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Gormenghast 

A villain threatens the rise of a new earl in an ancient kingdom.
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1  
2000  
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Based on the works of Mervyn Peake, the series chronicles the reign of the Groan Dynasty over Gormenghast Castle, an endless and crumbling castle with vast halls and serpentine corridors. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Warren Mitchell ...  Barquentine 4 episodes, 2000
Celia Imrie ...  Lady Gertrude 4 episodes, 2000
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ...  Steerpike 4 episodes, 2000
John Sessions ...  Dr. Prunesquallor 4 episodes, 2000
Christopher Lee ...  Flay 4 episodes, 2000
Neve McIntosh ...  Lady Fuchsia 4 episodes, 2000
Fiona Shaw ...  Irma Prunesquallor 4 episodes, 2000
Zoë Wanamaker ...  Clarice Groan 3 episodes, 2000
George Antoni George Antoni ...  Bookman 3 episodes, 2000
Lynsey Baxter ...  Cora Groan 3 episodes, 2000
June Brown June Brown ...  Nannie Slagg 3 episodes, 2000
Sean Hughes ...  Poet 3 episodes, 2000
Ian Richardson ...  Lord Groan 2 episodes, 2000
Stephen Fry ...  Professor Bellgrove 2 episodes, 2000
Richard Griffiths ...  Swelter 2 episodes, 2000
Eric Sykes ...  Mollocks 2 episodes, 2000
Windsor Davies ...  Rottcodd 2 episodes, 2000
Olga Sosnovska ...  Keda 2 episodes, 2000
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Storyline

Gormenghast is an ancient city-state which primarily consists of a rambling and crumbling castle. The narrative, based on the first two of the three Gormenghast novels by Mervyn Peake, begins with the birth of a son, Titus, to the 76th Earl, Sepulchrave Groan, and Countess Gertrude. This mismatched pair (he'd prefer the melancholy privacy of his library; she'd prefer the company of her menagerie of cats and birds) also have a teenaged daughter, Fuchsia, who resents her new brother but comes to love him dearly. Simultaneously, a young kitchen apprentice, Steerpike, takes advantage of an altercation between head cook Swelter and the Earl's manservant, Mr. Flay, and escapes from the kitchens. Gormenghast is rigidly feudal in structure, but Steerpike has ambitions. He befriends the imaginative, yearning Fuchsia, and through her becomes apprenticed to the castle physician, Dr. Prunesquallor, who lives with his man-hunting sister Irma. This position allows Steerpike to work his way into the... Written by G.M. Baxter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

For this family, tradition is the only thing worth living... See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

BBC Online | PBS [United States]

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 June 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gormenghast See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(4 parts)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sting owned the rights and planned to produce in the mid 1980s. He had hoped for Terry Gilliam to direct. See more »

Quotes

Steerpike: I understand!
Lady Fuchsia: No, you don't!
Steerpike: If I understand anything, I understand anger. And that's because I understand what it feels like to be rejected. And don't think I don't understand loneliness too.
Lady Fuchsia: I'm sorry!
[throws herself in his arms before soon after jerking away from him again]
Lady Fuchsia: No! No, this is horrible! YOU'RE horrible! You leave me alone! Never come near me!
[runs off]
Steerpike: [to himself] I can wait...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Goodbye 2000 (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
brilliant steerpike in fantastic mad world
17 April 2002 | by eb_redbaronSee all my reviews

i happened to see the last episode of gormenghast in the middle of the night one day and was instantly intrigued. although i had no idea what was going on i was glued to my seat by the surreal sets and costumes and, above all, by the intense and brilliant acting!

i bought the books and dvd at once and soon realized the difference. the books are beautifully written and have a life of their own that does indeed compare to tolkiens middle earth. but the tv-series is marvelous. i think the whole story is very close to the books and all the actors are amazing.

jonathan rhys meyers as steerpike is the main focus of attention, every time hes onscreen the whole story gets incredibly dynamic and his villain is the most attractive person ive seen in a film in a long time. his characters brilliance, but also suffering, are the main themes of the film, since titus doesnt really seem convincing. most of the other characters are rather one dimensional, but thats intended, since no one wants to change in gormenghast except steerpike. even fuchsia, who is so miserable cant overcome her prejudices in the end.

whats strange in the film is that, given rhys meyers steerpikes attraction and intelligence and force, still everybody is unwilling to accept his qualities. he stays forever the kitchen boy, even when the whole castle couldnt do without him anymore. his despair and ultimate madness are the result of that constant rejection.

the books especially, but also the film, are ultimately a description of a world without love, compassion or warmth. everyone is doomed to remain unhappy within the strict hierarchy and no talents whatsoever will elevate you.

steerpike in the books is primarily a monster and sadistic murderer, whose motive is simply to gain power. why mervyn peake wrote him as the one to propel the whole story forward and at the same time didnt make him into a positive figure, i dont understand. i know its criticising the british monarchy, but thats what makes the books so depressing, in my opinion.

in the film steerpike is the central character, hes extremely good looking and has plenty of emotions, mostly rage and the supressing of rage, (contrary to the books i think, where hes always cold). still the ending is inevitable, because in gormenghasts world no one is allowed to succeed.

the film itself is beautifully shot, the music is great, the sets a little disappointing, but the costumes are truly beautiful. what does outshine most other tv-productions however, is the brilliant acting from the entire cast, but mainly rhys meyers powerful performance.


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