Well, it seemed like it was going to be a straightforward enough weekend: Down to Tors (tirinar) and Andy's in Croydon Friday night for Raiden costume fitting and Tors' big costume photoshoot. Alas, a whole load of things went wrong:
- Discovered that, thanks to my sister's instructions to go to the gym in the runup to her wedding, my biceps have expanded enough that the Raiden tunic's sleeves (based on old measurements) are uncomfortbaly tight and restrictive. Talk about unexpected consequences... Tors has instructed me to convey her irritation to my sister...
- Despite swearing I was never driving down there again, I really had to, with all the Monkey and Raiden costum paraphenalia I had to carry. Saturday morning, I discovered my car had been towed. I thus had to rush home to East Finchley (about as close to diametrically opposite side of London as one can get) to get ID to get the car released (gritting teeth while paying the fine).
- On returning to Tors and Andy's, discovering I'd left the ******* belt for the Monkey outfit at home.
Still, it was nonetheless very pleasant to catch up with Tors, Andy, Heather (burntcopper and Silent Bob. I'll just have to hope things work out better for the next photoshoot Tors has planned for after Hyperion.
Richard Biggs passes away
Got back home about midnight Saturday to see the following message on Usenet announcing Richard Biggs' death:
On Sat, 22 May 2004 23:43:05 +0000 (UTC), in rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated firstname.lastname@example.org (Jms at B5) wrote:
>I was awakened today with several phone calls from cast members and Doug to
>pass along the terrible news that this morning, Richard Biggs passed away.
>We're still gathering information, so take none of this as firm word, but what
>seems to have happened, happened quickly. He woke up, got up out of bed...and
>went down. The paramedics who showed up suggested it was either an aneurysm or
>a massive stroke.
>His family members have been informed, and all of the the cast have, as far as
>we can determine, also been informed.
>This is a terrible loss for all of us. Richard was a consummate professional
>but more than that he was an honorable, stand-up guy. If he gave you his word
>on something, you never had to wonder about it afterward. He was always
>helpful and supportive of all the cast, even those who only came in for one
>episode, always with a ready smile and determined to do whatever it took to
>make the scene work. He was, quite simply, a terrific guy, and everyone here
>is just devastated at the news.
>More word as this develops. We may try to have some kind of fund raiser to
>help give whatever assistance may be helpful for his kids.
>We all miss him terribly.
>(all message content (c) 2004 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
>permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
>and don't send me story ideas)
I've already bored a number of you stupid with my recent realisation that, thanks in large part to the DVD releases, that B5 is, after all this time, still my one true love, fandom-wise. Entertaining as the likes of Buffy, Firefly and even Farscape have been, Babylon 5 is still the one series I would nominate as all-time favourite series. This is largely due to the astoundingly ambitious epic story and the outstanding ensemble cast, of which Richard Biggs was a major part with his excellent portrayal of Dr Franklin.
Off-screen as well, I recall him being a very entertaining convention guest, especially the story he told us at Blackpool many years ago about how, when guesting on TJ Hooker, he accidentally hit William Shatner in a fight scene, leaving him howling "Son of Bitch broke my nose!".
I guess that there's not much else to say other than this was very sad news indeed, especially as he was only 43.
"From the stars we came, to the stars we return. From now until the end of time."
Apologies for the rambling.