Monday Montage

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

See how Jack Roosevelt Robinson rose from humble origins to cross baseball’s color line and become one of the most beloved men in America. Catch part one of JACKIE ROBINSON – a two-part, four-hour film directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon – tonight at 9 on UNC-TV.

The onetime host of Reading Rainbow wants you to read his favorite short stories. Check out the podcast LeVar Burton Reads. Continue reading


Where Do I Know That Actor?

Fans of Midsomer Murders may have noticed a bevy of special guest stars on the most recent episodes. Saturday night’s two-part mystery (“Death In Chorus”) featured a handful of actors you may know from shows seen on UNC-TV’s airwaves in the past. Let’s see how many you noticed.

We’ll start with Patrick Drury who played Connor Simpson in the episode. His acting credits and public broadcasting association go back to the 1970s since his first imdb.comcredit is listed as “Courier” in I, Claudius. Drury has since been seen on Masterpiece Theatre as Montagu Corry in Disraeli and as Ian Ruby Smith in The Politician’s Wife.

Annabelle Apsion, who portrayed Ellen Barker, has guest starred in several series of note (My Uncle SilasThe Mrs Bradley MysteriesMI-5Foyle’s War) but she’s probably best known as Jennifer Cardew in Doc Martin or Violet Buckle on Call The Midwife. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

If you’re a fan of Midsomer Murders, I hope you know that UNC-TV is now presenting two episodes of the fan favorite every Saturday night (one at 8pm and one at 9pm). That means you don’t have to wait a whole week to discover whodunit – just stay tuned.

And speaking of Midsomer Murders, if you caught Saturday’s two-parter (“The Creeper”) then you saw DCI Barnaby out to catch a highly skilled cat burglar. You may also have spied quite a few special guest stars that may have been recognizable from other shows we’ve broadcast. Let’s see who’s who.

Paul Shelley portrayed Chief Constable Richard Lovell. The veteran actor has guested in dozens of series over the decades (Blake’s 7 and Inspector Morse, for example) but I think if you know him it’s from one of several roles. Shelley played Fred Simcox on Paradise Postponed, a 1980s Masterpiece Theatre series. He was also Persuasion on the classic Peter Davison Doctor Who serial “Four To Doomsday” and was Duncan on a Great Performances presentation of Macbeth (starring Patrick Stewart). Continue reading

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

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? has a few ideas. Continue reading