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A New Chapter for ‘The Forsyte Saga’: PBS Announces a Third Adaptation

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Masterpiece on PBS and Mammoth Screen Present a Lavish Reimagining of the Classic Series

The iconic British period drama “The Forsyte Saga” is returning to television with a new adaptation on PBS’s Masterpiece. This will be the third small-screen version of the story, following the BBC’s 1967 series and ITV’s 2002 production. The new series, planned as a returning show, will be a collaboration between Masterpiece and Mammoth Screen, the team behind the popular period drama “Poldark.”

Based on John Galsworthy’s Nobel Prize-winning novels, “The Forsyte Saga” chronicles the lives, loves, and conflicts of the Forsyte family, an upper-middle-class British clan who navigate the changing social landscape from the 1870s to the 1920s. The story explores themes of love, loyalty, ambition, and betrayal, with a focus on the complex dynamics within the family and the wider societal changes of the time.

The new adaptation boasts an impressive ensemble cast, including BAFTA winner Francesca Annis as the formidable Forsyte matriarch, Ann. She is joined by Stephen Moyer as her eldest son, Jolyon Senior, head of the family stockbroking firm Forsyte & Co. Jack Davenport portrays Ann’s competitive younger son, James, while Joshua Orpin takes on the role of James’ shrewd and sometimes ruthless son, Soames. Millie Gibson, known for her work in “Doctor Who,” plays Irene, the dancer who captures Soames’ heart.

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The cast also includes Tuppence Middleton as Jo’s status-driven wife, Frances; Eleanor Tomlinson as Louisa Byrne, a Soho dressmaker and Jo’s first love; Tom Durant Pritchard as Monty Dartie, James’ son-in-law; and Josette Simon as Mrs. Ellen Parker Barrington, a wealthy heiress and friend of the Forsyte family. Susan Hampshire, who starred in the 1967 BBC adaptation, returns to the world of “The Forsyte Saga,” this time as Lady Carteret.

Screenwriter Debbie Horsfield, known for her work on “Poldark,” has crafted a bold reimagining of Galsworthy’s epic saga. This new version expands the world of the Forsytes, placing the women of the family centre stage and offering a fresh perspective. Horsfield noted, “Our show is in part a prequel to the events of the first book, but also an opportunity to expand the world and place the women of the family centre stage. It’s a love letter to the original story while offering an exciting new perspective.”

The series is directed by Meenu Gaur and Annetta Laufer, and produced by Sarah Lewis. Mammoth Screen, the production company behind recent period dramas such as “Victoria” and “World on Fire,” is known for its expertise in bringing beloved novels to the screen.

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