A classic to celebrate 50 years

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Recently BBC2 has been celebrating its fifty years of broadcasting history. One of the mainstays of the channel from its earliest times was the classic serial.

Forty years ago, in 1974, the main one was The Pallisers, an adaptation by Simon Raven of six of Anthony Trollope’s novels.

This serial – set in the Victorian era - is being rerun starting next Monday at twelve noon with the second episode following directly after it.

Then it will be continue to be shown on weekdays for five weeks until it completes its twenty six episode run. The most recent BBC costume drama – Jamaica Inn – was heavily criticised in some quarters because of the indistinct nature of some of its dialogue.

No such problems with The Pallisers! But while the new Jamaica Inn looked very filmic – in the 1970s these classic serials tended to more resemble a theatrical production. Central to the TV version of The Pallisers, is the relationship between the rather dour and serious Parliamentarian Plantagenet Palliser (Philip Latham) and the rather more outgoing Glencora (Susan Hampshire).

During the course of the serial viewers will get to see how Plantagenet’s political career progresses and the very interesting people that he meets on his journey.

It also shows how Glencora reacts to her changing circumstances.

There is an added dimension to Plantagenet’s story, in that he is also the heir of the Duke of Omnium (Roland Culver).

The serial is full of many wellknown actors and actresses some famous at the time – others about to become famous. Overall it is an excellent piece of television.

However if you aren’t available to watch it live, DVD box sets at a reasonable price, are available!

Ian K