The Forsyte Saga: To Let

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The Forsyte Saga: To Let is a 2003 British television serial produced by Granada Television for the ITV network, based on the book by John Galsworthy. The serial portrays the last book of The Forsyte Saga, To Let. It was made following the successful 2002 serial The Forsyte Saga in 2002.

Cast[edit]

Many of the original cast members returned including Damian Lewis as Soames, Gina McKee as Irene and Rupert Graves as Jolyon along with Lee Williams as Jon and Emma Griffiths Malin as Fleur.

Character Actor Description
Soames Forsyte Damian Lewis a solicitor, Fleur's father
Irene Forsyte Gina McKee Jolyon's third wife, Soames's first wife
Young Jolyon Forsyte Rupert Graves a painter, married to Irene
Fleur Forsyte Emma Griffiths Malin Soames and Annette's daughter
Jon Forsyte Lee Williams Jolyon and Irene's son
June Forsyte Gillian Kearney Jolyon's daughter from his first marriage
Annette Forsyte Beatriz Batarda Soames's second wife, Fleur's mother
Winifred Dartie Amanda Root Soames's sister
Montague Dartie Ben Miles Winifred's husband
Prosper Profond Michael Maloney Winifred's admirer, Annette's lover
Aunt Hester Forsyte Ann Bell the last of the old Forsytes
George Forsyte Alistair Petrie Soames and Winifred's cousin
Val Dartie Julian Ovenden Winifred and Montague's son
Holly Dartie (née Forsyte) Amanda Ryan Val's wife, Jolyon's daughter from his second marriage
Michael Mont Oliver Milburn a baronet, Fleur's future husband

Episode plots[edit]

Episode One[edit]

Nine years have passed since the events of the first series. June Forsyte (Gillian Kearney ) takes her half brother Jon on an impromptu visit to her Aunt Hester’s (Ann Bell) only to discover that it is her birthday and a party is being held with other members of the Forsyte family, including Soames and his daughter Fleur. The children are encouraged to play outside and playing by a pond Fleur soils her dress with mud. Soames shouts at Jon for encouraging bad behaviour. Back at Robin Hill, Irene Forsyte is angry when Jon talks about the “nasty man” that yelled at him and is disappointed that June should have exposed him to that side of the family hoping that he will forget the encounter quickly.

Eleven years later in 1920, June is running a fashionable gallery in London and has a new exhibition. Soames and Fleur attend the gallery, not knowing it is June's, and run into Irene and Jon there. Irene is instantly made ill at ease with the presence of Soames, but Jon and Fleur seem to be intrigued with one another, especially upon discovering that they are, as Soames puts it “distant” cousins. Irene is disturbed by the meeting and tells her husband Jolyon that Jon appeared to be “entranced’ by Fleur. He tells her not to worry and that boys of his age are fickle and that the interest will pass.

At her 18th birthday party, knowing that Holly Dartie (Amanda Ryan) is Jon’s half sister (and that he is currently staying at Val (Julian Ovenden) and Holly’s farm) Fleur invites herself to stay with them in order to meet Jon again. At the farm, when Jon is introduced to Fleur she pretends they have not met before and sneaks off early one morning to find Jon, who is working at the farm of Mr Maple nearby. The two connect immediately and both wonder what secrets in their family’s past have created the feud between their families. They agree to keep their friendship a secret. However, Holly is becoming aware that something is between them and confides in her father Jolyon and stepmother Irene who are worried.

Meanwhile Soames has met returned serviceman Michael Mont (Oliver Milburn) at an art auction where the two bid for a painting by Degas of a girl who Soames believes shares a resemblance with his daughter, Soames invites the young man to his home to see the rest of his art collection.

Montague Dartie (Ben Miles), his son Val, cousin George (Alistair Petrie) and Jon Forsyte meet with Prosper Profond (Michael Maloney), a wealthy French Armenian they share an interest in horse racing with, and he starts a seemingly harmless flirtation with Monty’s wife Winifred (Amanda Root). One evening Prosper claims to have to work and cancels an evening at the opera with Winifred. Later that evening however, Monty sees Prosper leaving the Opera in the company of Soames’s wife Annette.

Jolyon Forsyte visits his doctor and is told that he has a weak heart and that he should not exert himself. Despite this Jolyon confronts Soames telling him to use his influence over his daughter to put an end to their children’s friendship before it goes any further. Soames thinks Jolyon a hypocrite considering that he has always taken pride in following his heart.

Episode Two[edit]

After a week Fleur and Jon leave Holly and Val’s farm by train and Jon becomes jealous when he sees Michael Mont collecting Fleur by boat to take her home to MapleDurham and Irene takes Jon on holiday to Paris in order to try to prevent his and Fleur’s relationship from blossoming.

Soames and his wife Annette (Beatriz Batarda) host a country weekend to encourage a match between Fleur and Michael however Fleur is pining for the loss of Jon and does not warm to Michael’s advances. While the guests are being farewelled Fleur and her friend Cherry (Olivia Lumley) see Annette and Prosper in each other’s arms in the garden and Fleur is outraged at her betrayal of Soames.

