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The Barchester Chronicles 

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:
Janet Maw ...
Susan Edmonstone ...
 Charlotte Stanhope 5 episodes, 1982
 Bertie Stanhope 5 episodes, 1982
 Mr. Bunce 4 episodes, 1982
William Redgrave ...
 Samuel 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
 Dr. Gwynne 2 episodes, 1982
 Tom Towers 2 episodes, 1982
 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
 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

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Release Date:

10 November 1982 (UK)  »

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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 »


Bishop Proudie: The canon-in-residence is not *in* residence.
Rev. Obadiah Slope: I understand he is in Italy.
Bishop Proudie: Italy?
Rev. Obadiah Slope: On the banks of Lake Como.
Mrs. Proudie: Whatever is a canon in residence doing on the banks of Lake Como?
Rev. Obadiah Slope: Apparently he collects butterflies.
Mrs. Proudie: I cannot imagine the bishop looking kindly upon a canon in residence who spends his time collecting butterflies- especially Italian butterflies.
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Followed by Doctor Thorne (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

Sensitive Trollope adaptation
13 September 1999 | by See all my reviews

One of the best Trollope adaptations in recent years. A true classic that will delight lovers of the 'Barchester' novels through more than one viewing. Adapted from the first two novels, 'The Warden' and 'Barchester Towers'. All the cast are well matched to their roles.

Of note: It seems newspapers have changed little in 150 years. The fictional 'The Jupiter' ('The Times' very thinly disguised) is just as sanctimonious and irritating as today's press. Clive Swift as Bishop Proudie is, well, another bumbling Clive Swift. Alan Rickman gives an excellent performance as the ingratiating humbug Rev Slope (formerly Mr Slop). Slope's Cathedral sermon on the demerits of music in the evangelical church (Ep. 2) is brilliant, as is his marriage proposal to Mrs Bold (Ep. 4).

Father and daughter Donald and Angela Pleasance play father and daughter Mr Harding and Mrs Grantly.

A weak point is the character is the second romantic interest of Mrs Bold, The Rev Francis Arabin. In the series he seems a rather dull of stick of about 40, much older than Mrs Bold, and it hard to see why a mid-twenties, attractive and wealthy widow would be in the least attracted to him. He is well spoken and intelligent but otherwise most unprepossesing. In the novel, however, Trollope devotes an full chapter to his history and the minute description of his personality and character. As a result it is quite clear why Mrs Bold found him so desirable from their first meeting.

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