5 Things You Didn’t Know About Paterson Joseph

patersonjoseph2You’ve seen him on The Leftovers on HBO, Survivors on BBC America, Peep Show on Netflix, and Hyperdrive on Hulu. Let’s have a look at some facts about Paterson Joseph you may not know.


He had the privilege of being exterminated by a Dalek.

Paterson Joseph played Rodrick in the episodes “Bad Wolf” and “The Parting of the Ways” of Doctor Who. You’ll remember him as the contestant who beat Rose at The Weakest Link. Joseph has this to say about his character’s violent demise:

“Being killed by a Dalek, everybody should try it. I suppose in the olden days they might have been pushed around or pulled around by invisible strings, but they are motorized vehicles, basically, and they’re about six foot tall, and I’m only 5’8″, so it was, I have to say, rather intimidating to have this thing coming at me. They are massive, and they are solid, and it was very scary, but really good fun, and I am very glad that I got disintegrated by a Dalek.”


The Marquis de Carabas’s coat is missing.

By now, you’ve probably listened to the radio adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, co-starring Benedict Cumberbatch, but did you know there is a 1996 TV version? (Of course you did, you’ve watched every Peter Capaldi show ever since he was cast in Doctor Who.) Paterson Joseph plays the Marquis de Carabas, the 200-year-old Marquis living in the underground of London in a gorgeous, flappy coat. While Neil Gaiman wrote a short story called “How the Marquis Got his Coat Back,” of which the audio version is voiced by Paterson Joseph, what actually happened to the real prop coat used in the TV show? Joseph says,

“The amazing coat, which I said I was going to buy, but they said, ‘We might do another series, so we’ll keep it,’ and so they did keep it to the point of which I believe it’s been stolen. So, never to be seen again. It’ll turn up at some convention somewhere, I imagine.”


He was in Hamlet on Broadway.

In the 1995 production at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway, Paterson Joseph played Horatio. Ralph Fiennes was playing Hamlet. Joseph recounts a particularly tense moment during one of the performances:

“Ralph’s sword broke in two. It was a rapier, and it was like slow motion. We saw it spinning in the air, going into the auditorium, and we had loads of stars coming to see the show at that point. So we just wondered, was it going to be Kirk Douglas who was going to get it in the eye, or was Tom Cruise going to be decapitated? And it went through into the auditorium and Ralph so kindly stopped the whole show and went, “Are you all right?” to whoever it was (it wasn’t anybody famous), and they went, “Yes, I’m fine,” so we could start again. The audience loved it, as they do when things go wrong.”


He teaches Shakespeare.

Paterson Joseph has acted in many Shakespearean productions. He sometimes goes back to the area he grew up in and teaches Shakespeare to amateurs, and he got them to do it at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, a big drama school in the U.K. Paterson Joseph says,

“Shakespeare has been a major part of my life because when I was a young, shy 18-year-old, I was able to put these amazing words in my mouth and sound like a very smart king, prince, or duke, and it made me feel empowered. So whenever I go to teach Shakespeare, I’ve seen the miracle in them as well. These quite shy kids who aren’t very articulate—they don’t really want to talk about anything—suddenly become very articulate because you get these magical words in your mouth and suddenly feel empowered and smart and listened to.”


He plays the clarinet.

“I love my clarinet. I just started playing it the last few years. It is the healthiest thing I reach for. I’m not particularly good at it. I’ve only just learned to play by heart “Te Deum,” which is by Marc Charpentier, a French composer. It’s a lovely tune. I think loads of people would know it. It’s used for sporting events.”



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