R.I.P. Anthony Ainley

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R.I.P. Anthony Ainley

Post by tallorder » Thu May 13, 2004 9:10 pm

I was saddened to see the obituary of Anthony Ainley in the recent press. A true gent and a fine actor who terrorised my formative years as the Master on Doctor Who.

For many he was the also-ran, a poor man's Delgado who was watered down and too pantomime - hampered by poor scripts and uninspired plotting. For me, never great at working out anagrams, he was the Master... a real villain for the 80's Who I grew up on.

I had the privilege of 'looking after' him during a convention autograph signing session many moons ago (Blue Box III, anyone?) and found him to be a genuinely lovely man who humbly enjoyed the small amount of fame the role had brought him... and was thrilled to play on his villainous reputation for the fans.

When I met him, in the mid 90's, I though how old he looked compared to the sprightly chap who had sparred with two Bakers, Davison and McCoy... how wrong I was proved as he held court with the fans all afternoon, never tiring of his catchphrases and the way they delighted those who had queued to see him. "I Am the Master and you Will Obey Me!" never lost its menace, nor did the glint in his fade and he confided "...that's the kind of woolly thinking that will bring about their destruction!"

In the short time I spent with him I remember he seemed to enjoy wordplay and liked to think of original ways to autograph. If it wasn't a quote, it was "Yours quite plainly, Anthony Ainley".

May he rest in peace... and I hope there's a cricket team in the afterlife that's welcoming of their newest, most ardent supporter. That's one signed photo I must dust off and find a good spot on the wall for... to my mind Who fandom has lost a true asset... a real gentleman who enjoyed his craft.
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Post by macfadyan » Thu May 13, 2004 10:28 pm

Yup, mind you, he was, what, 72? not a bad innings. Been a lot of traffic on the newsgroups about it.
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Post by Colin C » Mon May 17, 2004 10:08 pm

I was saddened by this too.

I first met him in the mid 80s during the NFT thing in Southbank (think it was the same week I met Troughton).

Met him a few times after that. Conventions are a bit of a blur (even the ones I did the photography at!) so I can't recall off the top of my hat when the last one was I saw him at. Got my zillions of photographs stashed somewhere.

One thing I can say is he was a genuinely good bloke, nothing like his character on TV.

A great loss indeed.

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