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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 19 November 2006
Based on the novels by Anthony Trollop, the Pallisers tells the story of Plantagenant Palliser, a wise Liberal politician in Victorian England, and his winsome young wife, Lady Glencora. Co-erced into marriage with an older man, Lady Glencora (Susan Hampshire)becomes the perfect politicians wife as she guides her brilliant - but dull - husband up the political ladder. Into their lives come many characters including wealthy widow Madam Max, Irish politicain Phinneas Phin and sprited Lady Laura - and their lives are played out against a backdrop of House of Commons intrigue and personal scandal.

Among the well known actors appearing in this beautiful drama are a very young Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews, June Whitfield and Peter Sallis (Last of the Summer Wine - who plays her scheming husband), Martin Jarvis and Anna Carteret. Fabulous locations and stunning costumes make this a delight to view and a drama which you will find yourself watching at a rate of 2 or 3 episodes in one go!
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on 9 April 2005
The Pallisers was and still remains an enthralling series. There is no sense of it being dated in any way, and in my opinion it can compete with anything of a similar genre on television today. The adaptation of Trollope's novel is first class and the acting excellent. I watched the first four episodes straight off - I was that hooked. I devoured the next three and won't be content until I have viewed the entire series. I heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys good historical drama.
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on 28 July 2005
I loved this the first time round when I faithfully sat through all of the episodes in the 1970's. I was so pleased when the series was released, first in video and now in DVD. The music is evocative and memorable and the acting excellent. Philip Latham and Susan Hampshire bring this entire series to life and are completely believeable as the characters they portray, so much so that even today I can only think of Philip Latham as Plantagenet Palliser.
The series is many different stories fluttering in and out of the lives of the two main characters sympathetically portrayed by Susan Hampshire and Philip Latham. I would strongly recommend anyone to watch this and would expect them to become totally hooked.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 December 2007
Having just re-watched all 26 episodes I feel that this is one of the best TV series ever made. Years ago I read the series of Trollope novels that comprise the Pallisers' saga and think that this dramatization captures the novels superbly well. The acting is of the best: everyone is first class. Immense trouble was taken with the costumes. They don't make them like this anymore! Time is taken to develop the characters; no frenetic camera-work; no intrusive back-ground music to drown out what people are saying: sheer bliss.
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on 18 October 2010
Just occasionally in telly drama, everything clicks into place the way everyone hopes it will. THE PALLISERS has clicked to perfection.

Never mind the opening titles - oddly reminiscent of the animations that haunt 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' - they are simply a child of their time. Use them to settle down and revel in 26 episodes of supreme quality and delight.

A look at the production credits of THE PALLISERS, and you'll see why this glorious piece of work is as good as it is. Simon Raven's literate and witty dramatisation is flawless; the studio sets, locations, costumes and lighting are a testament to just how beautifully and lavishly the BBC did things - and the cast has been assembled from actors who were chosen not for their 'celebrity status' but for their sheer talent.

The whole thing was brought into being by one of the best producers of his generation, Martin Lisemore - who also gave us I, CLAUDIUS a couple of years later. His tragic death in a car accident in the mid 1970s must be one of the great losses in the history of television.

In an enlightened and enjoyable interview (one of the extras included), Susan Hampshire, who is the definitive Lady Glencora, reveals that she was not the first choice for the role, having replaced Hayley Mills who had to pull out at the last minute for 'personal reasons'.

We are the winners. It must surely be impossible to imagine anyone other than Susan Hampshire in the role of this volatile and extraordinary woman-ahead-of-her-time. It was not an easy task to be brought in at short notice: costumes and wigs had already been made and had to be altered accordingly, and there were the inevitable problems with learning such a vast amount of material in so little time. (Remember that Susan Hampshire is dyslexic, and this medically recognised condition of 'word-blindness' does not make scripts easy to read, let alone to memorise.)

It is also impossible to imagine anyone other than Philip Latham in the role of her long-suffering husband, Plantagenet Palliser - a man who has greatness thrust upon him late in life while also facing up to the many dramas created by his determined wife, and the rapidly changing political scene of Victorian England. During the course of the twenty-six episodes, Plantagenet and Glencora have the perfect screen relationship: deceptively simple, endlessly subtle, always enjoyable. Perfect writing, perfect playing throughout.

