Accomplished actor Mark Addy plays Paltraki in The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos. Blogtor Who investigates where viewers may have seen him before…
The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos star Mark Addy is almost certainly best known to Doctor Who fans for his role in another giant of television fantasy. Addy played King Robert Baratheon throughout the first season of the massive hit, Game of Thrones. As the belligerent and uncouth Robert, Addy had to walk a fine line his performance. Because Robert is many things. Lazy, for instance, and womanizing, vindictive, perpetually drunk – and most of all completely unsuited to, and disinterested in, the business of ruling a vast kingdom. But he’s also not evil. Addy’s task was to make Robert unlikeable enough that it was understandable half his court were silently wishing him dead. Yet noble enough that in later, blood soaked, seasons his reign can credibly feel like ‘the good old days.’
But older fans with long memories, may recall a project from the extreme other end of his career. One of Addy’s very first jobs was as Mal in the two climactic episodes of A Very Peculiar Practice. Andrew Davies’ subversive sitcom starred Peter Davison in one of his first post-Doctor Who roles. As Dr. Stephen Daker, Davison was appropriately bewildered by the selection of eccentric academics he found himself working alongside at a small regional university. The series ended in apocalyptic style with protests by the students being met by police force. Final two-parter The Big Squeeze and Death of a University saw the deaths of a number of key characters. And in among the action was a young Mark Addy as Mal.
Addy gift for playing lovable but hapless characters has kept him in demand on both sides of the Atlantic
In between the two, Addy’s been a regular fixture of both British and American comedies. On this side of the Atlantic, he’s been DC Boyle in Ben Elton’s The Thin Blue Line, and Dave in beloved comedy film The Full Monty, as well Alan in The Syndicate and Andy in multiple seasons of Trollied. And those are just his most famous roles. He also starred in lesser known sitcoms Sunnyside Farm, Too Much Sun and Bonkers.
His gift with accents also allowed him to transfer the type of lovable British working class loser he typically played into a series of lovable American blue collar losers. To many Americans, in fact, he’ll be most recognizable as Bill Miller. Bill was the peaked-in-high-school head of the family in four seasons of CBS sitcom Still Standing. He also embodied a prehistoric take on the same classic American archetype as Fred Flintstone in live action prequel The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas.
Series such as Red Riding and Remember Me have proven his talent for serious, dramatic roles as well
His international film career has also seen him regularly perform comic relief sidekick duties for a number of leading men. Everyone from Heath Ledger (A Knight’s Tale) to Russell Crowe (Robin Hood) had Addy at their elbow predicting disaster. The BBC’s Atlantis made similar use of Addy. There, as a Hercules that wasn’t quite as myth remembered him he aided and abetted Jack Donnelly’s Jason.
But Addy’s career has also seen him touch on much darker material. In bleak thriller Red Riding, his character John slowly uncovered the true horrific extent of a pedophile ring. While horror tinged mini-series Remember Me cast him as the detective trying to understand the inexplicable events surrounding Michael Palin’s apparently frail and sweet old man.
In The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos, Addy’s Paltraki is shaping up to be a hard bitten survivor. But the full extent of the darkness he and our heroes face remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, the adventure continues…
Doctor Who concludes this Sunday at 6.30pm GMT on BBC One and at 8pm EST on BBC America with The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos by Chris Chibnall. For further broadcast times in your region, check local listings. Series 11 stars Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien) and Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair).
The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos guest stars Mark Addy (Paltraki), Phyllis Logan (Andinio), and Percelle Ascott (Delph) and is directed by Jamie Childs.
On the planet of Ranskoor Av Kolos, lies the remains of a brutal battlefield. But as the Doctor, Graham, Yaz and Ryan answer nine separate distress calls, they discover the planet holds far more secrets. Who is the mysterious commander with no memory? What lies beyond the mists? Who or what are the Ux?
The answers will lead the Doctor and her friends towards a deadly reckoning.