The Forsyte Saga (1967)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Drama
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The extended Forsyte family live a more than pleasant upper middle class life in Victorian and later Edwardian England. The two central characters are Soames Forsyte and his cousin Jolyon ... See full summary »

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Title: The Forsyte Saga (1967– )

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
Eric Porter ...
 Soames Forsyte (26 episodes, 1967)
 Winifred Dartie (23 episodes, 1967)
Nyree Dawn Porter ...
 Irene Forsyte née Heron (19 episodes, 1967)
June Barry ...
 June Forsyte (16 episodes, 1967)
 'Young Jolyon' Forsyte (15 episodes, 1967)
Maggie Jones ...
 Smither (14 episodes, 1967)
Susan Hampshire ...
 Fleur Mont née Forsyte (14 episodes, 1967)
Nicholas Pennell ...
 Michael Mont (14 episodes, 1967)
John Welsh ...
 James Forsyte (12 episodes, 1967)
John Barcroft ...
 George Forsyte (11 episodes, 1967)
Suzanne Neve ...
 Holly Dartie née Forsyte (11 episodes, 1967)


The extended Forsyte family live a more than pleasant upper middle class life in Victorian and later Edwardian England. The two central characters are Soames Forsyte and his cousin Jolyon Forsyte. Soames is a solicitor, all proper and straight-laced. His love for the beautiful Irene is his only weakness as is his beautiful daughter Fleur. Young Jolyon is the opposite, a free-thinking artist who abandons his wife to live with his children's nanny. Their lives and their children's lives will intersect over 30 years bringing happiness to some and tragedy to others. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

5 October 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Forsyte Saga  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(26 episodes)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Donald Wilson gave up his position as Head of BBC Serials in 1965 so that he could concentrate all his efforts on making this serial. See more »


Jolyon 'Jo' Forsyte: I'm not a true Forsyte. I'm a bit of a mongrel. I put the ha'pennies on my cheques, not take them off.
See more »


Referenced in Absolutely: Episode #1.3 (1989) See more »


Halcyon Days
(from the suite 'The Three Elizabeths')
By Eric Coates
(theme music)
See more »

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User Reviews

A landmark that's now hard to find.
12 October 2002 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

`The Forsyte Saga' was a landmark in the history of television, not just in the UK, but globally. It was apparently the first miniseries to be produced anywhere. It was produced in part to start up the BBC's highbrow BBC2 channel. It was the BBC's most ambitious and expensive series up to that time. It was also the BBC's last major production in black and white, although plenty of color publicity stills were shot for it and BBC2 was intended to inaugurate color television in Britain. The series was originally aired in early 1967 on BBC2, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of author John Galsworthy's birth. It was so popular that it was quickly repeated on the more popular BBC1 channel. The series' popularity was phenomenal. The entire country seemed to rearrange its collective schedule around the show and the streets were empty when it was on. In the following years, the BBC would produce a slew of other period piece miniseries such as `The Six Wives of Henry VIII' and `Elizabeth R.' Britain's commercial network, Independent Television (ITV), got into the act with works like `Upstairs, Downstairs.'

`The Forsyte Saga' was exported and had a major impact abroad. Networks in other countries were soon producing their own period miniseries. `The Forsyte Saga' was the first television series from a Western country to be shown in the Soviet Union.

`The Forsyte Saga' was first shown in the United States in 1969 on the National Educational Television (NET) network and was its first prime time hit. It was repeated on NET's successor, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), which was soon importing and airing similar series under the `Masterpiece Theatre' banner. A few years later, the commercial networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) were busy producing their own period miniseries like `Rich Man, Poor Man' and `Once An Eagle.'

`The Forsyte Saga' had a profound influence on the careers of its cast. It greatly boosted the fortunes of Eric Porter, Nyree Dawn Porter, and Margaret Tyzack, made Susan Hampshire the uncrowned queen of BBC2, and gave Michael York and Martin Jarvis their big breaks. The series gave Kenneth More his best role during the long and inexplicable twilight of his career. On the other hand, June Barry, Dalia Penn, and Nicholas Pennell all had prominent parts in the series, but were little seen in subsequent years.

In fact, the same can be said about the series itself. `The Forsyte Saga' hasn't been aired in the Washington, D.C., area in 20 or more years and is currently not available in this country on video or DVD. Its importance in television history is great and undisputed, but it's now spoken about more than seen.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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