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.
As suggested by Bishop Proudie, the Rev. Septimus Harding calls on Rev. Obadiah Slope to discuss the possibility of being reappointed Warden of the hospital. Septimus is offended not only by Slope's ...
Obadiah Slope's machinations are slowly catching up to him. The Dean of Barchester Cathedral is on his death bed and many in the community are outraged when an article appears in the local newspaper ...
Follows the novels of Anthony Trollope. Beginning with the forced marriage of Glencora (Susan Hampshire), the lives of the friends and children of this couple are the subject of study. The ... See full summary »
At the center of the story is Augustus Melmotte, a European-born city financier, whose origins are as mysterious as his business dealings. Trollope describes him as 'something in the city',... See full summary »
Matthew Barnes is a young exec on the move up who finds himself a pawn in corporate in-fighting when he's sent to London to oversee a merger. He's to replace John Gissing; Gissing's gotten ... See full summary »
The daughter of a country doctor copes with an unwanted stepmother, an impetuous stepsister, burdensome secrets, the town gossips, and the tug on her own heartstrings for a man who thinks of her only as a friend.
Set right after World War II, a naive teenage girl joins a shabby theatre troupe in Liverpool. During a winter production of Peter Pan, the play quickly turns into a dark metaphor for youth... See full summary »
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
It seems a remarkable coincidence that you should return minutes after Mr. Slope's departure.
Rev. Septimus Harding:
Not at all a coincidence, my dear. I walked up and down at a safe distance until I was quite sure he had gone.
It is an awful lot of trouble to go to, father.
Rev. Septimus Harding:
I would do the same for Mr. Slope anytime.
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This was another historical series of novels, which the BBC faithfully adhered to (and they managed to run two unequally-sized volumes, "The Warden" and "Barchester Towers", together without the join showing).
Donald Pleasance, normally noted for playing Bond villains, played the modest and unctuous Septimus Harding brilliantly. Nigel Hawthorne, as his son-in-law Dr. Grantly, provided the perfect combative foil. However, Alan Rickman, in one of his first major roles as the scheming Obadiah Slope, may have stolen the show. Clive Swift, as the henpecked Bishop of Barchester, established and refined the character he was later to play as the husband of Hyacinth Bouquet in "real" comedy.
The location shots in cloisters give a very real impression of a withdrawn and contemplative clergy, obsessed with its own affairs and internal squabbles. The jarring note of the first two or three episodes, when John Bold questions whether a long-established tradition connected with a charitable bequest is indeed in the interests of the recipients of that charity, shows the how uneasy the various clerical characters are when dealing with the world outside.
Many of the shots in scenes in a flat countryside seemingly locked into August throughout the eight episodes which covered a span of several years, also give the impression of withdrawal from the day-to-day life of any activity but that of the church.
As an examination of the mores and attitudes of his period, Anthony Trollope produced a brilliant pair of novels. The BBC have produced an equally brilliant adaptation, although slow enough in pace to be almost soporific in parts.
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