Philip Madoc: 1934 – 2012

I just learned that Welsh actor Philip Madoc passed away today, March 5, at the age of 77.  Madoc was a prolific actor who appeared on numerous British television series.  Here in the States, he is probably best known for his long association with the sci-fi series Doctor Who.  Madoc had roles in four different Doctor Who television serials. Two of those, The War Games and The Brain of Morbius, saw Madoc in very memorable turns as villains, respectively as the sinister fascist War Lord and the fanatical mad scientist Mehendri Solon. Madoc’s first Who-related role was actually in the 1966 movie adaptation Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD.  In recent years, he lent his vocal talents to two of the Doctor Who audio plays produced by Big Finish, Master and Return of the Krotons, as well as a couple of the Faction Paradox audio dramas that spun out of the 1990s Doctor Who novels.

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I was always impressed by Madoc’s acting.  He had the most wonderfully rich voice, low and deep, almost whispering, which brought such dramatic gravitas to the roles he played.  This made him much in demand to play villains, as well as for work in radio and voiceovers.  I really had hoped that he might be asked by the producers of the revived Doctor Who series to make an appearance.  It would have been marvelous to see him opposite David Tennant or Matt Smith.  But, alas, that was not to be.

Madoc leaves behind an extensive body of work in television, film, theater, and radio, a rich legacy indeed.

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