Magic Bullet Productions

Philip Madoc Remembered


by Fiona Moore

It was a great shock to hear of the death of Philip Madoc on 5 March. Although I had known of him for years, through his appearances in Doctor Who and various other film and television roles, I first worked with him during the recording of Kaldor City: Storm Mine. My memory of our first meeting is that, even before we were formally introduced, he turned to me with a huge grin and gave me a hug. That was Philip all over-- always friendly, always keen to get to know new people, visit new places, and learn new languages.

Linguistics was one area where Philip and I had a common interest. He enjoyed learning new languages for the fun of it, but would also use them to help with his acting. He told me how he had learned Huron for his role in The Last of the Mohicans, which the other actors had thought ridiculous, but that they would then come to him and say, “could you teach us a few words of Indian?” when they saw how being able to speak the language helped his performance. Likewise, when I first met him, he was rehearsing the role of Shylock, and learning Hebrew so as to understand the character better. In Storm Mine, he was the one who suggested that the Commander should remark that Blayes’ parents must have been rather romantic to name her “Elska,” since the word means “Love” in both Norwegian and Icelandic.

Every time I saw him, whether working on the Faction Paradox series or at events, it was always as if no time had passed since the last time we’d met, we’d just be chatting away about everything. Philip was also a great one for jokes; he had a terrific memory for them, and every time we met, he always had new ones, and I’d always try to learn a few to tell him. “I’ll miss him” sounds like a fairly trite way to sum up everything there was about the man, but there it is in essence: I, and the many other people who worked with him over the years, will miss him.

Originally published in Celestial Toyroom Issue 405/6

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