Barchester Chronicles


The Barchester Chronicles was a 1982 British television mini-series produced by the BBC, an adaptation of the Barchester novels: The Warden and Barchester Towers written by Anthony Trollope. [synopsis can be found here]
Trollope's other books which have been adapted into film include The Way We Live Now, He Knew He Was Right and The Pallisers.

I started watching this series based on a friend's recommendation and wasn't sold on it at first. But with her encouragement, I stuck with it and was glad that I did. Nigel Hawthorne is priceless as the minister who 'squawks' at every opportunity and Alan Rickman is delightfully ingratiating and manipulative at the same time. And I think that Geraldine McEwan would give Sinead Cusack a run for her money for the mumble grumble award... :) [after watching North and South, Mrs. Thornton has now been dubbed with that name]


If you'd like to see the series, most of it is on youtube but not in its entirety...

Cast list:
Donald Pleasance as Mr Harding,
Nigel Hawthorne as Archdeacon Grantly
Angela Pleasence as Mrs Grantly
Cyril Luckham as Bishop Grantly
David Gwillim as John Bold
George Costigan as Tom Towers
John Ringham as Finney
Barbara Flynn as Mary Bold
Janet Maw as Eleanor Harding
Clive Swift as Bishop Proudie
Geraldine McEwan as Mrs Proudie
Alan Rickman as Obadiah Slope
Susan Hampshire as Signora Madeline Neroni
Ursula Howells as Miss Thorne.

Alan Rickman as Obadiah Slope
(previously known as Obadiah Slop, something that amused me to no end)



Nigel Hawthorne as Archdeacon Grantley doing his "squawking"


Clive Swift and Geraldine McEwan
(as Bishop and Mrs. Proudie)


Donald Pleasance and Janet Maw
(Mr. Harding and daughter Eleanor)
As much as I find much of the plot to be humorous,
their relationship keeps the plot sincere.


Angela Pleasance (Mrs. Grantly) shown on right
and daughter of Mr. Harding (played by her real-life father)


Barbara Flynn and David Gwillim
(Mary and her brother John Bold)


Susan Hampshire as Signora Madeline Neroni






I loved watching the showdowns between Mrs. Proudie and Slope...



Memorable quotes:

Rev. Septimus Harding: If there is no music, there is no mystery. If there is no mystery, there is no God. If there is no mystery, there is no faith. Have I lived for sixty years on a misunderstanding?

Eleanor Bold: 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.
Eleanor Bold: It is an awful lot of trouble to go to, father.
Rev. Septimus Harding: I would do the same for Mr. Slope anytime.

Rev. Septimus Harding: I have listened to the word of Obadiah Slope. More important, I have listened to the music of his soul, and I found the melody somewhat tasteless.
Mary Bold: But you must consider the possibility that you misunderstand him.
Rev. Septimus Harding: Yes. And you must consider the possibility that I understand him TOTALLY! And that is why I prefer to wait upon the bishop and his decision - which, I suppose, means Mrs. Proudie's decision.

Obadiah Slope, as he greets them: Mrs. Bold, Miss Bold and young master Bold. I am quite overcome with your boldness.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this series! Especially Donald Pleasence and Alan Rickman - just perfect as Mr Harding and Obadiah Slope. Sheer viewing heaven... Judy

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