Presents the lives and loves of a family of cousins from 1939 to the present. Follows very closely the Mary Wesley novel. Begins with a funeral and uses the reminiscences of those gathered ... See full summary »
George 'Beau' Brummel, a penniless but witty London gentleman, maintains a refined lifestyle with his loyal servant, cook Robinson. Only the friendship of the unpopular Hanoverian heir and ... See full summary »
Guy Pringle and his new wife, Harriet, are members of the English community in Bucharest, Rumania on the eve of World War II. The film catalogs and chronicles, after the war begins, the ... See full summary »
The life of Edward VII (1841 - 1910), the King of the United Kingdom. Before becoming the king he developed a reputation of a playboy which angered his mother, Queen Victoria. He was a reformer and modernizer, but also an elitist.
They don't make adaptations like this any more - no doubt for cost reasons and a lack of imagination and bravery at the TV companies. 7 hours of solid drama, yet full of incidental humour and some very fine characterisations.
Unfortunately it is flawed, and the flaws make it just very good viewing rather than the excellent series it should have been. The biggest flaws to my mind are:
1 The decision to replace Nick and his wife by new actors for Film 4 was totally wrong. Nick ages far too much in too short a space of time, and looks completely different. This creates a real problem of believability.
2 Still on ageing, some of the actors are 'aged' very well, whilst others (especially the ladies and Odo) seem hardly any different as the decades progress.
3 Film 4 is by far the weakest, though to be fair this reflects the books on which it is based. Perhaps it should have been cut further and the earlier years given even greater prominence.
4 Despite a great deal of pruning, there are still too many characters and insufficient narration for non-aficionados of the books to be sure all the time of who is who.
5 The scenes often seem to be a succession of dramatic deaths - difficult to avoid with the way the story has to be condensed, but very predictable nonetheless.
However, it's still pretty good, and light years removed from much of the dumbed-down drama on TV today.
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