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Why Major Vir From Carnival Row Looks So Familiar

Amazon Prime's second and final season of "Carnival Row" is now live, with every episode now available to stream on the service. And it has expanded the world of murder and magic well beyond the borders of the Burgue. After hearing so much about the Burgue's military rival the Pact during Season 1, and even seeing some of their soldiers briefly fighting the Burguish army, we now have a sense of what this mysterious enemy empire actually looks like. Or at least part of it, and a part of it seized by revolution at that. After Agreus (David Gyasi) and Imogen (Tamzin Merchant) are captured off the coast of Ragusa, they and we are introduced to the New Dawn, a movement that has taken control of large areas of Pact territory, with a vision of radical equality between human and fae. 

With the Pact being very much styled as an old European empire, they are naturally trying to do everything in their power to crush the New Dawn, even negotiate an alliance with their old enemy, the Burgue. Emissaries from the Pact are present in the city-state for much of Season 2, hobnobbing with members of parliament and striking under-the-table deals with actor-turned-politician Runyon Millworthy (Simon McBurney). One Pact figure plays this key role in this cloak-and-dagger deal-making, too. That is Major Vir, played by Andrew Buchan, whose face you have likely seen a few places before. 

Andrew Buchan played Mark Latimer in Broadchurch

Being British, like much of the rest of the cast of "Carnival Row," Andrew Buchan has naturally been all over British television, appearing in shows like ITV's "The Fixer," "Garrow's Law," and a BBC miniseries adaptation of "Jane Eyre." Where most American audiences will recognize him from, though, would probably be "Broadchurch." This critically acclaimed crime drama starred David Tennant and Olivia Colman as two police detectives in the titular small town on Britain's west coast investigating the murder of a local boy, Danny Latimer (Oskar McNamara). 

The whole town of Broadchurch is understandably rocked by Danny's murder, turning townspeople against each other and unearthing many of their secrets. But nobody is more affected than Danny's parents Beth, played by Jodie Whittaker, and Mark, played by Andrew Buchan. Both Mark and Beth are essentially forced to grieve their son's death, sit through the investigation of Danny's murder (in which Mark is even briefly considered a suspect), be put through the wringer of the trial, and endure the end of their marriage. 

Buchan's portrayal is quietly heart-wrenching. It also got the actor a lot more notice. Speaking with The Independent in 2014, he admitted that "Broadchurch" finally had people actually correctly name the show they recognize him from. "Whereas prior to that there'd just been the occasional 'hello' in a pub or 'were you that chap on...?' and they'd still get it wrong. I was like 'no, sorry, that's not me,'" he said.

He played Andrew Parker Bowles in The Crown

The middle two seasons of Netflix's "The Crown," taking place from the mid-1960s up to 1990, are when the structure of the royal family we recognize today starts to take shape. Among many other events, Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor) meets Diana Spencer (Emma Corin) and is pressured by Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) and Prince Philip (Tobias Menzies) into marrying her despite very obviously not being in love with her. 

Meanwhile, Charles is most definitely in love with Camilla Shand (Emerald Fennell), with whom he has an on-and-off relationship, even rekindling after her marriage to Andrew Parker Bowles, played by Andrew Buchan. For his part, Parker Bowles also dates and briefly has an affair with Charles' sister Princess Anne (Erin Doherty). It's all very reminiscent of a soap opera, with overlapping love triangles and other such entanglements. We also know how the above story wound up: Charles and Diana divorced, Camilla and Andrew divorced, and Charles and Camilla remain married to this day after his ascension to the throne. As such, Parker Bowles is rather shoved to the sidelines in all the drama. He's definitely there in "The Crown" though, albeit in only four episodes over the course of Seasons 3 and 4.

He played Alex Rider's spy uncle

Did someone say teenage spy? The television adaptation of Anthony Horowitz's young adult book series "Alex Rider" has proven far more successful than 2006 film adaptation "Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker," the latter of which has a cringey 35 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. After two solid seasons, a third season of "Alex Rider" has been confirmed, with much of the cast from the first two returning and some new faces thrown into the mix. 

One face that most likely won't be returning, though, is Andrew Buchan's. Buchan played Alex's (Otto Farrant) uncle Ian, an undercover agent for the British Department of Special Operations who poses as a banker and is Alex's legal guardian. It is his murder that pulls the teenaged Alex into the world of espionage and intelligence, as he doesn't believe the authorities' explanation that Ian died in a car accident. What's more, Ian's murder occurs in the very first episode. Other than a brief appearance in Episode 4, Uncle Ian doesn't appear again in either of the seasons. 

Though there's always the possibility of flashbacks, it's not all that likely he'll be in Season 3 either. Still, if readers do happen to see Andrew Buchan in a bar and ask him whether he was that guy in "Alex Rider," he would likely be pleased to answer in the affirmative.