Where Do I Know That Actor?

If you turned on Midsomer Murders on Saturday night (“Secrets and Spies” part one) you saw DCI Barnaby encounter a family of former espionage agents. You also caught sight of several familiar faces you may have recognized from other British programming we’ve aired on UNC-TV. Let’s see who’s who, shall we?

Veteran actor Benjamin Whitrow played eccentric, retired spymaster Sir Malcolm Frazer. His decades-long career (which sadly ended a few weeks ago when he passed away at 80) boasted guest roles in dozens of shows (Wolf Hall, Doc Martin, The Pallisers, Danger UXB, Poirot and Partners in Crime, just to name a few) but he had larger roles in a few Masterpiece Theatre presentations – he was Bailiff Francis la Palotte on Island at War and Thomas Boleyn on Henry VIII.

Peter Davison played Sir Malcolm’s son, Nicky Frazer. He should be immediately known for two roles – that of veterinarian Tristan Farnon on All Creatures Great and Small and that of the fifth Doctor on Doctor Who. However, he too has appeared in a bevy of other roles. Going back to the late 1970s, Davison was Tom Holland on the Masterpiece Theatre series Love for Lydia. In the 1980s, he played Margery Allingham’s gentleman detective Albert Campion on Mystery! In the late 1990s, he portrayed Joseph Lockwood on a Masterpiece adaptation of Wuthering Heights. About that time, Davison played Inspector Christmas on the Diana Rigg vehicle The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries. More recently, he starred as Dr. Bill Shore on the delightful fish-out-of-water series Distant Shores. Continue reading


Where Do I Know That Actor?

This week’s Midsomer Murders (“The Magician’s Nephew” – part 1) proved that Halloween is a most dangerous holiday indeed. We also saw a few guest stars that keen-eyed viewers might recognize from other UNC-TV fare past and present. I counted five actors of note that I knew from elsewhere. See if you spotted them all.

Michael Fitzgerald portrayed antiquarian bookseller Hugo Cartwright. He was also Canon Neil Patterson on The Choir and Major Salmon on Sharpe’s Revenge. And he played the Duke of Manhattan on an episode of Doctor Who (“New Earth”).

Ronald Pickup was artefact dealer Ernest Balliol. The veteran actor also portrayed Jeffrey Livingstone on The Jury, Daniel Byrne on The Rector’s Wife and Prince Yakimov on Fortunes Of War. Going back a bit, Rickup voiced Aslan on the Chronicles Of Narnia series which ran on Wonderworks. Continue reading

Just Happy To Be Nominated

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…

Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking

Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series

Outstanding Structured Reality Program

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

Monday Montage

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

Singer Andrea Bocelli performs at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy as the Landmarks series continues. Tune in Friday night at 10 on UNC-TV for Andrea Bocelli – Landmarks In Concert: A Great Performances Special.

As anyone with a love for TV knows, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss breathed new life into a character from the 19th century with Sherlock. Now the BBC wants the duo to tackle literature’s most famous vampire.

Now that summer’s here, take a dip in one of the Tar Heel State’s unusual resort communities. Catch the waves at White Lake: Remembering The Nation’s Safest Beach – Thursday night at 10 on the North Carolina Channel.

On the off chance you’re in London next month, you might want to take in a special performance by Monty Python’s John Cleese. All proceeds go to benefit Denville Hall, a retirement home for those in the theatrical profession. Continue reading

Monday Montage

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

Two and a half millennia ago, a new religion was born in northern India, generated from the ideas of a single man. Explore the life of The Buddha – Tuesday night at 8 on UNC-TV.

Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam has finally done it! After nearly two decades, the animator turned director wrapped on his film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.

Twelve bakers … ten weeks … who will be crowned Britain’s best? Find out as The Great British Baking Show returns with a two-hour premiere – Friday night at 9 on UNC-TV.

Whether or not Sherlock is done as a series seems open to debate. However, Andrew Scott (Moriarty) doesn’t believe it will happen anytime soon (if it happens at all). Continue reading

Monday Montage

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

Tuesday night, the Victorian Slum House is open for business. Part reality competition, part time travel adventure, watch as participants tackle the challenges of life in the Victorian era. The journey kicks off with the 1860s – Tuesday night at 8 on UNC-TV.

Are mobile phones ruining the theatre? Andrew Scott (Moriarty, Sherlock) blames the middle-aged and not Millennials.

Nature gets back into the spy cam business with a two-part look at some spellbinding cetaceans. Tune in for part one of Dolphins: Spy in the Pod – Wednesday at 8pm on UNC-TV.

Could Downton Abbey be coming to a city near you? Quite possibly. A new touring exhibition launches in Singapore this summer and hits the United States next year. Continue reading

Monday Montage

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

Learn how WWI transformed America through stories of African-American and Latino soldiers, feminist activists, Native-American “code talkers” and others whose participation in the war to “make the world safe for democracy” has been largely forgotten. American Experience relives The Great War – a six-hour, three-night event, beginning tonight at 9 on UNC-TV.

Could there ever be more Sherlock? Despite the finality of season four, rumors of another series persist. But Steven Moffat warns us that more Sherlock, while possible, won’t happen for some time.

Doc Martin star Martin Clunes embarks upon a fascinating journey through 16 of Australia’s 8,000 islands to explore a true cross-section of Australia’s diverse people, terrain and history. Don’t miss Martin Clunes: Islands of Australia – premiering Sunday night at 8 on UNC-EX.

Speaking of “more” … Maggie Smith isn’t too keen on a Downton Abbey film. Continue reading