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R.I.P.: David Warner


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One of my favorite actors has died.

 

David Warner died Sunday from a "cancer-related illness".

 

Mr. Warner was one of those brilliant British Shakespearean actors on a par with the likes of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan, just not quite as famous.  Like them, he transitioned well into pop-culture movies and TV, and had memorable roles in just about everything he undertook.  In fact, if I had to summarize what works I know of his, "memorable" is the first word always springing to mind.  It has always surprised me that someone so talented that the Royal Shakespeare Company gave him lead roles could also happily be working projects like narrating Winnie the Pooh productions, and providing a voice in Biker Mice from Mars.  

 

Some of those roles I remember:

 

I first encountered him when I saw the original TRON, in which he had the triple role of Sark, Ed Dillinger, and Master Control Program.

 

His Bob Cratchit to George C. Scott's Scrooge in A Christmas Carol remains my favorite interpretation of the role.  

 

He had a memorable association with Star Trek, first with a role in the (largely forgettable) Star Trek V, and then his big role as the Klingon Chancellor in Star Trek VI.  He returned to Star Trek in The Next Generation as an unforgettable Cardassian interrogator oozing fake charm while pushing a captive Jean Luc Picard to the limit.  "THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!" is still a pop culture reference to this day three decades later.

 

Babylon 5 snagged him to play the role of a serene Grail seeker, the last of his order, passing through the space station.

 

Batman: The Animated Series cast him as their Ra's Al Ghoul, and in my opinion, his is the definitive interpretation.  (Incidentally, they also cast another major Klingon actor, Michael Ansara, as Mr. Freeze, and I consider his interpretation to be the definitive version as well.)

 

Men In Black: The Series animated its villainous MIB rogue Alpha "Alfie" to his voice and I'm still waiting for the live action version of this crazy, terrifying character.

 

Doctor Who had him as a kind-hearted professor aboard a Cold War Russian submarine being stalked by an ice warrior.  I found him the second best part of the production (the return of the ice warriors to the overall storyline was the first).

 

I last saw him, unexpectedly, as eccentric, but kindly Admiral Boom in Mary Poppins Returns.  It was surprising to see him there, but it just felt so right.

 

R. I. P.

Edited by Techwright
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A very sad day for British screen villainy. There will be a mass sneer and moustache-twirl/parasol flounce in Parliament Square at 2pm.

(But seriously: by all accounts, one of the nicest blokes you could work with and an "absolute trooper", as they say.)

 

🔗Lin-Manuel Miranda cajoled/bullied him into doing the AV Club, and it's a very funny read.

 

And my favourite role? Well... 

[FX:GRAMS - Random minion at DW's office simultaneously explodes, implodes and self-immolates]

Damn, was just pointing rhetorically... but that's a good question...

 

 

 

Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver

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He was a great actor, I first saw him in Time after Time as Jack the Ripper opposite Malcolm McDowell as H.G. Wells.

 

I also really like him in the Lovecraftian "To Cast a Deadly Spell" in which he played Amos Hacksaw opposite Fred Ward (RIP) as H. P. Lovecraft. 

 

He had a voice and way as most great English actors do. RIP

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Wasn't he also the scientist in TMNT 2: Secret of the Ooze?

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7 hours ago, The_Warpact said:

He was a great actor, I first saw him in Time after Time as Jack the Ripper opposite Malcolm McDowell as H.G. Wells.

 

I also really like him in the Lovecraftian "To Cast a Deadly Spell" in which he played Amos Hacksaw opposite Fred Ward (RIP) as H. P. Lovecraft. 

 

He had a voice and way as most great English actors do. RIP

 

I've not seen it, but IMDB says he was in another Lovecraftian-influenced work In the Mouth of Madness directed by John Carpenter.

 

3 hours ago, WanderingAries said:

Wasn't he also the scientist in TMNT 2: Secret of the Ooze?

He was indeed, and you've just made my point:  here's this amazing Shakespearean actor (he was in two movies from Shakespearean plays, btw, in addition to his stage roles), and he's fine with playing in the fun and silly popcorn flicks as well. 😄

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This has been a thing amongst fine Shakespearean actors and actresses for a while (and parodied more than a little by Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin). Work is work, no matter how ridiculous it is, and if it gets you paid and free trips to LA / Budapest / wherever it's better than doing rep in Croydon.

