Wednesday Trivia Question

In what state was the series MERCY STREET set?

MERCY STREET may end up being a footnote in the history of PBS programming but the short-lived (two seasons, 12 total episodes) American-made program had promise – and some interesting names attached (Ridley Scott was an executive producer and the series starred Gary Cole, Josh Radner and Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Critics treated it favorably but it just couldn’t catch the excitement of an audience seemingly eager only for more DOWNTON ABBEY. 

The show was set during the American Civil War at a Union hospital and went above and beyond to be historically and medically accurate. And perhaps that was the problem as the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes pointed out the “intriguing setting and talented cast can’t compensate for the overall lack of excitement in a period drama that’s traditional to a fault.” Continue reading

Wednesday Trivia Question


Okay, a slight cheat here in that I’m asking about a book and not a television show but the book was based on a TV program so that’s good enough for me. THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK is a picture book based on SESAME STREET characters. Written by Jon Stone (an original SESAME STREET crew member) and illustrated by Michael Smollin, MONSTER was originally published in 1971 by Little Golden Books. Now, it’s a bestseller that has become a modern classic of children’s literature. In fact, it is so popular it’s hard to imagine any child who grew up watching SESAME STREET hasn’t read or at least seen this book.

So simple enough question – who is the titular MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK?  Continue reading

Wednesday Trivia Question

What was the name of Martin’s first receptionist on DOC MARTIN?

When Martin Ellingham arrived in the Cornish village of Portwenn as the town’s new medico, he found himself very much a fish out of water. He didn’t fit in, he didn’t feel respected and he seemed to be stuck with a rotating roster of surgery receptionists that didn’t have a clue. Jessica Ransom, Katherine Parkinson and Lucy Punch have all played the part. But who was first? And more specifically – what was the character’s name?

Elaine Denham was Martin’s surgery receptionist in series one. She was played by Lucy Punch.

Wednesday Trivia Question

What color is Baby Bop’s blanket on BARNEY & FRIENDS?

One of the more successful PBS kids shows of the last 30 years is BARNEY & FRIENDS. The show was based on a popular direct-to-video series called BARNEY AND THE BACKYARD GANG, which was produced by Sheryl Leach beginning in the late ’80s. In 1991, Leach was approached about bringing the big purple one to PBS. Debuting in 1992, the program eventually ran for 14 seasons with over 250 episodes.

Aside from the title dinosaur, an affable T-Rex who comes to life through imagination, other characters included B.J., Riff and Baby Bop. The latter, a two-year-old green triceratops (she later turned three in the classic episode “Look at Me, I’m 3!”), wore a pink bow and pink ballet slippers and almost always carried her security blanket, which she called “blankey.” Continue reading

Wednesday Trivia Question

What is the name of Dawn Swann’s daughter on EASTENDERS?

The character of Dawn Swann (played by Kara Tointon) first graced the UK soap in 2005 (UNC-TV viewers would have seen her debut in 2014) when some of the residents of Albert Square took a trip to France. She then became a Walford fixture, becoming involved in a major 2007 storyline which involved selling her unborn child to the baby daddy and his wife, a woman very much obsessed with having a child of her own. One pretty dramatic kidnapping plot later, Dawn decides to keep her baby.  Continue reading

Wednesday Trivia Question

In the DOCTOR WHO universe, what is written beneath the painting of the Mona Lisa?

The classic DOCTOR WHO episode “The City Of Death” originally aired in Autumn 1979. The 4-episode serial was co-written by the late Douglas Adams and remains one of my all-time favorites, what with the Doctor and Romana running around Paris (“Bouillabaisse! Yum yum!”), art galley visitors studying the TARDIS (a delightful John Cleese and Eleanor Bron), an over-the-top villain (Julian Glover as Scaroth) and the punch-happy Duggan (who should have become a companion!). The plot involves a time-splintered alien and six Mona Lisas (five of which are destroyed in a fire). Continue reading

Wednesday Trivia Question

Who starred in the title role of VERNA: USO GIRL on GREAT PERFORMANCES?

GREAT PERFORMANCES is America’s preeminent performing arts television series. Now in its 47th season, the PBS staple showcases a diverse range of performing arts specials from around the world. Over the years, GREAT PERFORMANCES has presented plays, musicals, opera, ballet and so much more. From Pavarotti to the Foo Fighters, from Renee Fleming to Jackie Evancho, an amazing array of talents have graced the GREAT PERFORMANCES stage. 

In January 1978, GREAT PERFORMANCES aired VERNA: USO GIRL, a drama about a singer-dancer named Verna Vain who believed an overseas tour with the U.S.O. would make her a star. The broadcast was nominated for three Emmy Awards and co-star Howard da Silva received the Emmy for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor. Continue reading

Wednesday Trivia Question

What character delivers the first line in the very first episode of ARE YOU BEING SERVED?

As far as Britcoms go, is there a show that seems to be more beloved than ARE YOU BEING SERVED? Certainly there is more erudite fare and even better written and better acted material. But there’s something about this innuendo-laden farce that just delights so many. Continue reading

Wednesday Trivia Question

What are the names of the double headed dragon characters on DRAGON TALES?

DRAGON TALES premiered on PBS Kids in September 1998 and ran for almost 100 episodes over three seasons. The series centered around siblings Max and Emmy who used an enchanted dragon scale to transport themselves to Dragon Land. Dragon Land, as the name suggests, was inhabited by magical talking dragons. Fun was had, lessons were learned, edu-tainment was produced. 

Among the dragon characters featured were a pair of conjoined dragon twins. Voiced by Jason Michas and Kathleen Barr, these twins with opposite personalities seemed often at odds with one another yet were obviously very close and cared about each other. Continue reading

Wednesday Trivia Question

Keeley Hawes met her husband Matthew Macfadyen when they were both actors on what television series?

UNC-TV fans best know the talented Keeley Hawes as Durrell matriarch Louisa on the MASTERPIECE series THE DURRELLS IN CORFU. She’s also been seen in the last few years on MRS. WILSON, THE HOLLOW CROWN and THE TUNNEL. Her husband, Matthew Macfadyen, has been in several MASTERPIECE series like HOWARDS END and CHURCHILL’S SECRET. The couple married in 2004 and have two children together (Hawes has one child from a previous marriage). The pair met while working on a TV series originally broadcast on the BBC in the aughts (UNC-TV aired it within the last 15 years).

So what was it? On what series did Keeley Hawes met her husband Matthew Macfadyen? Continue reading