was convinced to stay on by none other than Martin Luther King, Jr., who told her, “You cannot….for the first time on television, we will be seen as we should be seen every day, as intelligent, quality, beautiful, people who can sing dance, and can go to space, who are professors, lawyers.” After Star Trek, she actually consulted with NASA to help recruit minorities and females, and was the inspiration of many engineers and astronauts.
Alas, she retired from the convention circuit before I could meet her owing to her deteriorating health, but she visited with the fans as long as she could. She was a true pioneer who will be missed.
This week we lost two great British actors, David Warner and Bernard Cribbins.
David Warner played a number of memorable roles, from pure villains like the brutal Pomponius Falco in Masada (for which he won an Emmy) and the Evil Genius in Time Bandits, to sympathetic enemies like Chancellor Gorkon in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Always a memorable actor in every role, he did guest spots on many shows including Babylon 5 and Star Trek: The Next Generation and many animation voice roles. He was also a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and played many classic roles on stage.
When I first had access to cable and the movie channels, there were a few movies I would watch over and over – two of them were Time Bandits and Time After Time, where he played Dr. John Stevenson, who in fact was Jack the Ripper, who escapes from 1893 London in H.G. Wells time machine to 1979 San Francisco. They were followed by Tron, where he played the dual role of Ed Dillinger/Sark – END OF LINE.
Bernard Cribbins is perhaps best known for his role as Wilfred Mott, Donna Noble’s grandfather, during David Tennant’s run in Doctor Who. He originally appeared in the Christmas episode, “Voyage of the Damned”, and was later retconned as Donna’s grandfather when he became a recurring character. His emotional pleas in Tennant’s final episode could really be felt. Cribbins also appeared in the 1966 theatrical movie Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., a film adaptation of the William Hartnell episode The Dalek Invasion of Earth” which starred Peter Cushing as wholly human Dr. Who. He even interviewed for the part of the Doctor in 1974…but lost to Tom Baker.
An actor since he was 14, he is also well known in Britain as the most frequent storyteller in the children’s series Jackanory, as well as appearing or narrating many other children’s programs, and received a special award from the British Academy Children’s Awards in 2009 and in 2011 received an Officer of Order of the British Empire (OBE) honor for services to drama. In 2014 he received the J.M. Barrie award for contribution to the children’s arts.