Where Do I Know That Actor?

If you turned on Midsomer Murders on Saturday night (“Secrets and Spies” part one) you saw DCI Barnaby encounter a family of former espionage agents. You also caught sight of several familiar faces you may have recognized from other British programming we’ve aired on UNC-TV. Let’s see who’s who, shall we?

Veteran actor Benjamin Whitrow played eccentric, retired spymaster Sir Malcolm Frazer. His decades-long career (which sadly ended a few weeks ago when he passed away at 80) boasted guest roles in dozens of shows (Wolf Hall, Doc Martin, The Pallisers, Danger UXB, Poirot and Partners in Crime, just to name a few) but he had larger roles in a few Masterpiece Theatre presentations – he was Bailiff Francis la Palotte on Island at War and Thomas Boleyn on Henry VIII.

Peter Davison played Sir Malcolm’s son, Nicky Frazer. He should be immediately known for two roles – that of veterinarian Tristan Farnon on All Creatures Great and Small and that of the fifth Doctor on Doctor Who. However, he too has appeared in a bevy of other roles. Going back to the late 1970s, Davison was Tom Holland on the Masterpiece Theatre series Love for Lydia. In the 1980s, he played Margery Allingham’s gentleman detective Albert Campion on Mystery! In the late 1990s, he portrayed Joseph Lockwood on a Masterpiece adaptation of Wuthering Heights. About that time, Davison played Inspector Christmas on the Diana Rigg vehicle The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries. More recently, he starred as Dr. Bill Shore on the delightful fish-out-of-water series Distant Shores. Continue reading

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Where Do I Know That Actor?

Saturday’s Midsomer Murders (part one of “The Black Book”) saw Barnaby investigating the world of shady art dealings. Viewers also got a glimpse of some actors recognizable from other shows UNC-TV airs. Let’s meet them, shall we?

David Bamber played greedy art dealer Anthony Prideaux. If the name sounds familiar, it should – I mentioned him last week when he guest starred on Father Brown. He’s popped up in dozens of shows like Brass, Poirot, Murder Most Horrid, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, New Tricks, Doc Martin, just to name a few. However, Bamber has played major roles in some Masterpiece presentations of note. He was P. Frobisher Pilbeam in Heavy Weather, Doctor Forrest in The Railway Children, Antonio in The Merchant of Venice, Lush in Daniel Deronda, Reverend Ford in Pollyanna, Sidney Norris in Collision and the Duke of Sussex on Victoria.

Susannah Harker was Arnold Simm’s daughter, Matilda. Perhaps keen-eyed viewers may know her from the Mystery! mini-series Heat of the Sun in which she played Emma Fitzgerald. However, a more notable role is that of reporter and Francis Urquhart confidante Mattie Storin on House of Cards (the original UK series, of course). Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

Last week’s Father Brown offered a few guest stars you might know from other shows UNC-TV broadcasts. The episode (“The Curse of Amenhotep”) found the investigatory vicar unmasking a killer amid among Egyptian antiquities. But did you recognize all the guest stars?

David Bamber played Walter Hubble. He’s one of those actors whose name you may not immediately know but whose face you should because he’s popped up in dozens of shows like Brass, Poirot, Murder Most Horrid, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, New Tricks, Doc Martin, just to name a few. However, Bamber has played major roles in some Masterpiece presentations of note. He was P. Frobisher Pilbeam in Heavy Weather, Doctor Forrest in The Railway Children, Antonio in The Merchant of Venice, Lush in Daniel Deronda, Reverend Ford in Pollyanna, Sidney Norris in Collision and the Duke of Sussex on Victoria.

Nicholas Farrell portrayed Egyptologist Sir Raleigh Beresford. Like Bamber, the veteran actor has been in several Masterpiece roles. He was Teddy Bingham on The Jewel in the Crown, David Mycroft in To Play the King, Leo Beckford in The Choir, Jeremy Crawford on The Jury, Mr. Musgrove in Persuasion, Albert Dussel on The Diary of Anne Frank and Guy Pearson in Collision. Along the way, he’s had the requisite beaucoup of guest appearances in everything from Call the Midwife and Death in Paradise to Lovejoy and MI-5. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

What a week for Midsomer Murders! Saturday’s episode (“The Dogleg Murders” – Part One) saw DCI Tom Barnaby investigating a death on the links. Technically, it was the twelfth season premiere but the most amazing thing about the mystery was the guest stars – I counted eight. That’s an octet of names and/or faces you may know from other UNC-TV fare. Let’s see if you spotted them all.

Maggie Ollerenshaw played Eileen Fountain, steward at prestigious Whiteoaks Country Club. She was also Martha on the Masterpiece Theatre presentation He Knew He Was Right (circa 2004) and Kate Henshaw on the Ian McShane series Lovejoy. On perhaps a more interesting note, Ollerenshaw voices Henrietta on Thomas & Friends.

Nicholas Day, who was club captain Martin Crisp, has been seen on a few Masterpiece Theatre presentations. Going back about fifteen years, Day played Lord Brackenshaw on Daniel Deronda. Going back to the 1980s, he portrayed Frank Kitson on After the War and Peter Howers on Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

Just a quick two-fer this week regarding guest actors on Father Brown (Fridays on UNC-EX) and Luther (Saturdays on UNC-TV).

Last week’s Father Brown (“The Penitent Man”) saw the prying padre aiding his old adversary Flambeau when the latter is incarcerated for murder. It also featured Ian Reddington as Samuel Jacobs. Reddington is not a household name by any means but he had a memorable run in the 1990s on EastEnders as Richard Cole, one of the soap’s leading heels. Going back a bit, Reddington played one of Doctor Who‘s finest villains (at least, as voted by readers of Doctor Who Magazine) – the Chief Clown on the Sylvester McCoy 25th anniversary serial “The Greatest Show In The Galaxy.”

On the Idris Elba detective series Luther, Nicola Walker guest starred as Linda Shand. Walker, too, may not be a household name but I guarantee you’ve spotted her if you’ve been watching UNC-TV programs long enough. Most recently, she played Gillian, Derek Jacobi’s daughter on Last Tango in Halifax. However, I think many people first noticed her for her regular role as Ruth Evershed on MI-5. Along the way, she was DC Sue Upton on A Mother’s Son, Sally on Oliver Twist, DI Susan Taylor on Touching Evil and Lucy Diver on Moll Flanders.

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?

Last week’s Father Brown saw G. K. Chesterton’s prying padre investigating the murder of a Colonial Postal Service officer. It also allowed keen-eyed viewers to spot a trio of familiar (well, familiar-ish) faces seen elsewhere on programs UNC-TV has aired.

First, Richard Huw played Aldous Kemp, the former colonial postal worker who meets an untimely end. The veteran actor has been working for decades and has appeared in guest roles on Inspector Miorse, Dalgliesh, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, Midsomer Muirders and The Coroner, just to name a few. However, he has appeared in more substantial roles on some old Masterpiece Theatre fare from the 1990s. He was Rochfort Maquire on Rhodes, Hector Robinson on The Buccaneers and Igor Kostov on Sleepers

Next, Shaun Prendergast was George Murray. He played D.C.I. Mike Evans on Collision, a Masterpiece Contemporary presentation. More recently, he was seen as Sergeant Hutchinson on Masterpiece Mystery‘s Dark Angel.

Finally, Miles Jupp portrayed Wynford Collins. He will be best known for playing Marcus’s social worker Owen on the Britcom Spy.

Father Brown continues to solve all the mysteries that Kembleford can dish out every Friday at 10pm on UNC-EX.

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.