Based on E. F. Benson's highly regarded novels from the 1920s and 1930s, this is a great comedy series filmed by L.W.T. for a young Channel 4. Being written during the era, the books, and this beautifully filmed adaptation, are spot on. It Stars Prunella Scales, Nigel Hawthorne and Geraldine McEwan. Visually it's not unlike Diana Rigg's "Mrs Bradley Mysteries", although this series follows a far darker and ruthless battle for social supremacy in the small town of Tilling (clearly based on Rye, East Sussex, where Benson was Mayor from 1934). Naturally this series was filmed in Rye and neighbouring Winchelsea.
Mrs Emmeline Lucas, known to her friends as Lucia, is a dreadful snob, but in Miss Elizabeth Mapp of Mallards, Lucia meets her match. Underlying the etiquette and politeness is a bitter and seething malice that unleashes the terrible weapons of garden parties, bridge evenings and afternoon teas. Although this may not sound promising material for modern-day viewers, the series [and books] are very funny and engage your interest just to see how sophisticated Lucia and frumpy Mapp score off each other and extricate themselves from social disasters. The witty and amusing episodes are based on the last three of Benson's books, and have a similar feel to P.G. Woodhouse's classic "Jeeves and Wooster".
DVD sound is English [mono] audio only, there's no subtitles, no extras, and picture/sound quality is fine on the small screen, although the colour is a little washed out [as is common with 35mm transfers]. This DVD set has all ten 50 minute episodes of Mapp and Lucia [two seasons of five episodes, first broadcast in 1985 & 1986, with a total DVD run time of 500 minutes]. It's a delight to watch, and all for just £15 or so.