The series follows a ruthless 19th century Northumberland Squire, Thomas Mallen, and the tumultuous lives of his multiple illegitimate children distinguishable by a white streak in their hair.
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Episodes

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Years



2   1  
1980   1979  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Caroline Blakiston ...  Anna Brigmore / ... 13 episodes, 1979-1980
Mary Healey ...  Mary Peel 11 episodes, 1979-1980
Gillian Lewis ...  Jane Radlet 9 episodes, 1979-1980
Matthew Long Matthew Long ...  Harry Bensham 8 episodes, 1979-1980
John Duttine ...  Donald Radlet 7 episodes, 1979
Ian Saynor ...  Matthew Radlet 7 episodes, 1979
Pippa Guard ...  Barbara Farrington 7 episodes, 1979
Julia Chambers Julia Chambers ...  Constance Radlet / ... 7 episodes, 1979
June Ritchie ...  Constance Radlet 6 episodes, 1980
Juliet Stevenson ...  Barbara Mallen / ... 6 episodes, 1980
Gerry Sundquist ...  Michael Radlet 6 episodes, 1980
John Southworth John Southworth ...  Michael Radlet Sr. 6 episodes, 1979
Neil Dickson ...  John Bensham 6 episodes, 1979-1980
Jeremy Clay Jeremy Clay ...  Jim Waite 6 episodes, 1980
Julie Shipley Julie Shipley ...  Sarah Waite 6 episodes, 1980
Michael Thomas Michael Thomas ...  Dan Bensham 6 episodes, 1980
Victoria Williams Victoria Williams ...  Kate Bensham 6 episodes, 1980
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Storyline

The series follows a ruthless 19th century Northumberland Squire, Thomas Mallen, and the tumultuous lives of his multiple illegitimate children distinguishable by a white streak in their hair.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 May 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Mallens See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Granada Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(7 episodes)

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
engrossing melodrama from the Cookson library
17 October 2009 | by didi-5See all my reviews

'The Mallens' was originally transmitted as two films and has since been reissued on DVD as four separate instalments - The Mallen Streak, The Mallen Girls; The Mallen Secret, The Mallen Curse. Based on Catherine Cookson's trilogy of novels, it was not liked by its author and prevented other adaptations being made of her work for many years.

But is it any good? The first part of the story is dominated, as it should be, by Squire Thomas Mallen, a man who a woman never said no to, rich, powerful, and morally corrupt. Played by John Hallam (who was surprisingly under 40 at the time, but has the acting authority to appear older), a complex character emerges who engages both the audience's revulsion and sympathy. His actions cause the rest of the saga to unfold, first affecting his nieces Barbara and Constance, and then the next generation of children.

Many emotionally charged scenes could prove laughable if not skilfully handled. I think the acting was overwrought in places (David Rintoul in the early scenes strutted a bit too much as the arrogant country gentleman), but with Caroline Blakiston, Anne Reid, June Ritchie, Juliet Stevenson, and others on the screen you can't go wrong. The second part centres on the second generation (Juliet Stevenson and Gerry Sundquist), a bit like a pseudo Wuthering Heights - it's weaker, but by this time you care enough to see the saga through to the end.

A difficult adaptation of a difficult potboiler saga. Catherine Cookson should have been proud. It may not appeal to everyone, but there's no denying its power.


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