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2005 Bleak House for Geeks and Britophiles

(Thu Feb 27 16:35:56 2014)

actor recognition

I watched the 2005 Bleak House Miniseries in 2010, and, honestly, I've forgotten most of it.  But, on a whim today, I decided to revisit it as a series, and I went over to IMDB - because so MANY of the actors had instant "AHA!" moments.  I'm going to do a seemingly boring thing, but I'm going to go through the IMDB in order of most episodes appeared in and take each actor - and say where I've seen them - because it frankly AMAZES me - the level of this cast.  It's Dickens, so of course, there are a million characters, but I know almost ALL of them. Just wow.  Then, I'll rewatch it.

Anna Maxwell Martin, who plays the main role of Esther Summerson was Suki in season 1 of Doctor Who, the revolutionary trying to shut down satellite 5, and got killed in the process of investigative work.

Denis Lawson, who play John Jarndyce was Wedge Antilles in Star Wars eps 4, 5, and 6.  It's a bit harder to recognize him here, as he has a British, and not American accent, and he's 20+ years older - but it's always good to see his face.  

Carey Mulligan, who plays Ada - was also in Doctor Who. She played Sally Sparroe in season 3's episode "Blink."  she also played Kitty Bennet in the Kiera Knightley rendition on Pride and Prejudice.

Gillian Anderson's Lady Deadlock, of course, was Scully in X-Files.  

Tom Georgeson, who played Clumb, starred twice in the Original Doctor who adventures "Genesis of the Daleks" as Kavell and "Logopolis" as the Detective Inspector.

Charles Dance (ah how I love to watch him act!) who plays Tulkinghorn, was of course, most recently recognizable as Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones.  I love him as Lord Vetinari in Terry Pratchett's "Going Postal," and he was Ian Fleming in Goldeneye.

Patrick kennedy, who plays poor Richard Carstone, was Terence Sampson in "Downton Abbey."  I'd like to see him in some other roles - he's quite easy on the eye.

Timothy West, who plays Sir Leicester Dedlock, was Arch-chancellor Ridcully in "Going Postal."

  Burn Gorman, a very interesting face that stands out in a crowd, who plays Mr. Guppy, was, most instantly notable to me, Owen Harper in "Torchwood."  He's also been on "Game of Thrones" as Karl, Stryver in "The Dark Knight Rises," and will soon play Mr. Brand in the film "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very Bad Day."

Pauline Collins, who plays Mrs. Flite, was immediately recognizable from Season 2 of Doctor Who as Queen Victoria, who, interestingly enough, founded Torchwood.  Collins has a career that spans decades, and played Samantha Briggs in DW original series "The Faceless Ones" as Samantha Briggs in 1967.

Philip Davis' Smallweed jumped off the screen immediately as the Taxi Driver from BBC Sherlock's "A Study in Pink."  He was also Lucius in Season 4 of Doctor Who's "The Fires of Pompeii."  

To piggyback that, Louise Brealey's Judy, niece to Smallweed, is of course, Molly Hooper from "Sherlock."

Alun Armstrong, playing Bucket, seems to like to play in classics.  He was Northumberland in The Hollow Crown, Flintwinch in Little Dorrit, Dan Peggotty in David Copperfield, Mr. Fleming in Oliver Twist, and Mornay in Braveheart.  Maybe he's just a really big Dickens fan?

Anne Reid, playing Mrs. Rouncewell, was also Mrs. Thackeray in "Upstairs, Downstairs," Mrs. Dingley in "Doc Martin," Florence Finnegan, the renegade alien in Season 3 of Doctor Who's "Smith and Jones," the Gypsy in 2006's Jane Eyre miniseries, Wendolene in Wallace and Gromit's "A Close Shave," a guest on A Bit of Fry and Laurie, and Nurse Crane in the last season of classic DW's "The curse of Fenric." Whew!  What a busy little bee.

Dermot Crowley, playing Mr. Vholes, was in an episode of Father Ted, and General Crix Madine in Return of the Jedi.

Bryan Dick, playing Prince Turveydrop, gueststarred on Haven, Being Human and Torchwood, and  was Thomas Wyatt in The Virgin Queen.

 Ian Richardson.....do I even need to list it out?  He played the Chancellor in Bleak House, but, what drew my personal attention from his career; he was the voice of Death in all the Terry Pratchett adaptations, Polonius in Rosencranz and Guildenstern are Dead, Sherlock Holmes in 2 tv movie mystery adaptations, and stage and Shakespearean credits as long as your arm.  

Warren Clarke, who plays Boythorne, also starred in "All Creatures Great and Small" and "All Good things" as Mr. Sutcliffe.  He gueststarred in Blackadder the Third as Mr. HArdwood, and in Blackadder the Cavalier Years as Oliver Cromwell.

Peter Guiness, who played the Coroner, was Medium Dave in Terry Pratchett's Hogfather, the voice of Mister Dread in Doctor Who: Dreamland, the chief Executioner in Arabian Nights, and  Admantha in Esther.

Sheila Hancock, who plays Mrs. Guppy, was Helen A in the Original DW adventure "That Happiness Patrol," and Jadis, the White Witch in the BBC's "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

Di botcher, who plays Mrs. Woodcourt, was Connie Prince in Sherlock.

Richard Griffiths, whom I didn't know had died last year :-(, plays Mr. Badger.  He's an accomplished character actor, perhaps best known as Vernon Dursley in HArry Potter.  He was also the voice of the Jeltz in the film Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, Bishop of Mulberry in Vicar of Dibley, an admiral in Goldeneye, and the Duke of Burgundy in The Hollow Crown.

Joanna David, playing Mrs. Badger, was also Mrs. Gardiner in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, Elinor Dashwood in the 1971 Sense and Sensibility, the Duchess of Yeovil in Downton Abbey, and Susan Cushing in Granada BBC's Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.  

Robert Pugh, in a small part as Mr. Chadband, has a marvelous career.  I note him best as Tony Mack in Doctor who's 5th season 2-parter "Cold Blood/The Hungry Earth." Elsewhere, he's been Craster in Game of Thrones, Glendower in The Hollow Crown, Lord Chancellor Gardiner in The Virgin Queen, and Jonah in the torchwood episode "Adrift."

Even Catherine Tate had a cameo appearance as Mrs. Chadband.  

I'm gobsmacked by all this, because the majority of these actors I had no familiarity with in 2009.  I suppose that says I've come a long way in recognizing British actors in the last 5 years.  I've also realize that I need to watch Agatha Christie, Poirot, Miss Marple, and a lot more of Dame Maggie Smith's work.  Even though Dame Smith wasn't in Bleak House, SOOOO many of of the fellow actors shared television and film work with her over the years, it's almost overwhelming.  I'd like to know when she draws air.


All in all - I need to rewatch Bleak House....I'll probably enjoy it even more the second time around.


 



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