Fleur and Jon meet again after 7 years when she stops in at her Aunt Winifred's, purportedly to check the strike's canteen accounts, but really to see him. She invites Winifred, Holly ... See full summary »

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(novel), (dramatisation)
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Andrew Armour ...
Jack Cardigan (as Richard Armour)
June Barry ...
...
Jonathan Burn ...
...
Stainford
...
Rev. Hilary Charwell
Anne De Vigier ...
Karin Fernald ...
Anne Forsyte née Wilmot
...
...
Maggie Jones ...
...
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Nicholas Pennell ...
...
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Fleur and Jon meet again after 7 years when she stops in at her Aunt Winifred's, purportedly to check the strike's canteen accounts, but really to see him. She invites Winifred, Holly Dartie, Jon and his American wife Anne to lunch and then suggests an outing to Robin Hill. Anne feels the connection between Jon and Fleur and asks Irene to tell her the Forsyte family history. Michael gets involved in a major slum renovations project when his uncle, Rev. Hilary Charwell, arranges to buy an entire street. The only problem is that he has no money and he gets Michael to organize a fundraising effort. Val Dartie gets a visit from an old schoolmate, Stainford, who wants to borrow money. With Val having entered a horse in the Gold Cup at Ascot, Winifred arranges an outing for Fleur to join her and to Fleur's surprise, her father Soames agrees to go as well. At Ascot both Soames and Irene see Jon and Fleur spending time together. June asks Fleur to sit for a portrait by Harold Blade, another ... Written by garykmcd

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Drama

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15 March 1970 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Noon at Robin Hill, Afternoon at Ascot
27 February 2016 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

As one of the final episodes of the serial, "Afternoon at Ascot" may be found truly interesting and arousing tensions due to its more focused content. Although the title may suggest a great public event at Ascot Racecourse, there are no holistic scenes and the particular wins over the general.

Having fed Jon well at the canteen, the episode's opening scene of Fleur (Susan Hampshire) and Jon (Martin Jarvis) nicely hits the note for the fore-coming, and perhaps quite predictable, feelings that will emerge within and between the relationships. Two couples touched by the influence of their past...Michael is the best man Fleur knows and Anne is the best woman Jon knows. Yet, their past experiences exist within 'memories recollected in tranquility' for poetical Jon and possessive instinct for dominating Fleur described by Anne (Karin Fernals) as "lovely, clever, quick, polished." Consequently, none seems to be unable to remember how to forget...

Fleur becomes Anne's sort of rival as Jon becomes a suspicion for Michael who cannot find out the truth from his wife who conceals everything but directs his steps to June.

Two places mark the centerpiece of the episode brilliantly directed by David Giles and dramatized by the producer Donald Wilson. First, it is Robin Hill, the 'relic' so to say of some Forsytes with that famous view that the 'four-in-hand' Forsyte uncle Swithin used to admire. Winifred, Fleur, Jon, Anne, Holly visit the place filled with memories. 'What is it about Robin Hill?' Anne asks Irene later in a highly subtle scene of peace and quiet accompanied by doves and preceded by daydreaming. Note the significant symmetry to many scenes of Old Jolyon at Robin Hill with Irene in the episode "Indian Summer of a Forsyte." Irene tells her the story of its extravagant architect and its admirer Old Jolyon who found his peace there as well as her memories of living there with Jo. The second place is Ascot marking the Forsytes' national identity where even aging Soames turns up at the racecourse in a gray topper. How memorable he is in this topper and with those binoculars which lets his emotions go a bit uncontrolled. Yet, not merely the race is the reason for some disappointment and even shock.

And Michael? The single hearted Michael (Nicholas Penell) stays away from the two places and the schemes being absorbed by something that, perhaps, most reveals his philanthropic nature and lively ideas for the future of the country and its society. This time, his commitment does not revolve around foggatism or birth control that he happens to hear about in the Ministry of Health (mind you the context of the very times of the 1920s and the dramatic changes in social situations), but...slum conversion fund. While the Forsytes admire the luxury and avant garde of Robin Hill, he visits the slum district being dis-tasted by the living conditions and meeting two perfectly memorable people: uncle Hilary Charwell (Peter Copley) and one Mrs Brewer (Rose Power). While the former one gives him an undeniably promising proposition, the latter one is a true representative of the lower class and draws a parallel to the Bickets earlier in the episodes.

A committee to be created, a committee of creative men who will deal with the slum conversion and, perhaps, dispossess the landlords of slum districts. What a challenge for Michael to look for professional, honest men! The funny thing is the idea who will actually be employed to the committee. Propositions vary from Marquess (George Benson), one of the funniest and most lovable supporting characters who believes in electricity and detests smoke (his motto will be 'electrify kitchens') to some domestic characters like his next-door neighbor. Taking his father's advice, Michael cannot afford cleverness but characters. One candidate is Wilfred Bentworth (George Merritt) who knows everything about the fattening stock, a 'solid fella behind the times' for Marquess. But that will be developed more memorably in the next episode. For now, we can delight in a terrific scene of the three: Marquess, Sir Lawrence Mont 'young Mont' and Michael. Like once the son of the Superior Dosset, Old Jolyon, Marquess gives them a glass of Madeira and delivers some lines of specific humour and cleverness.

Among the interesting devices displayed in the episode, a mention must be made of Fleur's 'music player' and Winifred's telephone which mark the very times the story is set in.

Finally, however, it is the artistic personalities that seem to take over and June offers Fleur to sit for the portrait. The upcoming portrait of Fleur is not merely a painting but an insight into the very soul of hers, either for a man or a child revealing her schemes and passions. Fleur...awaken, still there wanting her first love, tired of the best man she knows...


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