7.5/10
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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

Author Mervyn Peake's granddaughters appeared as extras in this mini-series. 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

Spin-off The Boy in Darkness (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Gormenghastly
31 January 2000 | by wild_swanSee all my reviews

I first read the Gormenghast trilogy three years ago. Like most people who have read the books, I enjoyed them immensely. When I heard that the BBC had made a series, I was over the moon and re-read the books.

The cast were superb, especially Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Cecilia Imrie. I also enjoyed the sets and scenery, and the program makers should be congratulated for not giving us a dark, dank gothic pile.

It all looked very promising - yet somehow it fell flat. I think the main reason is that, compared to the books, there is far less subtlety in the characters. The character Steerpike is a victim of this. Instead of being a person who is highly intelligent, he occasionally seems rather foolish in his actions.

The plot has also been modified, and barely a single line from the book remains intact. Several events have been inserted (and several key ones removed!).

The main problem is that the books have a strange and surreal quality to them that it is hard to transfer to the screen. The same problem occurs with Wuthering Heights, and therefore most adaptations can never capture the spirit of the original book.


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