I’m saddened to report the death of actor George Sewell, who passed away on Sunday, 1st April, aged 82. To most science fiction fans, he’ll be best remembered as Colonel Alec Freeman in Gerry Anderson’s “UFO”. It’s less than two years since the world lost his acting colleagues on that series, Ed Bishop who played Commander Ed Straker and Michael Billington who appeared as Colonel Paul Foster, so now all three leads of the classic show are no longer with us. George appeared in the first seventeen of the twenty-six episodes that comprise “UFO”. The reason he didn’t complete the series was the closure of MGM’s British Studios. This caused a hiatus in production during which he naturally moved on to other projects.
George first came to Gerry Anderson’s notice when he appeared as the tough EUROSEC security chief Mark Neuman in Anderson’s late-Sixties’ live-action science fiction feature “Doppelgänger”, aka “Journey to the Far Side of the Sun”. But, in the movie world, he will undoubtedly be best remembered for his notable part as Con McCarty, opposite Michael Caine, in Mike Hodges’ cult thriller “Get Carter”.
“Doctor Who” fans will remember George for his terrific portrayal of the misguided Ratcliffe in the 1988 Sylvester McCoy serial “Remembrance of the Daleks”. Those of you with ITV3 may well have caught Mr Sewell’s episode of “Rising Damp”, “The Prowler”, with dear old Leonard Rossiter, during one of its many repeats! George also appeared in the superior 1985 version of “Bleak House”, as Rouncewell, alongside Denholm Elliott and Diana Rigg. The general public will perhaps best remember him, though, for his starring role as Detective Chief Inspector Alan Craven in Euston Films’ “Special Branch” series. A fine actor.