The Barchester Chronicles [DVD]
Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is a service Amazon offers sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's warehouses, and Amazon directly does the picking, packing, shipping and customer service on these items. Something Amazon hopes you'll especially enjoy: FBA items are eligible for and for Amazon Prime just as if they were Amazon items.
If you're a seller, you can increase your sales significantly by using Fulfilment by Amazon. We invite you to learn more about this programme .
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Seven part adaptation of two Trollope novels set in the fictitious Victorian town of Barchester. Reverend Septimus Harding commands the respect of his parish, and with his son-in-law installed as the Archdeacon, intends to keep religious authority within the family. Zealous reformer John Bold comes into town to rail against Harding's ecclesiastical monopoly, creating unease amongst the reverend's hitherto devoted flock.
The first two episodes of this BBC miniseries only hint at the delights to come. A lawsuit aimed at church reform in the town of Barchester forces a decent middle-aged clergyman (Donald Pleasence) into a moral crisis and a conflict with his son-in-law, a pompous archdeacon (Nigel Hawthorne, The Madness of King George). The gracefully written and acted narrative shows glimpses of dry wit--but in episode 3, the arrival of a new bishop (Clive Swift, Keeping Up Appearances), his imperious wife (Geraldine McEwan, The Magdalene Sisters), and his devious chaplain (Alan Rickman, Truly Madly Deeply, the Harry Potter movies) launches The Barchester Chronicles into a satirical power struggle all the more mesmerizing because of the smallness of the territory. The scheming of the citizens and clergy of this British town is both Byzantine and wonderfully comic as the tempestuous personalities claw and dig at each other.
Rickman, in one of his first film or television roles, turns in a tour de force of oily ambition. McEwan's ferocious machinations are downright terrifying, while the sputtering Hawthorne seems constantly in danger of bursting a vein. At the center of it all is Pleasence. Making goodness compelling has always been difficult, since wickedness is always more dramatic; but Pleasence brings a deep and stirring passion to his role that proves as engaging as all the back-biting that surrounds him. And these are just the more familiar faces; a host of lesser-known actors give equally superb performances. The final episode (of seven) will have you on pins and needles. The Barchester Chronicles, adapted from two novels by Anthony Trollope, is one of those marvels of British television, a skillful production that proves intelligent fare can be hugely entertaining. --Bret Fetzer
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-7 of 281 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Without wishing to under-state the importance of the other cast members, Alan Rickman's portrayal of "the bestial Slope" demonstrated his notable talent relatively early in his career. Donald Pleasance, Nigel Hawthorne, Geraldine McEwan, Janet Maw, Susan Hampshire, Barbara Flynn and others make a full contribution to a jewel of a series.
The series is made up of two novels, “The Warden” and “Barchester Towers”, and the join shows. The first two episodes concern the
wardenship of an almshouse and are mildly entertaining, but it is from episode three onwards that the fun really begins with the arrival of the
newly appointed and extremely hen-pecked Bishop of Barchester, played by Clive Swift (think Richard Bucket in a dog collar), his domineering wife who very definitely wears the gaiters, played by Geraldine McEwan (“The Bishop thinks, and I agree with him…”) and the Bishop’s odious, sycophantic chaplain Rev Obadiah Slope (originally Slop), a bravura performance from a young Alan Rickman. Add to the mix the meek Mr Septimus Harding (Donald Pleasence) whose trouble is that he is “prone to bouts of Christianity”, and his far from meek son-in-law Archdeacon Grantley, a tour de force from Nigel Hawthorne (nobody but NOBODY does simmering outrage quite like Sir Nigel)
and you have a comedy gem.
A final thought: if you want a masterclass in what acting is all about, compare and contrast the scenes of mutual loathing between the Archdeacon and the Bishop’s wife played by Hawthorne and McEwan, with the endearing warmth of the relationship of Georgie and Lucia played by the same pair in “Mapp and Lucia”. Now that’s what I call acting!
'Barchester Towers' is set some years later and is one of the funniest of Trollope's writings, with some extraordinarily memorable characters manipulating and posturing for personal gain and power. This production, positively crammed with superlative performances, fully lives up to the author's masterful creativity. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Many of the actors have become familiar faces in other series and seeing them again is like meeting old friends. Was Alan Rickman chosen for the Harry Potter films because he was so mysterious and devious as Mr Slope? Clive Swift, as the brow beaten Bishop, was he rehearsing for the hen-pecked husband in Keeping Up appearances?
But then there are other performances which do not mirror later acts. How could Geraldine McEwan as the awful Henpecking Mrs Proudie change into Miss Marple and who could ever imagine a Bond villain becoming the sweet, determined but charming Warden in Donald Pleasance.
Altogether this is an early period drama well worth viewing again with so many other delightful performances such as Susan Hampshire vamping it up from a sofa and Nigel Hawthorne blowing his top as Archdeacon. All too good to miss.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?