Monday 2 July 2012

Bret Rensselaer has vacated his desk ....

Anthony Bate as Bret Rensselaer
While I was away on holiday, there was sad news that British actor Anthony Bate passed away. I remember him of course from his portrayal of Samson's boss - and antagonist on the battlefield of office politics in London Central in all nine books of the series - Bret Rensselaer, in ITV's 1988 TV series. Check out the Guardian's full obituary.

He is also perhaps more familiar to most fans of spy fiction from his portrayal of civil servant Oliver Lacon in the BBC adaptation of Le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and then the sequel, Smiley's People. However, as an established actor he has a tremendous CV of threatre and film appearances, including in Treasure Island, Crime and Punishment and Les Miserables.

Sadly, it looks like we're not able still to see Anthony's portrayal of Bret due to Len's continued decision not to permit further re-runs of the show or a DVD release. Len had reasonable doubts about some of the casting in the show, which explains his decision, but I do think Anthony Bate got Bret's mid-Atlantic drawl and position as the eminence grise of London Central just right.

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