In the 2016 TV mini-series Roots, based on the Alex Haley novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family, Kunta Kinte (Malachi Kirby) is taken from his village in Gambia, Africa and enslaved. When he arrives in America, he is bought and taken to the tobacco plantation of John Waller (James Purefoy), an English colonist in Virginia. Waller is an alcoholic who can’t keep the plantation running without loans from his younger brother, Dr. William Waller. In the 1977 TV mini-series, Dr. William Waller was portrayed by the late Robert Reed (Mike Brady on The Brady Bunch). In the 2016 series, the doctor is portrayed by English actor Matthew Goode.
Americans recognize Matthew Goode for his roles on Downton Abbey (Henry Talbot), The Good Wife (Finn Polmar), and in the 2014 film about mathematician Alan Turing, The Imitation Game (Hugh Alexander). Part 1 of Roots will air May 30 at 9pm on A&E, History Channel, Lifetime and LMN. It is a four-part series which ends on Thursday, June 2.