For the American Anglophile, there’s always a bit of thrill spotting a British actor from shows they have seen through the years in an American show. Seeing Jane Merrow in ‘Hart to Hart’ or Katherine Woodville in ‘Mannix’ was always a pleasant bonus in what would otherwise be a fairly pedestrian episode.
As detailed in these pages before, there have been periods where this kind of cross-pollination flowered, and the mid-80’s were such a time. The 4th Season episode of ‘Magnum P.I.’ titled ‘Holmes Is Where the Heart Is’ had a particularly strong British flavor to it. The guest lead was none other than Patrick Macnee, for whom the Tour has expressed our adoration before. Also in the cast however were Michael Billington, best known for readers of these pages from the UFO, and, more importantly for the purposes of this post. Maurice Roëves. Billington and Roëves played ‘Men from the Ministry’ types who were looking for Macnee to bring him back into care (Macnee’s character is nuts).
The career of Maurice Roëves touched Doctor Who but once, but it was with monumental impact, and that was as the psychotic gun-running Stotz in The Caves of Androzani. It was Stotz who the Davison Doctor was yelling/pleading with at the end of a very memorable episode 3 of Caves.
That episode of ‘Magnum’ aired March 8, 1984, the very same night episode 1 of Caves aired on BBC1. In our daydreaming, we imagined this Roëves-a-palooza airing opposite each other on competing channels.
Was this character actor serendipity enough of a reason to re-watch The Caves of Androzani all over again? What do you think?