Other reviewers have rightly sung the praises of the huge cast, and noted the early appearances of those who are now household names. In dramas such as this, Derek Jacobi, Anthony Andrews and the like cut their television teeth, and viewers will relish appearances by Anna Massey, Martin Jarvis, Fabia Drake, Barbara Murray, and a young Donal McCann - many years before he excelled in John Huston's last film, THE DEAD. There is even a loudly vigorous cameo from Penelope Keith, indicating that some actors are perhaps born to play only one role successfully.

The word 'great' should not be used lightly, but THE PALLISERS certainly deserves the accolade. It is, without doubt, magnificent, and one of the finest things of its kind.

If you have been wondering whether or not your memories of this series are slightly rose-tinted, be assured they aren't. This is as good - if not even better - than it was the first time around, and spellbinding stuff from beginning to end.

Treat yourself to this drama for all time. Laugh and weep with every member of this extraordinary dynasty, relish every word, every tantrum, every light flirtation and thwarted love: you won't regret it.
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on 9 December 2006
I wondered if THE PALLISERS, which I remember enjoying so much when I first saw it on TV in 1974, would have stood the test of time.... I need not have feared - it is the BBC at its best and is truly not to be missed by anyone who loves period drama.

Encompassing the six Palliser Novels of Anthony Trollope in 26 episodes, it is engrossing, beautifully acted and filmed and with a tremendous eye for period detail. The only difference I could see with present-day adaptations is that when the action moves outside Britain - i.e. to Switzerland and Venice - it was obviously not filmed on location.

The settings in Britain, however, both indoors and out, are superb. The colour is vibrant and the costumes are magnificent - particularly those of Susan Hampshire as Lady Glencora and Barbara Murray as Madame Max Goesler. The acting is uniformly excellent, indeed the cast list reads like a Who's Who of the British acting fraternity. Philip Latham, Susan Hampshire, Barbara Murray and Roland Culver are particularly good, but then the entire cast never disappoints.

As a special feature there is a very interesting interview made only a few years back with the eternally youthful Susan Hampshire recalling her involvement with The Pallisers series.

If you feel daunted by 26 episodes never fear - you will not be bored: in fact I was sad when it all came to a end. It is a feast for the eye and for the ear.....don't hesitate - watch it!
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Not a review I'm afraid, but to answer the query from the earlier reviewer, if you check the BBC shop site, it gives the DVD's running length as 1300 minutes, the same as the old VHS version. It looks like Amazon have got their details ("999 minutes") wrong.
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on 4 December 2008
Having purchased the Region 2 set, and although fearing from what I gathered from the internet that it had no subtitles, I can now confirm that the whole set contains English Subtitles for the Hard of Hearing.

I too want to point out to the Amazon.co.uk webmasters that the accurate listing of all subtitles which are contained in a DVD is very important, often a deciding factor for purchasing a DVD, especially for foreign customers whom I understand are a large part of Amazon's customers: But Amazon.co.uk is sadly much lacking in this field. Please take the time needed when listing a product to list ALL language/subtitles options.
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on 16 February 2015
A sadly rather forgotten serial from the days when the BBC didn't aim its output at half-wits. It is remarkably faithful to the Trollope set of six novels. Trollope's disdain for politicians, the clergy and the idle rich comes over in shovelfulls. His delightful, odd character names such as "The Marchioness of Auld Reekie" add to the witty and satirical nature of the works.

The production's visual quality is quite good given that colour TV cameras of the time needed lots of light even outdoors. It is nonetheless crisp and watchable even on today's equipment, indeed anyone viewing it now will see a version that even the high resolution studio monitors were incapable of displaying.

The casting is for the most part perfect with one notable exception, Donal McCann was a superb actor but he does not fit the dashingly handsome character of Phineas Finn as described by Trollope. Effectively he looked like a down at heel Wicklow horse trader! It's hard to imagine women finding him irresistible.

However, if you have not seen this, you have a treat in store and I feel certain you'll enjoy it thoroughly.
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on 27 May 2007
I watched just a little of The Pallisers back in the seventies, but this time I'm completely hooked and am devouring episode after episode! The storyline(s), the politics and the characters of Trollope's books, combined with the amazingly good acting and wonderful costumes and locations, make an almost hypnotic mix. My only regret is that because this series is based on a number of individual novels by Trollope, there are several characters who get "written out" of the story, when in fact I wish we could see more of them later on!

The interview with Susan Hampshire is a little jewel in itself.
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