The Pallisers

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The Pallisers
Alt=Series title over a painting of a Peacock and series characters
Genre Costume drama
Based on Novels by Anthony Trollope
Written by Simon Raven
Starring
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 26
Production
Producer(s) Martin Lisemore
Running time 50 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel BBC Two
Original run 19 January 1974 (1974-01-19) – 21 November 1974 (1974-11-21)

The Pallisers is a 1974 BBC television adaptation of Anthony Trollope's Palliser novels. Set in Victorian era England with a backdrop of parliamentary life, Simon Raven's dramatisation covers six of Anthony Trollope's novels and follows the events of the characters over two decades.[1]

The series featured a huge cast of prominent and rising actors.

Background[edit]

Beginning with the story of Lady Glencora (Susan Hampshire), fiancée of the dry, aristocratic Plantagenet Palliser (Philip Latham) who will inherit the title of the Duke of Omnium (Roland Culver) from his uncle. Although they marry, Lady Glencora still pines for her unsuitable but handsome admirer Burgo Fitzgerald (Barry Justice).

Palliser becomes aware of this situation and takes his wife on a long tour of Europe, even though he had recently been offered the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer, the one political position he craves. While on their grand tour, the newlyweds come to a better understanding, and upon their return to London Glencora becomes an ambitious society hostess.

Whilst Plantagenet succeeds in his political aspirations, Irish barrister Phineas Finn (Donal McCann) is elected to Parliament for the family seat of Loughshane. In London, Finn rises quickly in high society and falls in love with Lady Laura Standish (Anna Massey) who is struggling to maintain her lifestyle after paying off her brother's (Lord Chiltern (John Hallam)) debts.

Lady Laura marries Robert Kennedy (Derek Godfrey), a wealthy Scottish MP and Finn is forced to resign after a defeat on the Irish Tenant Right. Lady Laura's marriage collapses and she moves to Germany. Finn spends Christmas with Lady Laura only to be accused of adultery by Kennedy. Finn is later arrested for murder but the Pallisers finance his defence.

Episode synopsis[2][edit]

1 to 6[edit]

Alice Vavasor cannot decide which man she loves; Glencora's love for Burgo Fitzgerald and her marriage to Plantagenet Palliser.

7 to 12[edit]

The start of Phineas Finn's political career and love for Lady Laura Kennedy, then Violet Effingham. The Duke of Omnium courts Madame Max Goesler.

13 to 19[edit]

The Eustace Diamonds disappear and Lizzie Eustace is embroiled in a society scandal. The Duke of Omnium dies and Plantagenet and Lady Glencora inherit the title. Phineas Finn is accused of murder and Madame Max arrives in Prague to find evidence to prove his innocence.

20 to 26[edit]

Plantagenet Palliser becomes Prime Minister. Lady Glencora becomes a society hostess. It concludes with the death of Glencora, and the story of the marriages of the children.

Production[edit]

Production stretched over 13 months and the series was transmitted at the height of industrial strikes, marked by Three-Day Weeks and power shortages. All this contributed to scheduling difficulties and though the series was meant to have finished in June, the final two episode didn't go out until November (because of strikes at the BBC).[3]

Cast (partial)[edit]

Crew[edit]

DVD release[edit]

All episodes of The Pallisers are available on DVD in Australia and the United Kingdom as well as North America.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.televisionheaven.co.uk/pallisers.htm The Pallisers - Television Heaven
  2. ^ http://www.anthonytrollope.com/tvandradio/thepallisers/ Anthony Trollope: TV and Radio: The Pallisers
  3. ^ http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/486381/index.html BFI Screenonline - The Pallisers (1974)

External links[edit]