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

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Where Do I Know That Actor? (Paddington Edition)

Occasionally, I like to veer away slightly from UNC-TV programming to tackle a feature film that’s heavy with appearances by faces familiar to public broadcasting viewers. As such: Paddington 2. Now, I haven’t seen the film but it’s got a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes (which is pretty impressive) and the cast is rife with actors from many of our favorite shows. Let’s get into it, shall we?

We’ll start with Paddington himself. Actually the titular bear from deepest, darkest Peru is computer generated but the character is voiced by Ben Whishaw. Fans of Shakespeare may remember him as King Richard in Richard II on The Hollow Crown.

Next up: the Browns, Paddington’s adoptive family. Parents Henry and Mary are played by Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins, respectively. Bonneville is best known as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, on Downton Abbey. Hawkins was Anne Eliot on Persuasion, a 2007 Masterpiece adaptation of the Jane Austen novel. Continue reading

Downton Downtown?

Downton Abbey is coming back! Well, sort of. The show isn’t returning but an exhibition based on the beloved series opens in New York next week for a limited engagement. Then the exhibit makes its way across the US, maybe even to your town (I’ve not seen any tour dates but fingers crossed it will come to North Carolina).

Here’s a description based on Masterpiece promotion:

The first-ever fully immersive Downton Abbey experience is coming stateside! Downton Abbey: The Exhibition will make its US debut in New York City on Saturday Nov. 18, before traveling throughout the US. Tickets are now available to purchase at www.downtonexhibition.com. Continue reading

Where Do I Know That Actor?

Shakespeare fans no doubt enjoyed Sunday night’s Great Performances – The Hollow Crown: Henry VI, Part I. And keen-eyed viewers no doubt recognized quite a few faces familiar from other series UNC-TV has aired. Let’s go over some of them.

I think it’s safe to say Hugh Bonneville may be the most well-known of the actors. He played Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Henry VI’s uncle and Lord Protector of England. Bonneville was, of course, Earl of Grantham on Downton Abbey. He has also appeared in other Masterpiece offerings in the past. He was Charles Bovary in a 2000 adaptation of Madame Bovary and, a few years later, he was Hugh Cazalet in The Cazalets. Also, Bonneville portrayed Henleigh Grancourt in Daniel Deronda and Andrey Zhivago in Doctor Zhivago.

Sophie Okonedo was Queen Margaret, Henry’s betrothed. Okonedo portrayed Nancy in a 2009 presentation of Oliver Twist on Masterpiece. She was also Maggie Gardner on The Escape Artist, which aired on Masterpiece Mystery in 2014.

Michael Gambon was Mortimer, Earl of March. Granted, Gambon may be more famous for his role as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise but he’s well known to public television fans as Chief Inspector Maigret on Mystery! Continue reading

Monday Montage

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

In advance of the 75th anniversary, we remember the “date which will live in infamy” with a trio of Pearl Harbor specials on UNC-TV and UNC-EX. Tune in Tuesday night at 8 on the Explorer Channel for Remembering Pearl Harbor, followed by Pearl Harbor: USS Oklahoma – The Final Story and then Pearl Harbor: Into The Arizona. Catch Pearl Harbor: USS Oklahoma – The Final Story and Pearl Harbor: Into The Arizona on UNC-TV, beginning at 8 that same evening.

Masterpiece Mystery! host Alan Cumming was the special guest on NPR’s current events quiz Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me this week. He shared an unforgettable tattoo anecdote and tackled the show’s Not My Job segment.

Thursday night, our North Carolina Channel presents the debut of a new series featuring fresh views from student filmmakers. Tune in for Envision: UNC School of the Arts – Thursday night at 9.

Apparently, Benedict Cumberbatch donated a coat to charity. Why? Because he really is that awesome.

Speaking of Sherlock, in preparation for season four of the Masterpiece Mystery! hit series (premieres January 1st!), relive some of the previous Holmes & Watson cases Saturday nights on UNC-TV. On 12/10, catch The Empty Hearse and The Sign of Three and it’s His Last Vow and The Abominable Bride the following week.

Fans of the Bard of Avon will be pleased to know that Great Performances’ fantastic series “The Hollow Crown” returns with the War of the Roses trilogy. The action starts Sunday night at 9 with Henry VI, Part One. Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville stars along with Sophie Okonedo and Tom Sturridge.

Finally, watch Mr. Rogers receive a Lifetime Achievement Emmy and try not to sniffle just a little bit. Continue reading