Where Do I Know That Actor?

This week’s Midsomer Murders on UNC-TV featured some familiar faces. The episode in question (“Days of Misrule” part one) saw Midsomer celebrating the holiday season – as well as DCI Barnaby forced to participate in a team building exercise. Along the way, a trio of guests worth noting made appearances. Let’s see if you spotted them all.

Tim Piggott-Smith played Colonel Matt Parkes, supervisor of Barnaby’s team-building misery. Sadly, the veteran actor passed away earlier this year. However, he had been acting for nearly fifty years and, most recently, had played the title role in the Masterpiece presentation King Charles III. Back in the 1970s, Piggott-Smith was Marco in the classic Tom Baker Doctor Who serial “Masque Of Mandragora.” In the 80s, he played 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 and Inspector Lewis. Continue reading

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Monday Montage

What’s happening, what’s on and what’s interesting this week …

In 1843, the 12-year-old King Edward V and his younger brother were put in the Tower of London by their uncle, Richard. Shortly thereafter, Richard pronounced himself king and his nephews were never seen again. Is Richard III really the greatest villain in English history or has he been the victim of Tudor propaganda? Who Killed The Princes In The Tower? seeks answers. Tune in tonight at 8 on the Explorer Channel.

Congratulations are in order – Charlie Rose will receive the inaugural Dana Public Outreach Award for his commitment to educating the public about the importance of brain research.

As civilians worldwide increasingly become the targets of war crimes, a new series takes an unprecedented look at the evolution of postwar justice in investigating genocide, ethnic cleansing and other atrocities and in prosecuting the perpetrators. Don’t miss Dead Reckoning – Tuesday night at 8 on UNC-TV.

More congratulations are in order – Sherlock‘s Benedict Cumberbatch and his wife Sophie Hunter welcomed their second child earlier this month. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

Call The Midwife fans had their collective appetites whet Christmas night with the airing of the annual holiday special. The good news is that PBS has announced the new season of this acclaimed drama will premiere in April. And so I thought I’d tackle the actors who bring Call The Midwife to life – many of them faces I’m sure you know – others, less famous but still of interest to UNC-TV viewers.

Veteran actor Vanessa Redgrave is a very recognizable face, however you won’t see her on Call The Midwife, since Redgrave provides only the voice of “Mature Jennifer” on the series. However, you will have seen her on PBS in 1985 playing Sarah Cloyce on an American Playhouse broadcast – Three Sovereigns For Sarah.

Jenny Agutter (Sister Julienne) is another well-known face that’s been seen on stage and screen for many decades. Keen-eyed viewers may remember her as Idina Hatton on The Buccaneers, a late-90s Masterpiece Theatre presentation. She was also Nancy Lammeter on Masterpiece Theatre‘s Silas Marner. Continue reading

Monday Montage [updated]

What’s happening, what’s on and what’s interesting this week …

Ah, it’s a good time to be a fan of William Shakespeare. In addition to The Hollow Crown on Great Performances (concluding Sunday with Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III), the PBS Arts Festival is celebrating the Bard of Avon with Shakespeare Live! From The RSC. Recorded on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, this star-studded gala presents Shakespearean snippets, songs, scenes, sketches and so much more. Join David Tennant, Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Joseph Fiennes, John Lithgow, Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, David Suchet and tons more for Shakespeare Live! – Friday night at 9 on UNC-TV.

If you’re not excited about the return of Sherlock, maybe this article from The Guardian will help.

Tune in Saturday night (7pm on the North Carolina Channel and 9:30pm on UNC-TV) as the North Carolina A&T State University Choir presents its annual Christmas concert.

Since Rogue One is the biggest movie in the world, check out former NOVA ScienceNow host Neil deGrasse Tyson discussing the science of lightsabers.

Sunday night at 7:30 [updated time!] – follow the Nonnatus House family to South Africa as they help a mission hospital on the Call The Midwife Holiday Special.

Not sure what to get the Doctor Who geek in your life? Geek.com has a few ideas. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

Fans of British drama may have spotted a familiar face among the many new characters seen on this week’s Luther. Pam Ferris played Baba and if her name doesn’t ring a bell it’s not because she hasn’t been seen on UNC-TV in various shows throughout the last few decades.

Let’s start with the obvious – Pam Ferris is one half of Rosemary & Thyme, playing Laura Thyme opposite Felicity Kendal on that series. Since Rosemary & Thyme airs a few hours earlier, I’m sure that’s an easy start. However, it’s far from the end.

Pam Ferris plays Sister Evangelina on Call The Midwife and has been on that show since the beginning. In 2009, she was Mrs. General on a Masterpiece adaptation of Little Dorrit. A few years earlier, she portrayed Grace Poole on a Masterpiece adaptation of Jane Eyre. (Interesting enough, Jane Eyre was played by Ruth Wilson – Alice Morgan on Luther.) Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

This week’s episode of Father Brown featured a face you may have recognized from elsewhere on UNC-TV. Laura Main played Dorothy Underwood. The Scottish actress has popped up here and there (The Forsyte Saga, Monarch Of The Glen) but she is best known for playing Sister Bernadette (aka Shelagh Turner) on Call The Midwife.

By the way, beginning April 1, Father Brown moves to Fridays at 10pm on UNC-EX.

Call The Midwife returns for a fifth season April 3 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.

Sounds Familiar

” I must have been mad. I could have been an air-hostess. I could have been a model. I could have moved to Paris, or been a concert pianist. I could have seen the world – been brave, followed my heart. But I didn’t. I side-stepped love and set off for the East-End of London, because I thought it would be easier. Madness was the only explanation.” – Mature Jenny (Vanessa Redgrave), Call the Midwife