R. I. P. Simon MacCorkindale (1952 – 2010)

Posted by Grey Wednesday, October 20, 2010

English actor, director and producer Simon MacCorkindale passed away on 14th October 2010 at the age of 58.

For the cynics out there, you might ask: "Why should I care?"

Well, we here at The Daily Zombies, is fully capable of answering any stupid question: Apart from the fact that any loss of life is a most regrettable cause of grief for all mankind, this is the person who brought you "The Manimal".

Relatively unknown to many TV viewer of today's generation, MacCorkindale had a comparably low profile thought nonetheless prominent career in numerous stage and TV productions.

The solemn news of his sad demise struck me however, despite the fact that I only knew him in one TV series where he was the lead. A TV series that ran for only eight episodes. But that was eight episodes of TV magic that captured this kid, seven or eight of age. Before the invention of internet or the extremely helpful Wikipedia, I have, to some extent, I have thought that the show, along with another cool 80s show, Automan, was some figments of imagination I had for a drama so awesome. No convoluted over-arching plot too complicated for kids, just one simple concept: A man that can turn into all kinds of animals is fighting crimes. Way cool.

Who can forget the opening narration of the show?

Dr Jonathan Chase... wealthy, young, handsome. A man with the brightest of futures. A man with the darkest of pasts. From Africa's deepest recesses, to the rarefied peaks of Tibet, heir to his father's legacy and the world's darkest mysteries. Jonathan Chase, master of the secrets that divide man from animal, animal from man... Manimal!

And MacCorkindale brought the necessary grace and dashing pull for the character and delivered an unforgettable performance despite a meagre eight episodes' showing. While the veteran actor had went on to have a long run on BBC medical drama Casualty and many other mainly forgettable TV outings like the 80s Quatermass mini-series, and Earth: The Final Conflict, we will always remember him as the impeccable Doctor Jonathan Chase, coolly staring at his palm while transforming into some animal (mostly, a hawk and a black panther).

Rest in peace and farewell.

In remembrance, let's take a walk down memory alley for the opening of "Manimal".



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