But back in his native England, Sir Patrick is just as well known for his Shakespearean work, both on-stage and on the screen. Some of that work will be on display on April 28, when he reprises the role of Claudius (he first played the role on TV 30 years ago) in PBS's production of 'Hamlet' on 'Great Performances.' As Nick mentioned yesterday, the production, with David Tennant in the title role, mixes the classic dialogue with modern dress and settings to give the play a more contemporary feel.
Stewart will also perform in the title role of 'Macbeth' for a similarly-staged production airing on PBS later this year. I sat down with Sir Patrick in January, when he presented at the TCAs; we spoke about the two productions, what his classic training brought to his 'Star Trek' role, his guest turn on 'Extras' and how his first ever IT guy was none other than Wil Wheaton.
That said, the version of 'Hamlet' airing April 28 on PBS's 'Great Performances' (and appearing on DVD May 4) is not the good Doctor as Danish prince. There are flashes of that, especially in Hamlet's early scenes with Polonius (a masterful Oliver Ford Davies) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. That's where Tennant plays with a pitch-perfect blend of humor and cunning, spinning just short of out of control. And there is a beautiful sense of irony when Hamlet looks into the camera and says that time is out of join and it's his job to fix it.
Andy Samberg's Nic Cage impression never fails to make us laugh out loud. He sounds just like him, especially when he goes into his 'National Treasure' schtick.
Watch the video after the jump.
But while Doctor Who has to move on without Tennant, another classic will be coming stateside with Tennant in the lead. PBS will be airing the television adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Hamlet with David Tennant as part of its Great Performances series in 2010. Tennant performed as Hamlet live with the Company to great success in 2008.
If that's not enough to get you excited, how about the fact that the cast includes yet another pop culture icon. None other than one of the greatest Starfleet captains in the history of Star Trek: Captain Jean-Luc Picard himself, Patrick Stewart, as King Claudius.
For those like me, the BBC is reassembling the cast and filming that production of Hamlet for broadcast in late 2009, with American and Japanese broadcasts to occur in 2010 (I wonder which channel would show it in the States? BBC America? PBS?). To sweeten the deal for us nerds, former Star Trek: The Next Generation captain Patrick Stewart plays Claudius.
Perhaps they'll even let Tennant improvise the role a bit. I would love it if he could throw a little script that Neil Gaiman wrote for him upon hearing of his participation in the role.
They're bringing in a new actor to the scene, and he carries major TV mob credentials. Vincent Pastore is joining General Hospital as Maximus Giambetti, father of Sonny's two main bodyguards, Max and Milo. Vinny is best known as Sal "Big Pussy" Bonpenserio on HBO's The Sopranos. On GH, Maximus comes to Port Charles to see his boys, under the false assumption that Max and Milo are running the syndicate in town.
This obituary doesn't go into Barnard Hughes' many years of television work, so I will.
Hughes starred in many TV shows over the years, including Blossom, The Cavanaughs, Mr. Merlin, Doc, As The World Turns, The Guiding Light, and had recurring roles on both All in the Family and The Bob Newhart Show. He guest starred in many shows since the 50s, including Hawaii Five-O, Lou Grant, The Love Boat, Cannon, Kraft Television Theater, Hotel, Tales From The Darkside, and Hotel. His most recent role, in 2000, was on Deadline. He also starred in the classic TV movie The UFO Incident.
Barnard's film roles included Tron, Oh, God!, Hamlet, Midnight Cowboy, First Monday in October, and The Lost Boys, and he was a critically-acclaimed theater actor as well, winning a Tony for Da and starring in Advise and Consent, A Majority of One, Hamlet, The Good Doctor, and many others. He died yesterday of natural causes.
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