Friday, 4 January 2013

Another one down...

2012 has finished, and four days in to 2013, I finally find time to sit down and properly consider this. Our fairly arbitrary calendar has flipped over another digit and a year has officially come to a close. For me, I think, 2012 will be remembered as a year of notable deaths. This may sound morbid, but we did lose a lot of people I respected and followed, and I imagine many of those reading this science and sci-fi obsessed blog will feel the same way.

We lost a man with a vision for the stars and a man who stepped on another world; Sir Patrick Moore passed just weeks ago, and the first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, left us in August. Gerry Anderson, a master sciencefictioneer, almost made it to 2013, but not quite. Ralf McQuarrie and Joel Goldsmith, who respectively gifted the movie world with wonderful designs and musical scores, were both lost. We lost many actors, particularly from the worlds of Doctor Who: Philip Madoc, Caroline John, Mary Tamm and Geoffrey Hughes are all gone, while Warren Stevens, famous for Star Trek and Forbidden Planet roles, also left us.

Even while Johnny Depp brought the vampire Barnabus Collins back to life, the original, Jonathan Frid, was taken from us, going shamefully unremarked in much of the press. Jean Giraud, aka Moebius, the artist of strange vision, failed to reach 2013, as did equally influential sci-fi authors Ray Bradbury and Harry Harrison. Michael Clarke Duncan, another fine actor, died at an unjustly young 54, while Trek fans noted the passing of respected director Winrich Kolbe.

Beyond the world of laser ships and rocket guns, we lost Davy Jones, Donna Summer, Andy Williams, Phyllis Diller, Maurice Sendak and the notorious Gore Vidal. I was particularly saddened by those faces who were always on my TV screens growing up, be they at the primetime edge or the ubiquitous repeats: Terry Nutkin, Bob Holness (the forgotten Bond), Erik Sykes and the legendary Clive Dunn. Many a man mourned the loss of Sylvia 'Emmanualle' Kristal and the beautiful Angharad Rees. Soapy types mourned the passing of Bill Tarmey and Larry Hagman.

Of course, many, many more people lost their lives in the past year, and many of them in far more noteworthy, tragic or significant circumstances. Nonetheless, the familiar faces and names of our popular culture shape our view on the world. However, for me, 2012 was also a year of new starts, and many of my friends celebrated the birth of a child, very often their first child. They'll be the ones making the headline and shaping culture in the years to come.

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