 

Especially kids' TV. Like Derek Jacobi doing In The Night Garden (warning: psychoactive substances not recommended while viewing), Palin doing the Clangers, and Bedtime Stories... which even the Americans want to join in now.

 

 

Acting's supposed to be fun. David Warner enjoyed the hell out of the gig.

 

 

 

WAKE UP YA MISCREANTS AND MEDIOCRITIES!

Look out for me as: Miss Dream Weaver (Corr-Psi/Emp), Ranger Emily (Blaster-AR/Dev/Mun), Dr Amy Weaver MD (Corr-DP/Emp/Power), Dr Regan Sprungler (Sentinel-Beam/Ninja), Agatha Heterodyne (MM-Robots/Devices), Powerstar Gold (Blapper-Energy/Energy/Elec/Chaos/Puns), HarveyTWonderhamster (Tank-Rad/Titan) Elsa Van Arendelle (Domi-Ice/Ice/Showtunes)

 

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He's wonderful as an alternate universe Doctor Who on plenty of audio adventures.  Acting opposite his long term partner, Lisa Bowerman.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Darmian said:

He's wonderful as an alternate universe Doctor Who on plenty of audio adventures.  Acting opposite his long term partner, Lisa Bowerman.

 

 

I've not heard these.  Are they considered canonical, like the 8th Doctor's audio adventures?

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13 minutes ago, Techwright said:

I've not heard these.  Are they considered canonical, like the 8th Doctor's audio adventures?

Hazy! A step further into the Audio universe built by Big Finish, so para-canon/crypto-canon at least.

 

HOWEVER, he has one in the bag already recorded with Christopher Eccleston playing 9, though I don't know if he's playing HIS Doctor opposite 9.  We will see (hear!).

 

If you're looking for a sample, the earliest one is 2. Doctor Who - Unbound: Sympathy for the Devil - Doctor Who - Unbound - Big Finish at £2.99 for a download.  No idea of the dollar price.

Edited by Darmian
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AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Two. (Arc id 26952) | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Three. (Arc id 27233) Darker Deeds: Part One (Arc id 28374) | Darker Deeds: Part Two. (Arc id 28536) | Darker Deeds: Part Three. (Arc id 29252) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part One (Arc id 29891) |

Darkest Before Dawn: Part Two (Arc id 30210) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part Three (Arc id 30560) |

 Bridge of Forever ( Arc id 36642) | The Cassini Division (Arc id 37104) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

I Sing of Arms and the Man (Arc id 42617) | Three Sisters (Arc id 43013)

(Pre War Praetorian Loyalist.  Pre War Praetorian Resistance..  Pre ITF Cimerora.  Post ITF Cimerora. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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7 minutes ago, Darmian said:

If you're looking for a sample, the earliest one is 2. Doctor Who - Unbound: Sympathy for the Devil - Doctor Who - Unbound - Big Finish at £2.99 for a download.  No idea of the dollar price.

Thank you!  I shall acquire a copy.  It might prove useful for my work commute.  Curiously enough, the US dollar price is also 2.99.  Considering the exchange rate is still in the pound's favor,  I wonder if someone is ripping off the non-Yanks.

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Well, the follow up one is Number 8 in that series, then you're looking for 3. Doctor Who: The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield Volume 03: The Unbound Universe - Doctor Who - The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield - Big Finish, and following, though they're all 4 disc boxsets and a tad more expensive.

 

I'll link you something else here to amuse you.

 

 

These were all recorded as radio plays and the animation added later by fans. David Warner doesn't appear in all of them but he's great whenever he does.

AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Two. (Arc id 26952) | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Three. (Arc id 27233) Darker Deeds: Part One (Arc id 28374) | Darker Deeds: Part Two. (Arc id 28536) | Darker Deeds: Part Three. (Arc id 29252) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part One (Arc id 29891) |

Darkest Before Dawn: Part Two (Arc id 30210) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part Three (Arc id 30560) |

 Bridge of Forever ( Arc id 36642) | The Cassini Division (Arc id 37104) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

I Sing of Arms and the Man (Arc id 42617) | Three Sisters (Arc id 43013)

(Pre War Praetorian Loyalist.  Pre War Praetorian Resistance..  Pre ITF Cimerora.  Post ITF Cimerora. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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