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The Jewel In The Crown: The Complete Series [DVD] [1984]

Charles Dance , Art Malik    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Price: £22.99
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Frequently Bought Together

The Jewel In The Crown: The Complete Series [DVD] [1984] + Staying On [DVD] + A Passage to India [DVD]
Price For All Three: £35.06

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Product details

  • Actors: Charles Dance, Art Malik, Peggy Ashcroft, Geraldine James, Frederick Treves
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Full Screen, Mono
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: ITV Studios
  • DVD Release Date: 18 April 2005
  • Run Time: 778 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00075141W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,505 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Granada TV's dramatisation of Paul Scott's novels about the last days of the British Raj in India. In 'Crossing the River' Daphne Mannings arrives in India for the first time and meets Hari Kumar. 'The Bibighar Gardens' sees the controversy around Daphne and Hari's relationship escalate to a surprising degree. 'Questions of Loyalty' has Hari remaining in prison while Daphne gives birth. 'Incidents at a Wedding' finds Meyrick serving as best man at Teddy and Susan's wedding. 'Regimental Silver' sees Susan prepare to celebrate her 21st birthday. 'Ordeal by Fire' has Meyrick reveal the details of Teddy's death. 'Daughters of the Regiment' finds Sarah the centre of attention when she visits Aunt Fenny. In 'The Day of the Scorpion' Sarah meets the Count while travelling home. 'The Towers of Silence' sees Barbie fall ill after a visit to the home of Captain Cowley. 'An Evening at the Maharanee's' has Meyrick interrogate some suspected traitors. 'Travelling Companion' finds Sarah promoted to the rank of Sergeant. 'The Moghul Room' sees Peron investigate the secrets in Meyrick's past. 'Pandora's Box' has Susie struggle to regain her balance after Meyrick's accident. And finally, in 'The Division of the Spoils', the story of Meyrick's demise is recounted in full.


Jewel In The Crown is a critically-acclaimed drama adaptation based on the Raj Quartet novels by Paul Scott. Set in the fictional city of Mayapore between 1942 and 1947--the years leading up to Indian independence--,it examines the complex relationship which existed between the British Empire and its "subjects", and depicts the lives and loves of people caught in the turbulence of India struggling to break the chains of oppression. The series specifically centres on the experiences of a public school-educated Indian named Hari Kumar (Art Malik), who is falsely accused of raping a British school girl. Whilst incarcerated, Hari is bullied and tortured by a sadistic British officer (played by Tim Pigott-Smith), who is aware of his innocence.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant British drama 10 Jan 2007
By Ruth
This is an emotionally absorbing, interesting, brilliantly acted and brilliantly directed T.V series. The start is breathtaking - Daphne Manners is enchanting and Hari Kumar is perfectly acted by the very attractive Art Malik.

The danger for this show was when, relatively near the start, both Hari and Daphne effectively vanish from the screen. Having become attached to these characters it is an act of will to continue watching. It is a testement to the series that it manages to make us do this. Although the few episodes following with Sarah and her family are not as absorbing and the storyline gets a little difficult to follow at times, the narrative soon picks up again as the central characters of Dimitri, Ahmed Kasim and Guy Peron (Charles Dance) are introduced. Together, they add a lighter touch and enable a connection with the viewer to be made once more.

Of course, the one constant throughout all 14 episodes is Merrick (Tim Piggot Smith). The character disintegration is brilliantly realised as the brief glimses of humanity appear less and less. The continuing motifs of the bridge, fire and the butterflies caught in the web are well handled and, cleverly, Daphne and Hari are never really forgotten. Their shadow pervades the whole 14 episodes, even when they don't appear.

