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 »
Two young men meet at Oxford. Charles Ryder, though of no family or money, becomes friends with Sebastian Flyte when Sebastian throws up in his college room through an open window. He then ... See full summary »
The series follows the lives of both the family and the servants in the London townhouse at 165 Eaton Place. Richard Bellamy, the head of the household, is a member of Parliament, and his ... See full summary »
James Onedin marries Anne Webster in order to get his hands on a ship. However the marriage turns out to be one of true love. James is ruthless in his attempt to get a shipping line started... See full summary »
The British Raj: though their position seems secure, thoughtful English men and women know that "their" time in India is coming to an end. The story begins with an unjust arrest for rape, ... See full summary »
Louisa Trotter works her way up from being a skivvy to being the Queen of cooks, cook to the King, and owner of the Bentinck Hotel. Her life and happenings among the guests and staff of the... See full summary »
In the 1840s, Cranford is ruled by the ladies. They adore good gossip; and romance and change is in the air, as the unwelcome grasp of the Industrial Revolution rapidly approaches their beloved rural market-town.
On the eve of World War I, Agnes Conway manages both the business and the problems of her troubled family. She finds the strength to break class barriers and help her sister Jessie marry a ... See full summary »
In the early 1900's in England, young Christina is orphaned and goes to live with her Uncle Russell, who owns the country estate of Flambards, and has two sons. Mark, the elder, is a ... See full summary »
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
I was absolutely delighted to have an opportunity recently to see the original `Forsyte Saga' on the Ovation' channel on cable TV in Australia.
Forget the recent remake and after about ten minutes you'll certainly forget that this is thirty-odd years old and made in black and white. Maybe its high-class soap opera but even so its all class.
Truly a saga spanning four or five generations, the story is dominated by Eric Porter's Soames, the cold venal rapist who eventually commands our grudging respect and the truly beautiful Irene played by Nyree Dawn Porter, Soames' victim who later finds love. And then there's Susan Hampshire's pretty but totally selfish Fleur, drawing you eye whenever she's on-screen. Incidentally, Nicholas Pennell plays Fleur's husband as if he was Wilfred Hyde-White in My Fair Lady! There are many other major characters, all well portrayed and you'll really care what happens to them.
Even the make-up of the two Porters is worth a word of praise as they age convincingly.
A minor criticism I could make is the rather eccentric recording of the sound. The dialogue level soars and drops as if the microphones were concealed in flowerpots like the early talkies. Doors slam loudly and there are unidentified knocks and bangs in the background.
See this masterpiece of television if you can, I don't think it has been bettered.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?