Philip Madoc (1934 – 2012)

Philip Madoc, the renowned Welsh actor who featured in episodes of UFO and Space:1999 in a long career, died at the age of 77 on 5th March 2012.

Not conventionally handsome, but blessed with a dark complexion, a rich, deep speaking voice and a twinkle in his eyes, Madoc spent much of the 1960s playing villains in filmed television adventure series, including five episodes of The Avengersbetween 1962 and 1968. He also essayed sneering bad guys in series such as The Saint and The Baron, though his role as Angel Martinez in The Champions episode Get Me Out Of Here was hampered by his dialogue being unconvincingly dubbed by another actor. In the same period he played somewhat meatier roles in BBC classic literature and theatre adaptations such as Chekhov’s The Duel and Shaw’s Major Barbara.

For Century 21 productions Madoc very effectively portayed Doctor Pontini in Doppelgänger, then played Steven Rutland, Mary Straker’s new husband in the UFO episode A Question Of Priorities (some of his scenes being repeated in Mindbender). He memorably turned up again in the later UFO episode Destruction, as the Royal Navy ship’s Captain dumping deadly nerve gas into the ocean while UFOs attack. He returned in 1973 as Commander Gorski in Space:1999 (sounding more Welsh than ever, though Madoc was a Russian speaker), handing over control of Moonbase Alpha to John Koenig in his only scene to make the final edit of Breakaway.

In the 1970s he became a star character actor, making a great impression on television audiences in series such as Manhunt, Last Of The Mohicans, and as Patrick Mower’s boss Det. Chief Supt. Tate in Target, the BBC’s attempt to outdo The Sweeney, which became much criticized for its violence. He also played Solon in the 1976 Doctor Who serial The Brain of Morbius, the third and possibly greatest of his four appearances in the series: he can also be seen in the 1969 stories The Krotons and The War Games, and the 1978 adventure The Power Of Kroll.

Madoc achieved true stardom in 1981, playing the title role in the BBC’s The Life And Times Of David Lloyd George, a role close to his heart, and he also appeared in a specially shot film shown to visitors to the Lloyd George Museum at the former Prime Minister’s final resting place at Criccieth, North Wales. From 1994 to 2002 Madoc was regularly seen as DCI Noel Bain in the series A Mind To Kill, a detective series uniquely made in both the Welsh and English languages. Ironically, after a fifty-year career, he was probably most famous for his German U-boat captain in the 1973 Dad’s Army episode The Deadly Attachment, featuring a fine performance in its own right, but also the show’s most famous joke – “Don’t tell him, Pike”!

Originally published in FAB 71.