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The Barchester Chronicles 

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.
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1982  
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Donald Pleasence ...  Rev. Septimus Harding 7 episodes, 1982
Janet Maw Janet Maw ...  Eleanor Bold / ... 7 episodes, 1982
Nigel Hawthorne ...  Archdeacon Theophilus Grantly 7 episodes, 1982
Angela Pleasence ...  Susan Grantly 7 episodes, 1982
Barbara Flynn ...  Mary Bold 6 episodes, 1982
Clive Swift ...  Bishop Proudie 5 episodes, 1982
Geraldine McEwan ...  Mrs. Proudie 5 episodes, 1982
Alan Rickman ...  Obadiah Slope 5 episodes, 1982
Susan Hampshire ...  La Signora Madeline Vesey Neroni 5 episodes, 1982
Susan Edmonstone Susan Edmonstone ...  Charlotte Stanhope 5 episodes, 1982
Peter Blythe ...  Bertie Stanhope 5 episodes, 1982
Joseph O'Conor ...  Mr. Bunce 4 episodes, 1982
William Redgrave William Redgrave ...  Samuel Grantly 3 episodes, 1982
Cyril Luckham ...  Bishop Grantly 3 episodes, 1982
Christopher Maynard Christopher Maynard ...  Baby John Bold 3 episodes, 1982
Jonathan Adams ...  Mr. Quiverful 3 episodes, 1982
Maggie Jones Maggie Jones ...  Letitia Quiverful 3 episodes, 1982
Clifford Parrish Clifford Parrish ...  Abel Handy 3 episodes, 1982
Derek New Derek New ...  Francis Arabin 3 episodes, 1982
David Gwillim ...  John Bold 2 episodes, 1982
Trevor Baxter ...  Dr. Gwynne 2 episodes, 1982
George Costigan ...  Tom Towers 2 episodes, 1982
Wally Thomas ...  Mr. Moody 2 episodes, 1982
Richard Bebb Richard Bebb ...  Dr. Vesey Stanhope 2 episodes, 1982
Kenneth Keeling Kenneth Keeling ...  Mr. Gazy 2 episodes, 1982
Denis Carey Denis Carey ...  Job Skulpit 2 episodes, 1982
Richard Leech ...  Wilfred Thorne 2 episodes, 1982
Ursula Howells Ursula Howells ...  Miss Thorne 2 episodes, 1982
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Storyline

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 Lulupalooza

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 1982 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Barchester Chronicles See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donald Pleasence was cast at short notice, after the death of the actor who was first cast in the role. See more »

Quotes

Bishop Grantly: We need you in the town.
Rev. Septimus Harding: Do you really think so?
Bishop Grantly: Yes, to talk to, to take wine with.
Rev. Septimus Harding: And to poke the fire.
[walks over to the fireplace]
Bishop Grantly: If you would be so kind. You know, when anybody else does that, the room fills with smoke. I think it is because you are a pure man adrift among sinners. Sinners are so much easier to cope with.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Timeshift: Alan Plater: Hearing the Music (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Faithfully serene
25 May 2001 | by hgallonSee all my reviews

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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