While Irene and Jon are away, missing Jon, Fleur goes to Robin Hill. Jolyon does not know her true identity and invites her in for lemonade and bemoans the fact that he is missing Irene and Jon. Jolyon tells June he is ill and Irene and Jon return home, their attempt at having him forget about Fleur having failed. He is missing her more every day and as soon as they arrive home the pair reunite, Fleur confessing to Jon that she visited Robin Hill in his absence.

Fleur has discovered a photograph of Irene in a frame behind one of her mother and assumes that Jolyon stole Irene from Soames and this is the reason for the family feud.

After his usual run of bad luck Monty Dartie gets onto a winning streak only to be killed in a car accident on his way home with his winnings. At his funeral Prosper tells Fleur that her father and Jon’s mother were in fact married and divorced.

Immediately after the funeral, Fleur goes to Robin Hill to tell Jon her discovery and is forced to have tea with Irene and Jolyon, who is obviously furious at having been deceived by her when his wife and son were abroad. After an argument with his parents Jon leaves Robin Hill and heads to one of Farmer Maple’s cottages.

Episode Three[edit]

Fleur arrives at the cottage and, though they sleep in separate beds, their love increases with Jon’s estrangement from his family. While Jon is out working one day Jolyon arrives and implores Fleur to give up Jon, telling her he is ill and he needs Jon by his side more than ever. She does not tell Jon of their conversation and despite her assurances to Jolyon, she and Jon plan to elope to Scotland in three weeks time, where they do not need parental consent to marry.

An anonymous letter arrives at MapleDurham telling Soames of his wife’s affair with Prosper; however she laughs it off as gossip and falsehood and continues her liaison. Soon after however, Prosper advises that he has tired of England and is going abroad. Soames is pleased but sees how much it has hurt Annette and tries to comfort her as best he can.

Michael Mont asks Soames to become a formal suitor for Fleur’s hand and two weeks later the pair are invited, along with Fleur’s parents, to join Winifred in her tent at the Eton-Harrow cricket match. While there, Soames is upset at the sight of Jolyon and Irene, obviously still very much in love, and Jon and Fleur manage a rendezvous that is seen by Jolyon. Prosper arrives at the cricket match and manages to woo back Annette and Soames angrily resigns himself to the fact that he has an unfaithful wife for a second time.

After the cricket match Jolyon confesses to Irene that he is unwell and they agree to tell Jon the truth about the past and Soames obsession with his mother. After this painful confession Jolyon suffers a massive heart attack and dies in the arms of his wife and son.

After his family have spread his ashes on the grave of Jolyon’s father, Fleur, being stood up at the train station for their elopement, arrives at Robin Hill to see Jon. Grief-stricken and emotional, Jon gives in to temptation and he and Fleur make love. The couple are caught by June who berates Jon for being so stupid and unfeeling on that day of all days.

Episode Four[edit]

Fleur returns home and insists that nothing can prevent her and Jon from being together and convinces Soames to speak with Irene on her behalf. The pair travel to Robin Hill but because of his parents' revelations about the past and also because he witnesses Soames's obsessive behaviour toward his mother; Jon turns Soames from the house and refuses to see Fleur who calls to Jon desperately from the garden.

Finally Jon and Irene go out to her and she accuses Irene of trying to keep Jon “all to herself” claiming “he’s mine!” It is then that Jon realises that she is like her father, and thinks of people as being possessions. Fleur, exhausted, reluctantly goes home with her father.

Fleur, like her father when Irene left him, takes to her bed and refuses to see her father whom she blames for her disappointment, but over time is again wooed by Michael Mont and, thinking all hope lost for her and Jon, eventually agrees to an engagement.

Prosper Profond visits Robin Hill with Holly to offer Jon some work and tells him of Fleur’s romance with Michael. Jon is incensed that she should so quickly take up with someone else and Prosper facilitates a meeting between them. Jon tries to convince Fleur not to marry Michael, even though he cannot bring himself to hurt his family by being with her. She accuses him of being the one to treat her like a possession and says “If you won’t have me then I’ll do it my own way – and I’ll forget about you Jon Forsyte – I swear I will!”

Fleur’s feud with her father continues until the day of her wedding when Soames confesses to his abuse of Irene all those years ago and laments that every time they meet Irene thinks only of that moment. Fleur softens toward him at this revelation, convinced that it is better to be in a loveless marriage than to be exposed to heartbreak as her father was with Irene, and Michael and Fleur marry.

Soames arrives at Robin Hill and there is a “To Let” sign on the front gate. He has come to give the Degas painting that resembles Fleur to Jon. Both he and Irene question whether parting the young lovers was the right thing to do and admit that they miss the company of their children – Jon is abroad and Fleur on her honeymoon. They part with a handshake. When Parfit, the butler, asks what the visitor wanted Irene responds with surprise “He didn’t want anything.”

External links[edit]