Deathwatch 20 Years Later

Deathwatch 20 Years Later

Deathwatch Poster

M.J. Bassett’s directorial debut Deathwatch was released in 2002. This British war horror movie follows nine soldiers. Coming across a seemingly abandoned German trench. As the unit looks to make the trench easier to defend, they start seeing unusual events in the trench. Nothing quite adds up for the unit. The horrors are waiting for them as time goes by. This is one of my favourite horror movies I remember finding in a Blockbuster. Picking to watch because of one cast member, Kris Marshall (we will get to why later).

What happened to the cast and crew behind Deathwatch?

Director – M.J. Bassett

MJ Bassett Deathwatch Director

MJ Bassett has gone on to have a successful career behind the camera. She Followed up Deathwatch with ‘Wilderness’, ‘Solomon Kane’ and ‘Silent Hill: Revelation’. She moved into TV with popular shows including ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’, ‘Strike Back’, ‘Power’ and ‘Altered Carbon’. Recently she has returned to movies. ‘Inside Man: Most Wanted’, Megan Fox led ‘Rogue’ and Rebecca Romijn led ‘Endangered Species’. The latter of the two, returning to her roots as a natural photographer. According to IMDB, her latest project is a ‘Red Sonja’ movie, something we will be looking forward to.

The Cast

deathwatch cast

The cast is filled with a host of British actors, but we have one German on board in the movie. Let’s see where these stars have gone with their careers.

Torben Liebrecht – Friedrich

Friedrich is the captured German soldier who has been through the horrors already. Being captive by the English soldiers, he knows the outcome if they can’t escape. Torben has gone on to have a successful career in German and reteamed with MJ in ‘Altered Carbon’. Torben also won a Screen Award for his role in ‘X Company’ in 2016.

Jamie Bell – Charlie Shakespeare

Jamie Bell Deathwatch

Charlie Shakespeare is the youngest member of the unit. Lying about his age to be part of the war. He is the character that keeps his pure and innocent side during the horrors. Trying to make sure they stay together during the events. Jamie Bell was fresh off the BAFTA win for ‘Billy Elliot’ when taking this role. Remaining a constant talent for his whole career. Earning himself a second BAFTA nomination for ‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. His upcoming project will see him playing Fred Astaire in ‘Fred & Ginger’.

Rúaidhrí Conroy – Private Chevasse

Chevasse is injured before they reach the trench. The medics are not hopeful for him, seeing him getting a shocking moment later in the film. He might not have had as busy of a career as other members of the cast. ‘The Professor and the Madman’ is his outing in 2019.

Laurence Fox – Captain Bramwell Jennings

Laurence Fox Deathwatch

Jennings is the highest-ranking officer in the unit. He is trying to maintain control of the soldiers, who are starting to move away from his orders. Laurence made a reputation for playing the stuck-up English man, a figure from wealth. ‘The Hole’ and ‘Gosford Park’ showed this up. Recently he has become a controversial figure in the British media. His behaviour has made plenty of people dislike him and that has been reflected in his career slowing down in recent years.

Dean Lennox Kelly – Private Willis McNess

Dean Lennox Kelly Deathwatch

McNess is one of the soldiers’ given orders. He supports Charlie through his struggles but only seems to be part of the background of the bigger story. Dean has gone on to have a successful TV career, on both sides of the pond. His latest bigger named show ‘Jamestown’ is the one that stands out the most.

Kris Marshall – Private Barry Starinski

Kris Marshall Deathwatch

Starinksi is just another soldier, here to get the job done and go home. He is the first one killed, showing the horrors attacking during the night. As previously mentioned, it was Kris Marshall that drew me to the movie. Having been a massive fan of ‘My Family’ I was interested in seeing how he handled horror. Kris was trying to shake the goofball role that the show had given him. He never managed to break out to the levels many had hoped for in movies. He did return to the BBC with ‘Death in Paradise’ and most famously the BT adverts that went on for years.

Hans Matheson – Private Hawkstone

Hans Matheson Deathwatcy

Hawkstone, like many of the soldiers in the movie, doesn’t get much else than to be a number. Hans had an impressive 2002. Appearing in the leading role of Yury Zhivago in the ‘Doctor Zhivago’ miniseries opposite Keira Knightley and Sam Neill. He went on to have a shorter career, with the short-lived western TV series ‘Jericho’. Being his last outing, stepping away from the spotlight.

Hugh O’Conor – Anthony Bradford

Hugh O'Conor Deathwatch

Bradford is the radio expert, trying to find a connection for support. Unlike the other soldiers, his nightmares take him in a different direction in the movie. Hugh always managed to find roles after Deathwatch. Even if he did fall into the reliable supporting actor roles, through TV and film. His latest appearance was as Dr Kevin in ‘Smother’.

Matthew Rhys – Corporal Doc Fairweather

Matthew Rhys Deathwatch

Doc is trying to help Chevasse remain comfortable. He knows time is ticking for the young man and morphine is running low. Matthew didn’t take too long before he got a big break. In 2006 he appeared in the TV show ‘Brothers & Sisters’ for over 100 episodes. Following that up with ‘The Americans’. The leading role in ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood’ got heads turning for a big-screen career. An Upcoming ‘Gremlins: Secret of the Mogwai’ TV series will be interesting to see. With his career keeping him very busy on our TV screens.

Hugh Speer – Sergeant David Tate

Hugh Speer Deathwatch

Tate sees the dangers they are facing. Wanting to keep the men safe, he will conflict with Jennings and Quinn. Leading to the big showdown between the three. Hugh had already been a part of a major British film in ‘The Full Monty’. He will be returning for the 2022 miniseries too. Elsewhere he has had a strong career in TV, where he would become a household face for the British public.

Andy Serkis – Private Thomas Quinn

Andy Serkis Deathwatch

Quinn is the hothead of the group. He loses patience the quickest and will kill prisoners. Almost enjoys his role as a soldier. Fittingly his character will get the most horrific death in the movie. Where do we start with Andy Serkis though? The actor-director has become the biggest named star of this movie. Even in the last year, he directed ‘Venom Let There Be Carnage’ and starred in ‘The Batman’. He has also appeared in the ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘Planet of the Apes’, ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ franchises. Andy Serkis became a global superstar and anyone looking to check out his earlier roles will find Deathwatch.

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