On January 20th, actor Kevin Stoney passed away. He would have been 87 this year. For fans of 'Doctor Who' he would be best known for his work in three of the serials from the original run of the series:
"The Daleks' Master Plan" from 1965
"The Invasion" three years later
"Revenge Of The Cybermen" in 1975.
For me, it was his role as the Colonel towards the end of "The Chimes Of Big Ben" - my favorite episode of 'The Prisoner' - that first made an impression on me.
[The Colonel holds up a decanter of Scotch. Number Six mutters to himself...] Number Six : Twenty four work units.
Colonel J : What?
Number Six : That's how much it - cost in the Village.
Colonel J : Ah, yes! The "village."
Number Six : Surely you know about it.
Colonel J : All I know, old boy, is that you resigned from a post of the highest possible secrecy in this country. Refused to give your reasons, and then promptly vanish.
Number Six : I was kidnapped.
Colonel J : Oh, really? How dramatic. And then, after a gap of months, we suddenly receive a suitably coded message that you're coming back! From the other side of the Iron Curtain!
Number Six : You think I've gone over?
Colonel J : And come back here to carry on the good work!
Number Six : No.
Colonel J : "No", he says? "NO"? NYET! NYET! What sort of imbeciles do you think we are?
[Number 6 quietly takes his Scotch from the Colonel, and listens to some more chimes]
And then I was introduced to TV - that is, Tobias Vaughn - from "The Invasion" serial of the Second Doctor's. Those who only know the new version of 'Doctor Who' and thought John Lumic was aces, should check out this storyline for a truly ruthless businessman in league with the Cybermen and see how it was originally done!
Stoney also served as an important link in the Toobworld of the Classic Roman age. He portrayed Thrasyllus in the 1969 production of 'The Caesars', a role he returned to more memorably seven years later in 'I, Claudius'. (Thrasyllus was the "oracle" who accompanied Tiberius into exile and had to do what he could to make sure he wasn't tossed down the cliffside for his terrible interpretations of omens and portents.)
Once I can score a picture of Stoney as Thrasyllus, I'll do up a blog post on the character.
For the full run of Mr. Stoney's credits, visit the IMDb.com.
My Toob Hat's off to you, Kevin Stoney. As Red Skelton would say, "May God bless....."