De serie gaat over de familie Van Langevelt en speelt zich af op landgoed 'De Appelgaard'. Het gezin bestaat uit vader Laurens (Ton Lensink)... See full synopsis »




1986   1985  


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Series cast summary:
Sigrid Koetse ...
 Charlotte (12 episodes, 1985-1986)
Ton Lensink ...
 Laurens (12 episodes, 1985-1986)
Adrienne Kleiweg ...
 Margot (12 episodes, 1985-1986)
Coen Flink ...
 Jan (12 episodes, 1985-1986)
 René (12 episodes, 1985-1986)
Josine van Dalsum ...
 Annelies (12 episodes, 1985-1986)
Bram van der Vlugt ...
 Godfried (12 episodes, 1985-1986)
Nelleke Zitman ...
 Lucy (10 episodes, 1986)
Jeanne Verstraete ...
 Greet (10 episodes, 1985-1986)
Trees van der Donck ...
 Katrien (7 episodes, 1985-1986)
René van Asten ...
 Valentijn (6 episodes, 1986)
Hetty Verhoogt ...
 Hilde (6 episodes, 1986)


De serie gaat over de familie Van Langevelt en speelt zich af op landgoed 'De Appelgaard'. Het gezin bestaat uit vader Laurens (Ton Lensink)... See full synopsis »

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Release Date:

22 December 1985 (Netherlands)  »

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Sepia flashbacks don't look good when shot on video
22 September 2009 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Having learned from his experience writing and directing "De Weg" in 1983, Willy van Hemert brought an improved script to his 1985 drama series "De Appelgaard" but also repeated some of the same faults and came up with a couple of brand new ones. "De Appelgaard" is a bit more soapy than 'De Weg' and perhaps therefore somewhat more enjoyable. It also helps that there are more sympathetic character this time around, and even the unsympathetic ones aren't completely despicable all the time. The story is told by way of a complicated flashback structure, starting off in 1986 with the bulk of it taking place in 1976 and 1977 and with some further flashbacks to the 30s and 40s to boot. To differentiate between the times, the ones that are set the earliest are all broadcast in sepia brown, which unfortunately does not look good at all when shot on video and on location. The lengthy flashbacks in the first episode are therefore somewhat of a chore to sit through, but luckily they become less and less as the story progresses.

"De Appelgaard" concerns two women: Margot (Adrienne Kleiweg) and her overbearing mother Charlotte (Sigrid Koetse). No matter how hard she tries, Margot is unable to break lose from her mother's iron will. Charlotte for her part only seems to love two things: herself and the apple yard of the title. As a young woman, Charlotte put her mind to obtaining the stately house surrounded by apple trees and saw no objection to dumping her devoted lover Godfried Kramer (Bram van der Vlugt) for Laurens van Langeveld (Ton Lensink) merely because the latter got possession of the property in question. Margot and her brother René (played as an adult by Frederik de Groot) were born of this marriage, but during the war Laurens was captured for a brief time and Charlotte fled back to Godfried, with whom she had another son, Valentijn (René van Asten). Although Valentine's real heritage was barely kept secret and Laurens raised him as his own. Also despite the intense rivalry between Godfried and Laurens, René ended up marrying Godfried's daughter Annelies and eventually came to run Kramer's stone factory.

All of the above is treated as mere sidetracks and subplots to the actual heart of the story: the struggle of Margot to escape from her under her mother's wings. A gifted pianist, Margot had fallen in love with art dealer Jan (Coen Flink) but kept this a secret from her parents for several years. When she finally revealed her love for Jan, Charlotte immediately began having heart problems and made Margot swear to take care of her, as well as her father in case Charlotte passed away. And weak minded Margot, despite objections from all the other family members, falls for her mother's manipulations every time. It is her lover Jan who recaps each episode through voice-over at the start of each installment, giving interesting insight into the situation as he is looking back at it all from the present day. And just like in the aforementioned series "De Weg", no effort seems to have been made at all to recreate the look and style of the late seventies for the scenes which take place in those years (which is almost every scene). The sepia segments set before and during WWII come of better, but then they are mostly shot indoors.

Still, the character development does work as one never knows exactly how each member of the family is going to react to the latest developments instigated by Charlotte. For instance, Laurens may seem a meek and docile husband content with staying in the background, but he has an agenda of his own. And youngest son Valentijn, although he only appears in a couple of episodes, seems to have inherited most of his mother's personality and comes up with one zinger after another. As for the romance between Jan and Margot, one episode is almost entirely devoted to their trip to Egypt. This was shot on location and includes a lot of beautiful sights, as well as a lot of surprised Egyptians caught on camera (and looking straight into it for the most part). Also worth noting is that Van Hemert also wrote another part specifically for Gina Hobson, a young girl with Down syndrome who also appeared in "De Weg". Must be an acquaintance of the family.

8 out of 10

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