Where Do I Know That Actor?

Saturday’s MIDSOMER MURDERS featured a very familiar face to viewers of UNC-TV’s programming. In “Shot At Dawn” (part one), Samantha Bond played Arabella “Bella” Hammond, daughter of a military family engaged in a longtime feud over a WWI incident.

Samantha Bond might be best known for playing Moneypenny in the James Bond films (featuring Pierce Brosnan in the 007 role) but her public television presence goes back to the 1980s. While she may not be the household name Helen Mirren or Judi Dench is, you’d have to be a poor public television viewer to not to have seen her in something. Certainly there have been guest roles aplenty in shows such as Poirot, Marple, Inspector Lynley and Inspector Morse (Bond has also been featured in three separate roles on MIDSOMER MURDERS over the years) but the actress has been seen in several series UNC-TV has aired. Bond played Liz Probert in Rumpole Of The Bailey on Mystery and Mary MacKenzie in The Ginger Tree on Masterpiece Theatre. She was Peter Davison’s wife, Lisa, on Distant Shores and Aunt Angela on the Britcom Outnumbered. On Downton Abbey, Samantha Bond was Lord Grantham’s sister, Lady Rosamund Painswick, and she played Great Paxford Women’s Institute leader Frances Barden on Home Fires.

MIDSOMER MURDERS continues with part two of “Shot At Dawn” 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.


Albert Finney (1936-2019)

Actor Albert Finney has passed away at the age of 82. The five time Oscar nominee died February 7 after a short illness.

The talented performer, considered one of the foremost of the postwar period, attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and later transitioned from the stage to the big screen to appear in films like Tom Jones, The Dresser, Big Fish and Erin Brockovich.

Public television viewers may recall his roles in the Masterpiece Theatre presentations Nostromo, A Rather English Marriage and My Uncle Silas.

Albert Finney was born in Salford, Greater Manchester, England on May 9, 1936. He was the recipient of BAFTA, Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Finney reportedly declined a Commander of the order of the British Empire in 1980 and a knighthood in 2000.

Where Do I Know That Actor?

I hope you caught the series seven finale of DOC MARTIN. The last two episodes were broadcast Saturday night on UNC-TV in advance of the season eight premiere this week. However, keen-eyed viewers may have noticed an interesting trio of guest stars that I think bear mentioning. See if you spotted them.

The first person of note is Gemma Jones, who played Annie Winton. This veteran actress has been active since the 1960s so it’s quite possible you’ve seen her in such fare as Inspector Morse, An Unsuitable Job For A Woman, Poirot, Capital and MI-5. She appeared as Clare Slater on season one of Unforgotten which we aired last year but I believe her most famous public broadcasting role was as Louisa Trotter on Masterpiece Theatre‘s The Duchess Of Duke Street. Continue reading

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