Well, this certainly isn’t an article I was expecting to write bleary-eyed on a Saturday morning, nor was it one that I thought I would have to report so soon. John Hurt, known for playing the War Doctor in Doctor Who, Ollivander in Harry Potter, the Elephant Man, Winston Smith in 1984, and many, many more roles, has sadly passed away at the age of 77.
John Hurt’s Doctor was one of the most grounded, well performed and tormented incarnations we’ve ever seen, even though he only appeared in one full episode, The Day Of The Doctor. I remember watching The Name Of The Doctor, and in those closing moments when John Hurt turned around, I was speechless; this man, despite only saying a few words, was already the Doctor. Of course, John Hurt then joined Big Finish, and we have three superb box sets of War Doctor stories, with a fourth to be released next month. We also have John Hurt’s portrayal of HG Wells’ The Invisible Man that is due for release sometime next week.
I never had the good fortune to meet John Hurt, which is a shame because what I understand from all the interviews either with him or about him, is that John Hurt was one of the worlds good people.
This is a weird article to write, mainly because this is the first death of a Doctor that I’ve experienced. (Jon Petrtwee passed away when I was under a month old.) The world has certainly lost a phenomenal actor, and the best gravelly voice I’ve ever heard. My thoughts and condolences are with John’s family and friends at this awful time.