“What do you think? I have given my life to Downton. I was born here and I hope to die here. I claim no career beyond the nurture of this house and the estate. It’s my third parent and my fourth child.” – Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), Downton Abbey
Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s World War II tale, is the #1 film at the box office. In full disclosure, I haven’t seen the film yet (although it’s on my summer cinema must-see list). However, I have seen the trailer several times and I always lose count of the familiar faces I spy from shows we’ve broadcast on UNC-TV. So I thought it might be fun to see how many I could find. Some were obvious, others less so.
Mark Rylance (Mr. Dawson) was the actor I first recognized. He won an Academy Awards for Bridge of Spies a few years back but I knew him instantly as Thomas Cromwell from Wolf Hall. And if we go back 20 years, Rylance also played King Henry V on a 1997 Great Performances.
Tom Hardy (Farrier) is probably most associated with blockbuster films like Inception, The Dark Knight Rises and Mad Max: Fury Road yet Hardy has a couple of Masterpiece roles of note. He played Heathcliff on Wuthering Heights and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, on The Virgin Queen.
Kenneth Branagh (Commander Bolton) portrayed Swedish detective Kurt Wallander for four seasons on Masterpiece Mystery. Going back a bit, Branagh starred as Shakespeare’s Henry V in the Masterpiece Theatre presentation of that feature film – and he played Guy Pringle on Fortunes of War, another Masterpiece Theatre series. Continue reading
If you missed episode one of Remember Me on Sunday night, you missed not only Michael Palin in a very interesting role but you missed the beginning an eerily spooky mystery series. However, if you did watch, you may have recognized a few familiar faces. Let’s see who they were and where you might know them.
Michael Palin starred as pensioner Tom Parfitt. Certainly Palin has made a name for himself as a globe-trekking adventurer in series like Around The World In 80 Days, Pole To Pole and Brazil With Michael Palin. However, his claim to fame and the reason 99% of people who know his name do so is that he was a member of the groundbreaking comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus. He also starred in a fantastic program called Ripping Yarns (which even some die-hard Python fans have never seen) and we aired this show sometime in the late 70s or early 80s.
Mark Addy played police detective Rob Fairholme. Addy was the wonderfully-named Pumblechook in a 2012 Masterpiece Classic presentation of Great Expectations.
Julia Sawalha portrayed Hannah Ward’s mother, Jan. Sawalha may be best known for her role as Saffron on the Britcom Absolutely Fabulous (in full disclosure – UNC-TV has never aired this one) but public broadcasting audiences may remember her as Dorcas Lane on Lark Rise To Candleford, Jessie Brown on Cranford or Mercy Pecksniff on Martin Chuzzlewit. Continue reading
Last Thursday, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced nominations for the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy® Awards. And even though Downton Abbey is nought but a memory, PBS programs still received 11 nominations. Masterpiece reaped the lion’s share of those nominations thanks to Victoria and Sherlock but here’s a list of all the PBS nominations…
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “Oklahoma City”
Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking
Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series
Outstanding Structured Reality Program
SHERLOCK ON MASTERPIECE: THE LYING DETECTIVE
Outstanding Television Movie
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie – Benedict Cumberbatch
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Limited Series, Movie or Special
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or Movie Continue reading
The Masterpiece Studio Podcast sat down with Prime Suspect: Tennison‘s Sam Reid to talk about his character, Detective Inspector Len Bradfield.
[Warning: If you have not seen all three episodes of Prime Suspect: Tennison please note that this interview contains spoilers.]
This week’s Death In Paradise featured a trio of guests worthy of mention.
In the episode (“Lost Identity”), DI Goodman receives a little help from his visiting Aunt Mary, played by Wendy Craig. Craig was most recently seen as Aunt Juley in The Forsyte Saga (UNC-EX aired the series within the last few years) however a generation of UNC-TV viewers may best remember her as dissatisfied housewife Ria Parkinson in the bittersweet sitcom Butterflies.
The next guest actor is Robert Daws. He played John Green on Death In Paradise but has popped up in a couple of Masterpiece series worth noting. Going back to the 1990s, Daws was Tuppy Glossop in the wonderful Jeeves And Wooster (Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie played the title roles in that P. G. Wodehouse adaptation). More recently, the actor was seen as Dr. Choake in the Poldark. Continue reading