Irene and Jolyon are named as co-respondents by Soames in divorce proceedings but the suit only serves to draw them closer together. When the divorce is finalized, Jolyon and Irene marry ... See full summary »



(dramatisation), (novel)

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Episode credited cast:
Terence Alexander ...
John Barcroft ...
John Baskcomb ...
Mischa De La Motte ...
Anne De Vigier ...
Lee Fox ...
Dr. Cumming
Sarah Harter ...
Francie Forsyte
Maggie Jones ...
Cameron Miller ...
Dalia Penn ...
Ellen Pollock ...


Irene and Jolyon are named as co-respondents by Soames in divorce proceedings but the suit only serves to draw them closer together. When the divorce is finalized, Jolyon and Irene marry and she later gives birth to a son, also called Jolyon but who they will refer to as Jon. Soames decides to retire and sells his practice to another firm. He will continue his art collection and bequeath it to the nation on his death. He proposes to Annette Lamotte who accepts. They are soon married but just as Annette goes into premature labor, Soames' father James takes a turn for the worse and is lying on his deathbed. Annette gives birth to a daughter, Fleur. Holly and Val marry in South Africa. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

21 December 1969 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Clair de Lune
Written by Claude Debussy
(Irene plays on piano)
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User Reviews

Birth/Death of a Forsyte Generation
1 November 2015 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

"So you're together..." the man of property says to the couple in an embarrassing way.

Yes, Irene and her trustee Jo are together and no one can any longer stand in their way. The harsh confrontation between two cousins, Soames and Jo, begins this episode. But there is far more important aspect highlighted here: a borderline between two ages within the Forsyte family, passing of an age and coming of a new hope; some die, others are born.

In one scene, Jo says in his typically reflective manner "We live in the memory of those who loved us. When they are gone, we must die too." He refers to his son Jolly who dies at the war in Africa. But that is not the only passing...

With that in mind, Lawrie Craig's screenplay beautifully adapts the novel's chapters focusing on that continuity of events. Indeed, the most significant moment of the episode is the death of Queen Victoria and the interesting archive footages incorporated into the scenes and nicely put within the frame of the plot. The queen's death is certainly an event that makes all England united, prompts them stop for a while and afford themselves a moment of silence when the funeral procession passes by. Even Forsytes are united, (some elder ones saw the queen crowned) but some of them find this togetherness of thoughts temporary... Here, a mention about the scene when Soames and Annette are in the crowd near Jo and Irene. Soon, the story leads us to stark contrasts.

Lawrie Craig's dramatization of the episode along with David Giles' skillful direction mark the accurate discrepancies between these two couples. While Jo and Irene appear to build their life together having learned on certain mistakes made in previous relationships and focus primarily on mutual understanding, humour, enchantment and a sense of confidence and comfort, Soames and Annette, despite the age difference, occur to highlight property (something indeed easy to foresee). Consider the two moments: first Jo asking Irene "Am I to be trusted?" and Soames to Annette "What do I offer you?" offer... Although he seems to do all his best and his intellect reveals his age, there is a gap of emotional maturity. Simply too much of authoritative approach, too many parental looks. Referred to as "perfect match for anyone, considerable, careful" by some members of the elderly generation, he does not appear to be one for Annette. Yet, she decides to marry him. There is a wonderful scene not to be skipped at uncle Timothy's when Annette is introduced to the Forsyte family. Some elderly ladies again burst of curiosity, other elderly and younger gentlemen are more skeptical calling Soames 'a lucky devil,' the humour reaches its climax when she mentions Soho.

On the subject of death vs. birth, the drama is increased for Soames alone. After he makes a risky decision about the birth of his child due to certain complications, he goes to visit his dying father James. Mind you the moment he comes to his father. There lies the key to Soames' upbringing and a wonderful source of psychological analysis. He says to his father "I have a son" though he already knows that it is a daughter. This news of male representative of a new generation allows his old father feel at more ease in his last moments on earth.

But Soames' daughter is not the only new life, Irene is also expecting. Will their lives be united somehow? Can little Fleur bring some hearty feelings to the legal mind of her father?

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