When a crusade against the Church of England's practice of self-enrichment misfires, scandal taints the cozy community of Barchester when their local church becomes the object of a scathing, investigative report.

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Series cast summary:
 Rev. Septimus Harding (7 episodes, 1982)
Janet Maw ...
 Eleanor Bold / ... (7 episodes, 1982)
 Archdeacon Grantly / ... (7 episodes, 1982)
 Susan Grantly (7 episodes, 1982)
 Mary Bold (6 episodes, 1982)
 Bishop Proudie (5 episodes, 1982)
 Mrs. Proudie (5 episodes, 1982)
 Obadiah Slope (5 episodes, 1982)
Susan Hampshire ...
 La Signora Madeline Vesey Neroni (5 episodes, 1982)
Susan Edmonstone ...
 Charlotte Stanhope (5 episodes, 1982)
Peter Blythe ...
 Bertie Stanhope (5 episodes, 1982)
Joseph O'Conor ...
 Mr. Bunce (4 episodes, 1982)
William Redgrave ...
 Samuel Grantly (3 episodes, 1982)
 Bishop Grantly (3 episodes, 1982)
Christopher Maynard ...
 Baby John Bold (3 episodes, 1982)
 Mr. Quiverful (3 episodes, 1982)
Maggie Jones ...
 Letitia Quiverful (3 episodes, 1982)
Clifford Parrish ...
 Abel Handy (3 episodes, 1982)
Derek New ...
 Francis Arabin (3 episodes, 1982)
 John Bold (2 episodes, 1982)
Trevor Baxter ...
 Dr. Gwynne (2 episodes, 1982)
 Tom Towers (2 episodes, 1982)
Wally Thomas ...
 Mr. Moody (2 episodes, 1982)
Richard Bebb ...
 Dr. Vesey Stanhope (2 episodes, 1982)
Kenneth Keeling ...
 Mr. Gazy (2 episodes, 1982)
Denis Carey ...
 Job Skulpit (2 episodes, 1982)
Richard Leech ...
 Wilfred Thorne (2 episodes, 1982)
Ursula Howells ...
 Miss Thorne (2 episodes, 1982)


The Barchester Chronicles, a BBC miniseries, is adapted from two mid-19th century novels by Anthony Trollope. When a crusade against the Church of England's practice of self-enrichment misfires, scandal taints the cozy community of Barchester when their local church becomes the object of a scathing report about the use of church funds. Consequently, an honorable middle-aged clergyman (Donald Pleasence) is forced into moral crisis and a conflict with his son-in-law, a pompous archdeacon (Nigel Hawthorne) and his youngest daughter's beloved (David Gwillim). The arrival of a new bishop (Clive Swift), his domineering wife (Geraldine McEwan), and a devious chaplain (Alan Rickman) - who may be hiding secrets - add to the dramatic scheming and complex power struggles among a colorful cast of characters. Written by Lulupalooza

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

10 November 1982 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mr. Harding's daughter Susan is played by Donald Pleasence's real-life daughter, Angela Pleasence. See more »


Archdeacon Grantly: This appears to be the gist of the matter...
Bishop Grantly: You mean to say, amongst all these documents there is a gist?
See more »


Referenced in Peep Show: Jeremy's Manager (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

At last!
2 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have been waiting more than a decade for this version to be released in the US, and finally my wait is over. When it first aired on Masterpiece Theater, I was transfixed by the story, the acting, and the sets. Watching this production 2 decades later confirms my earlier opinion that Barchester Chronicles is one of the very best of the Brit adaptations ever to appear in America.

The story concentrates on the private and public lives of clergymen and their families in a cathedral town of the Victorian age. Political intrigue, romance, and situation comedy are deftly interwoven by Trollope's magical hand. What makes this production so wonderful, though, is the acting. Can anyone imagine a Machiavelli more accomplished and doomed than Alan Rickman as the bestial Obadiah Slope? Could anyone else play the awful Mrs. Proudie as well as Geraldine McEwan? Could any other actors than Donald Pleasance and Nigel Hawthorne make believable their affection despite persistent differences of opinion? A host of minor characters rounds out the cast, including the wonderfully irresponsible Bertie Stanhope (Peter Blythe) and his scheming sister Madeline (Susan Hampshire), the marvelously weak pawn of a bishop (Clive Swift) and the delightfully vague Susan Grantly (Angela Pleasance). Absolutely splendid!

The first two hours are on the slow side, to be sure. However, once the new Bishop and his entourage arrive on the scene, there is nonstop action and amusement for another five episodes. If you have never read Trollope, this production will send you to the library!

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