I had taped the PBS/American Experience/Frontline show God in America and started watching it last night. I didn’t know much about it, just that it had sounded interesting and worth watching. I didn’t know who was in it.
A little while in, there was a segment on John Winthrop, the governor of the Puritan colony in Plymouth. The actor playing Winthrop was introduced in a quick shot, his face mostly obscured in shadows. The show then cut away from Winthrop for a few minutes, and when he returned to the screen, he was still wrapped in shadows. I noticed the acting — it stood out because the actor was giving a dramatic reading, and I noticed his eyes because they were slightly bugged out. But I didn’t put two and two together. A few more beats passed before it suddenly hit me: OMG that’s Michael Emerson!
Here’s a clip of his segment:
If the clip doesn’t work, try the PBS website here: God in America. Michael Emerson’s segment is in Part One “A New Adam,” starting at 12:40, where you can hear his voice reciting the famous line about a city on the hill.