Where Do I Know That Actor?

Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE is supposed to be the mystery writer’s best-selling novel with more than 100 million copies sold worldwide. The classic mystery has been adapted for radio, stage, TV and film numerous times since its original publication. One of the more recent, a three-part 2016 BBC mini-series, debuted Saturday night on UNC-TV and featured a veritable who’s who of actors from other public broadcasting fare. Let’s meet them.

Aidan Turner portrays soldier of fortune Philip Lombard. Of course, Turner is best known as the dashing Ross Poldark on the hit Masterpiece series.

Sam Neill is General John MacArthur. The Jurassic Park actor has had a long and storied career but longtime PBS viewers may recall him as Sidney Reilly on Reilly: Ace Of Spies on Mystery! Neill also played Victor Komarovsky on an early-aughts Doctor Zhivago (starring Keira Knightly) and Mr. Prettiman on To The Ends of the Earth.

Miranda Richardson plays respectable spinster Emily Brent. Back in the early 1990s, she was Sidonie Reiger in the Mystery! series Die Kinder (The Children).

Anna Maxwell Martin is cook/housekeeper Ethel Rogers. She was Elizabeth Darcy on Death Comes To Pemberley, Sarah Burton on South Riding and Esther Summerson on Bleak House. However, Anna Maxwell Martin may be best known as Susan on The Bletchley Circle.

Maeve Dermody is former governess Vera Claythorne.  The only thing I could find that she’s been in that UNC-TV would have aired is a guest role on Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Hey, it counts.

Charles Dance portrays Judge Lawrence Wargrave. Most recently, he appeared in The Woman in White as Frederick Fairlie. He was also Mr. Tulkinghorn on Bleak House, Duke of Buckingham on Henry VIII, Maxim de Winter on Rebecca and, going way back, Guy Perron on The Jewel In the Crown.

Burn Gorman is Detective Sergeant William Henry Blore. Gorman played Hindley on Wuthering Heights and Guppy on Bleak House, both on Masterpiece.

Toby Stephens portrays Doctor Edward George Armstrong. About ten years back, he was Rochester on a Jane Eyre adaptation on Masterpiece.

Douglas Booth is the irresponsible Anthony James Marston. He played Pip on a 2012 Masterpiece presentation of Great Expectations.

Rob Heaps plays Hugo Hamilton (in Vera’s flashback). Heaps was AC Tom Halliwell in series two of Home Fires.

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE continues Saturday night at 10 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 sparkymac@unctv.org and I’ll try to help out.

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Where Do I Know That Actor?

THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE is a gripping drama series about former codebreakers who use skills honed during war to catch a killer. It also features some familiar faces from other fare UNC-TV has offered. Let’s get to know a few.

Anna Maxwell Martin stars as Susan Gray. The actress has appeared in guest spots on shows like Midsomer Murders and Doctor Who (a necessity for any British actor, I believe) but has had more substantial roles on several Masterpiece series. She was Esther Summerson on Bleak House, Gaoler’s Daughter on Wind In The Willows, Sarah Burton on South Riding and Elizabeth Darcy on Death Comes To Pemberley. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

MIDSOMER MURDERS strikes again with a three-fer of guest actors with a PBS connection. If you watched part one of “Death and Dreams” over the weekend then you may have recognized a few faces. Who were they?

Let’s start with Isla Blair, who played Dr. Jane Moore. Blair has guest starred in many series we’ve broadcast over the years (Inspector MorseThe Darling Buds of MayDoctor FinlayGrantchester, The Mrs. Bradley MysteriesBlake’s 7Doctor Who) but she may be best known for portraying Claire Carlsen in The Final Cut (the second part of the original BBC House of Cards trilogy). She also played Laura Miles on the Peter Bowles Britcom The Bounder and Isabella on the Peter Davision Doctor Who two-parter The King’s Demons. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

If you missed episode one of REMEMBER ME Saturday night on UNC-TV then you missed not only Michael Palin in a very interesting role but you missed the beginning an eerily spooky mystery series. However, if you did watch, you may have recognized a few familiar faces. Let’s see who they were and from where you might know them.

Michael Palin starred as pensioner Tom Parfitt. Certainly Palin has made a name for himself as a globe-trekking adventurer in series like Around The World In 80 Days, Pole To Pole and Brazil With Michael Palin. However, his claim to fame and the reason 99% of people who recognize his name do so is that he was a member of the groundbreaking comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus. He also starred in a fantastic anthology program called Ripping Yarns (which even some die-hard Python fans have never seen) and we aired this show sometime in the late 70s or early 80s. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

MIDSOMER MURDERS strikes again with a guest star two-fer that should have hit a familiar note with some UNC-TV viewers. [NOTE: I originally posted this two weeks ago when I mistakenly though the episode had already aired.]

If you tuned in Saturday night, you caught Part One of “Worm In The Bud” in which DCI Barnaby uncovered lies, witchcraft and more in Midsomer Worthy. You also may have spotted two actresses you’ve seen before – Emily Joyce and Wendy Craig. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

At this point, MIDSOMER MURDERS is so rife with cameos and guest stars, I’m honestly surprised when I watch an episode and I don’t recognize someone I’ve seen before elsewhere. This week, it’s Anna Maxwell Martin. The actress had a bit part as a young student named Arabella. This threw me for a moment because I’m used to seeing her in more mature roles (sure enough – as many actors do – she was in her early 20s playing a teenager when this show was made in 2002) but I eventually recognized her.

Where have you seen her? Well, Martin has played Susan in The Bletchley Circle, (2012 – 2014), Elizabeth Darcy in Death Comes to Pemberley (2013), Sarah Burton in South Riding (2011), Gaoler’s Daughter in The Wind in the Willows (2007) and Esther Summerson in Bleak House (2005), so she’s been around for a while and has been well-represented on shows UNC-TV has aired.

That’s it! One person worth mentioning because that’s all it takes, isn’t it – one familiar face to make you ask yourself “Where do I know that actor?”

MIDSOMER MURDERS continues Saturday night at 8 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 sparkymac@unctv.org and I’ll try to help out.

Where Do I Know That Actor?

I hope you watched Saturday’s MIDSOMER MURDERS (Ring Out Your Dead, Part One) because we have a veritable who’s who of guest stars you’ve seen before from other programs aired on UNC-TV. I was practically giddy with all the familiar faces. See if you spotted them.

Let’s start with Reggie Barton, played by Graham Crowden. You know him best as Tom Ballard on Waiting for God but longtime Doctor Who fans may remember him as Soldeed from the classic Tom Baker serial The Horns of Nimon. (Now that’s going way back.) Crowden also portrayed Marquis of Auld Reekie on The Way We Live Now and Lord Chancellor on a 1985 Bleak House (both on Masterpiece). Continue reading