Having almost given up on Hadleigh after Series 1 ( I still stand by what I said in that review ), I am really glad that I decided to stick with it. It has made excellent viewing and Gerald Harper has been brilliant, as has Ambrosine Philpotts as Lady Helen.
This is the fourth and final series and everything seems to be going wrong for Hadleigh. His wife Jennifer, whom we never actually see again, wants him to divorce her and he reluctantly agrees. His love life seems doomed to failure. On top of this, he ill-advisedly gets involved in a business transaction which goes completely wrong and leaves him facing bankruptcy and the prospect of losing Melford Hall. His various attempts to raise money are to no avail and the future looks bleak. What is to become of him?
There are some familiar faces in this series including Stephanie Beacham, Peter Sallis, Gordon Jackson and Michael Elphick. The gap left by Hilary Dwyer as Jennifer is more than adequately filled by Jenny Twigge as Hadleigh's god-daughter Joanna Roberts. Oh, and Hadleigh's manservant Sutton has lost much of his pomposity -- he actually smiles now! The ending is extremely satisfying.
Included on Disc 4 is an hour-long documentary on the making of the series with contributions by Gerald Harper, Jane Merrow, Peter Dennis, Jenny Twigge and John Laurimore, as well as producers Terence Williams and Jacky Stoller. I had not realised that Gerald Harper played James Hadleigh in a previous series called 'Gazette' ( 1968 ) which ran for 13 episodes before giving way to 'Hadleigh'. If it still exists, hopefully Network will release it at some stage.
Amazingly, Gerald Harper is now 80 years old.