Friday, July 07, 2006

Capwell butler defects to the Dark Side!

You could call the mannerly and quite British Ian Abercrombie a BRBTV triple-shot: Not only was he Phillip, upright butler in the Capwell household, in the early days of "Santa Barbara," but he also played several roles on "Dynasty" and its spinoff "The Colbys" over the seasons. And now? After scads of other TV credits in just about any kind of show you could name, Abercrombie is turning to .... (cue deathlike music) ... THE DARK SIDE!!!! (da-da-dun!!!!!!)

Abercrombie will star in a new "Star Wars" TV series this fall, now in development. He'll play that most notoriuous creature, Darth Sidious, otherwise known as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine when he's trying to pretend he's legit. It's a role that would seem to fit the stately actor physically, if not quite psychologically! The TV series, officially untitled at this point but focusing on the "Clone Wars" of "Star Wars" lore, is being produced by the Force's big guy, George Lucas. The plotline from the IMDb: "The Grand Army of the Republic, led by Yoda, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and other Jedi Knights, fights the New Droid Army of the Separatists." Wikipedia says, "According to official reports, the series will be set during the 19-year timespan between the films 'Revenge of the Sith' and 'A New Hope.' It will focus primarily on minor characters of the 'Star Wars' galaxy, rather than the main ones seen prominently in the films." Rock out, man! There's lots more about the series at

Abercrombie's list of work over the years is nothing short of impressive, by the way. Besides two movie projects this year (including David Lynch's latest -- we'll be waiting for that one with "bait on our breath," as BRB's friend Ralph used to say), Abercrombie also starred in the recently released "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties." He played true to butlerly form as Alfred Pennyworth on the WB's short-lived "Batman"-inspired drama, "Birds of Prey." He's appeared in a couple of the modern "Star Trek" series and had a recurring character on "Seinfeld."

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