I hope you got a chance to catch King Charles III on this week’s Masterpiece. Based on the hit play by Mike Bartlett, King Charles III is a fictional exploration of the political turmoil surrounding the early reign of Charles, Prince of Wales following the death of his mother, the long-serving Queen Elizabeth II. The film featured some actors reprising their roles from either Broadway or the West End, many of them having appeared in other UNC-TV fare. Let’s explore a few.
Tim Piggott-Smith played the titular monarch, King Charles III. The veteran actor (who sadly passed away last month after filming the Masterpiece presentation) had been acting for nearly fifty years. Back in the 1970s, Piggott-Smith played Marco in the classic Tom Baker Doctor Who adventure “The Masque Of Mandragora” (that’s where I first saw him). In the 80s, he was Brendan Bracken in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years and Ronald Merrick in The Jewel In The Crown (both on Masterpiece Theatre). Along the way, the actor popped up in guest roles on lots of shows you might have seen, including Foyle’s War, Downton Abbey, Danger UXB, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, MI-5, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, The Bletchley Circle, Inspector Lewis and, of course, Midsomer Murders.
Oliver Chris, who played William, was Richard Truscott a few years back on Breathless, another Masterpiece offering.
Charlotte Riley was Kate. You may remember her as Cathy in Wuthering Heights on Masterpiece Classic circa 2009. She also guested on Foyle’s War, Agatha Christie’s Marple and DCI Banks.
Finally, Richard Goudling, who played Harry, hasn’t been much of a presence on any UNC-TV programming. I did, however, find an appearance on a Foyle’s War and on a production of King Lear (with Ian McKellan in the title role). The latter first aired on Great Performances in 2009 and Goulding is credited merely as “Messenger” which doesn’t really suggest a starring role.
Many of the other actors in the drama have popped up here and there on shows we’ve aired but I’m focusing on the main four of the Royal Family for today’s purposes (sorry, Camilla). King Charles III encores Saturday morning at 3am on UNC-TV.
Got a face you can’t place from one of the plethora of programs UNC-TV airs from the UK? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to help out.