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


Where Do I Know That Actor?

Great Performances’ presentation of The Hollow Crown concluded this week with a spectacular rendition of Richard III starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role. Certainly Cumberbatch is an actor who should be well familiar to all UNC-TV viewers: he stars in Sherlock as the titular detective and he’s been seen in Masterpiece series like The Last Enemy and To The Ends Of The Earth.

But what about the rest of the cast? Oh to be sure – there are many names and faces that stand out as having been in programs broadcast by UNC-TV in the past. Let’s cover a few.

Judi Dench played Cecily, Duchess of York. Like Cumberbatch, she is a veritable household name, especially to public broadcasting viewers. Dame Judi will be primarily known for roles such as Miss Matty in Cranford, Jean in As Time Goes By and Laura in A Fine Romance.

Keeley Hawes, who was Queen Elizabeth in The Hollow Crown, will be best and most recently known as matriarch Louisa Durrell in The Durrells In Corfu on Masterpiece. However, she’s been in other Masterpiece series and was Lady Agnes in Upstairs Downstairs, Cynthia in Wives & Daughters and Lizzie Hexam in Our Mutual Friend. Hawes also played agent Zoe Reynolds on MI-5. 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

Where Do I Know That Actor?

Last week, I talked of the familiar folks from Dancing On The Edge. This week, let’s look at the Masterpiece follow-up, The Tunnel. The series is adapted from the Danish/Swedish crime series The Bridge and follows two detectives (one French, one English) as they track down a killer who terrorizes two nations. The show may not boast many actors you’ve seen before (definitely not as many as Dancing On The Edge) but there are a few.

We’ll start with the two leads – Stephen Dillane and Clémence Poésy – who play police detectives Karl Rosebuck and Elise Wassermann. Both actors have appeared in series UNC-TV has broadcast before. Poésy was Isabelle in Birdsong on Masterpiece and Queen Isabella in Richard II on Great Performances in The Hollow Crown series. Dillane was Jonathan Byrne in The Rector’s Wife, Karenin in Anna Karenina, Edward Cazelet on The Cazelets -and Schmidt in God On Trial, all on Masterpiece.

The only other name of note is Angel Coulby who plays Laura Roebuck on The Tunnel. You definitely know Coulby if you watch the entirety of UNC-TV’s Sunday night line-up since she plays lead singer Jessie Taylor on Dancing On The Edge.

Like I said, not that many faces but enough to notice.

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.