So there I was watching Casualty the other week when up pops Martin Jarvis. “Who?” says you, “Oh, him!”. He’s a solid older actor with a distinctive enough, slightly Pertwee-ish look that know you’ve seen him in a hundred different things on TV from the ’70s/’80s/’90s. Possibly killing or being killed. What the Americans might call a character actor and we might call an actor.
Anyway, I couldn’t remember his name when he popped up (I got the “J” … Jeremy? Jake? Jango Fett?) so went a-wiki-ing. Theatrical cred, natch. Various standard jobbing TV roles including multiple Doctor Who parts over the years (which I mention only as one of my areas of interest, not as some coded dig), a long association with BBC Radio 4 which I was unaware of and… wait, what’s this?
- Robin Hood: Defender of the Crown (2003) (Video game) (voice)
- The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night (2007) The Chronicler (Video game)
- The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon (2008) The Chronicler (Video game)
- Dragon Age: Origins (2009) (Video game) (voice)
- Mass Effect 2 (2010) Admiral Zaal’Koris vas Qwib Qwib (Video game)
- Batman: Arkham City Alfred Pennyworth (2011) (Video game)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Various Roles (2011) (Video game)
- Mass Effect 3 (2012) Admiral Zaal’Koris vas Qwib Qwib (Video game)
- Wreck-It Ralph Satine (2012) (voice)
- Batman: Arkham Origins Alfred Pennyworth (2013) (Video game)
- Batman: Assault on Arkham Alfred Pennyworth (2014) (Animated film)
- Batman: Arkham Knight Alfred Pennyworth (2015) (Video game)
Turns out he’s got a decent sideline in proper AAA-game voiceover work! I love it when, for example, you find out an actor like Brent Spiner or Dwight Schultz is doing the uncelebrated voice-acting in your newest Final Fantasy game. No knocks on, say, Patrick Stewart or David Warner but they have distinctive enough voices that they effectively end up trading on their identity, whereas someone like Martin Jarvis can turn in a great Alfred Pennyworth exclusively on the strength of his performance. Nice!
Long story short, I take my hat off to Martin Jarvis twice. Once for the career I knew he had, and a second time for the savvy, solid branching-out I never knew about.