R.I.P. Nigel Terry and Grace Lee Whitney – King Arthur and Yeoman Rand


The night my mother let me stay up and watch Excalibur on TV remains one of the most memorable movie-watching experiences of my life – it was fantasy, but it was brutal, no-holds-barred, no-limit-to-the-imagination stuff. So many of today’s fantasy cliches come from that movie doing them first, but through all the King Arthur “reimaginings” I’ve seen since, it remains the gold standard.

Nicol Williamson and Helen Mirren steal the show, while Liam Neeson and Patrick Stewart make memorable early career appearances. But it was Nigel Terry who had the challenging task of holding the whole thing together as Arthur, in a journey from young naive squire to battle-weary king. He evidently preferred stage to screen, but at 69 has left us way too soon.

Grace Lee Whitney lived to be 85, but today offers us yet another reminder that time is moving on for Star Trek, and too few of the originals are still with us. Yeoman Janice Rand ultimately made Lieutenant in The Undiscovered Country – now she has embarked upon the final journey there. May Scotty greet her on the other side of it.