Where Do I Know That Actor?

I hope you’ve been enjoying Victoria on Masterpiece. It’s a fantastic story and could be the perfect salve (though, sadly, not a replacement) for those missing the likes of Downton Abbey. And lots of familiar faces, some well known, some a wee bit more obscure. Let’s meet a few.

Jenna Coleman stars in the title role as the young queen. She’s probably best known as Doctor Who companion Clara Oswald (although UNC-TV has yet to air those particular episodes). PBS viewers will have seen her playing Lydia Wickham in Death Comes To Pemberley and Rosie in Dancing On The Edge.

Rufus Sewell is Lord Melbourne. He played Will Ladislaw on a mid-90s Masterpiece Theatre presentation of Middlemarch. He was, more recently, Aurelio Zen on the Zen series which ran on Masterpiece Mystery.

Tom Hughes portrays Victoria’s beloved Prince Albert. Hughes was seen most recently as the troubled Julian in Dancing On The Edge and played Nick Slade on the legal drama Silk.

Eve Myles, who plays Mrs. Jenkins on the series, has a Doctor Who connection as well – she played Gwen Cooper on the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood (a series we have not aired on UNC-TV). However, Myles did star in the Masterpiece presentation Framed and was Maggy in a 2009 adaptation of Little Dorrit.

Nigel Lindsay portrays Sir Robert Peel. Keen-eyed viewers may recall him as Jonno on last year’s Anglo-Franco-thriller The Tunnel.

Peter Bowles, who plays the Duke of Wellington, is an actor who has appeared on UNC-TV in various roles for decades. He may be best known for starring opposite Penelope Keith in the British comedy To The Manor Born as the new-moneyed Richard DeVere. He also played Howard Booth in The Bounder, Sinclair Yeates in The Irish R.M., Donald Fairchild #2 (replacing Geoffrey Palmer) in Executive Stress and Guthrie Featherstone in Rumpole Of The Bailey.

Peter Firth is the Duke of Cumberland. He was Alderman Snaith in South Riding but is probably most recognizable as Harry Pearce, head of Section D, on MI-5.

Veteran actor Robin Sloans plays Sir James Clark. He’s popped up in guest roles and bit parts in everything from Lovejoy and Bergerac to Agatha Christie’s Marple and Midsomer Murders. However, two roles of note to mention – he was Surgeon Atkinson in The Last Place on Earth (a mid-80s Masterpiece Theatre presentation about the race to reach the South Pole) and Luvic in “The Keeper Of Traken” (a classic Tom Baker Doctor Who serial).

Alex Jennings is King Leopold. He was also Alex Cowdry in Silk and the Reverend Hutton on Cranford. Going back a bit further, he portrayed King George III in the PBS mini-series Liberty! The American Revolution.

Paul Rhys plays Sir John Conroy. He also played Rupert Cazalet in The Cazalets, Nikolai in Anna Karenina and George in My Family And Other Animals, all on Masterpiece Theatre.

Finally, Tommy Knight is the young actor who plays Brodie. He hasn’t had much of a presence on UNC-TV but I did want to mention him because he starred in another Doctor Who spin-off called The Sarah Jane Adventures (he was Luke). And his character did cross over to several episodes of Doctor Who which UNC-TV last year (“The Stolen Earth”, “Journey’s End” and “The End Of Time”).

So that’s a pretty impressive cast, eh? And I’m sure that’s not all. That’s the great thing about the wonderful British programming we air – if you look hard enough, almost every actor has been seen on some other show UNC-TV has broadcast.

Got a face you can’t place from one of the plethora of programs UNC-TV airs from the UK? Email me at sparkymac@unctv.org and I’ll try to help out.

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