This programme chronicles the tradgedy of India through the fates of its many characters. Its great success is that, throughout the whole epic series, we never stop caring about each individual character. The emotional impact of the last episode is as strong as the second.
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply tremendous 11 Feb 2006
By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER
The review by "A reviewer" says it all. This is quite simply the most engrossing serial I have ever seen, and it has not dated at all since it was first shown on television over 20 years ago. A powerful and intricate story in which the personal and the political interact (though the pace, tension and clarity do slacken a little in the 12th and 13th of the 14 episodes); terrific acting (not least because it is mostly understated in a very British way, which anyway corresponds to the ethos of the British at that time and to some extent still; we often know what the characters are feeling not through what they say, but through what is reflected on their faces), stunning photography, an impeccable sense of the period and of class attitudes at the time.
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163 of 165 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I was absolutely outraged when I read the only other review of this DVD. Please do not let it prevent you from purchasing one of the very best dramas ever presented on television.
First off, let me say that 'The Raj Quartet' by Paul Scott - the four novels from which 'The Jewel in the Crown' was adapted - is one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written. Every sentence is as sublimely perfect as something written by Jane Austen; yet the scope and sweep of this epic story is enough to rival Leo Tolstoy's 'War and Peace', particularly in the way it effortlessly moves from panoramic to personal drama. The most staggering thing, however, is how the characters are so acutely real and multi-dimensional. They are all distinct individuals with unique thoughts and personalities.
The only reason I have given this four stars instead of five is that some of the detail is lost from the books, but it does about as much justice as thirteen hours can possibly do to a total of over two thousand pages. Sensibly, the dramatist Ken Taylor chose to select a few storylines and develop them fully, rather than cram in the entire story and make it feel rushed. The presentation is so beautifully nuanced, with so many subtleties and hidden gems, that you will have to watch it many times to fully appreciate the immense care heaped upon this production by everyone involved.
The story is set in India during World War Two. It chronicles the years leading up to the granting of Indian Independence in 1947.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable series 26 Nov 2005
We're used to faster paced dramas today, but this epic series is a superb adaptation of Paul Scott's Raj Quartet, a four-part novel packed full of nuanced, fallible yet utterly compelling characters. I have to strongly disagree with "Captain-Wesker" (who posted the first review here), who perhaps was confused by the fact much of the social mores of the Raj meant that many British people in India fell into stereotypical behaviour, something which is accurately reflected in this dramatisation. But the central characters - Hary Coomer/Hari Kumar (Ark Malik), Daphne Manners (Susan Wooldridge, who brilliantly conveys Daphne's gawky character while somehow letting her tremendous candour and essential intelligence shine through), Sarah Layton (Geraldine James), Barbie Batchelor (Peggy Ashcroft) and even the twisted Ronald Merrick (Tim Piggott-Smith) - are all complex and multi-faceted, brilliantly realised by their actors. Added to this is the filming itself which captures both the squalor and the sheer beauty of India, all the more evident in this beautifully restored version of the series. Having remembered the series from my late teens, I thought I might see weaknesses in either the story or acting, but was astonished at how well both stand up today; in fact I often couldn't resist seeing two episodes at a time. Do see this series for yourself (you can always rent before buying).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Scott conveys perhaps the most damning and painful view of the...
This first aired when I was an undergraduate - watching it was an ordeal because I had to park myself in the common room and coopt the TV for about an hour. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dr. Vernon M. Hewitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Highly delighted
Published 2 months ago by Marilyn
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best TV series of all time
Very few series stand out after time has elapsed & new & better series come along. This & the original Brideshead Revisited stand head & shoulders above the rest. Perfectly cast. Read more
Published 8 months ago by anon
5.0 out of 5 stars The old mystique, crossing the river, death by fire, the silence of...
The old mystique, crossing the river, death by fire, the day of the scorpion, butterflys caught in a web, the silence of India, the ghosts of lovers. Read more
Published on 4 Feb 2011 by Vodkabite
Shouting the title of your review is clearly "in vogue" at the moment...

Don't believe the hype around this series - it isn't actually that good, although many of the... Read more
Published on 19 Oct 2009 by Retard Spotter
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Series
This series is impeccable. Everything about it is outstanding. The key performances are all of the highest calibre, and most memorable is the incredible acting of Peggy Ashcroft,... Read more
Published on 26 July 2009 by DR
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully evocative
I missed this when it was on TV and having watched all this series over 3-4 days, I would judge this to be amongst the very best made for TV dramas I have seen. Read more
Published on 10 May 2009 by GeeJayBee
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets
Paul Scott's Raj Quartet was a great epic novel sequence. the Jewel in the Crown, which takes its title from one of the novels, is a dramatization fully worthy of its origins. Read more
Published on 24 Mar 2009 by Jeremy Scanlon
2.0 out of 5 stars Sad, disappointed but not unexpected.
The Jewel in the Crown was a brilliant chance to show how British India really was and to make a cracking story that could have gone on and on. Read more
Published on 22 Mar 2009 by Book, Cigar and Brandy
5.0 out of 5 stars The only problem with this series is... wasn't long enough. But it brings 1940s India into sharp focus. Watch for a luscious Geraldine James.
Published on 9 Mar 2009 by A. J. Stavsky
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