Wednesday Trivia Question

Mark Williams played a Danish catering officer named Olaf Petersen on what comedy series?

Mark Williams has been seen in film and television roles since the 1980s. To many, he’s Ron Weasley’s dad in the Harry Potter film franchise but to most public broadcasting viewers he’s the inquisitive cleric of Kembleford on Father Brown. Over the years, he’s popped up in bit parts, guest star roles and the like on programs like Sense & Sensibility (2008), Gormenghast (2001) and Agatha Christie’s Marple (2009). But a role that may get overlooked on Williams’ extensive résumé is that of the aforementioned Petersen. It wasn’t much – a semi-recurring character he played for less than a handful of times in 1988 – but for those of us with long memories it left an impression of the younger Williams and is remembered fondly.

So what was the show? What British comedy series boasts an early appearance by the future Father Brown as Olaf Petersen?

It was the science fiction comedy RED DWARF. Mark Williams played the Red Dwarf crewmember and the best friend of Dave Lister in season one. Since all of the crew save Lister were killed in episode one by a radiation leak, Petersen only popped up in flashbacks a few times after that initial episode (titled “The End”). Although the character was rarely seen, Lister would often recall his friendship with Petersen.