I definitely had to give Silicon Valley a go when I first saw it advertised on Sky Atlantic; a sitcom about a group of programmers trying to make it in the cut-throat tech industry, created by Mike Judge.
And although the first couple of episodes were pretty slow going, I have to admit I’m absolutely loving it now – but now that the programme has lost its single funniest character it’s going to be a tough few weeks while I try to get my head around the tragic death of actor Christopher Evan Welch and how it will change the show.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Welch acting in anything before, although going by his IMDB page it’s quite possible that he’s just one of the people that makes you point and say “that guy…” whenever he pops up in something else – the first example that springs to mind being…that guy…y’know, the one who was in Bones and 24 and House and Damages and…
But his portrayal of eccentric tech billionaire Peter Gregory is absolutely amazing. He steals every scene he’s in and plays that type so well – an undoubted genius who never learned how to be sociable with it – that the rest of this first season will be all the poorer for Welch’s death.
According to fellow cast members on a Larry King interview, Welch was 48 when he died of a heart attack having recently been treated for lung cancer – a sudden shock when everything was looking brighter. Welch looked in good enough shape in the programme that it had to be sudden – and it was sudden for me too to find out the reason for his reduced role on IMDB after I’d had enough of saying “that guy…” but was laughing so hard in the process.
(I strongly recommend you watch this scene too; it’s even better but sadly unembeddable. Yep, that’s a word now.)
For Welch, I can finish that sentence now: “that guy…was an incredible performer.”
Silicon Valley has quickly become one of my favourite programmes, and a good deal of that was down to Christopher Evan Welch. It’s really sad to lose him especially as this was more than a good bet for his breakthrough performance.