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The Barchester Chronicles (BBC Drama, Donald Pleasence)

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The Barchester Chronicles BBC Drama, Donald Pleasence

The Barchester Chronicles was a period drama serial in the best BBC tradition detailing intrigue and double dealing in the closed in world of Cathedral life. The 7 part serial was based on two of Trollope’s Barchester novels Barchester Towers and The Warden.

Friendly and mild mannered Reverend Septimus Harding is living something of a secret life in that he is embezzling funds from the town hospital. Trouble starts when the local doctor discovers what is going on, later in the series the focus shifts to the story of the Bishop who is to be replaced. Arthur Lowe was first choice for the role of Septimus but died before filming could take place.

Cast: Donald Pleasence as Rev. Septimus Harding; David Gwillim as John Bold; John Ringham as Finney; Joseph O’Conor as Bunce; Clifford Parrish as Handy; Wally Thomas as Moody; Kenneth Keeling as Gazy; Janet Maw as Eleanor Bold (née Harding); Nigel Hawthorne as Archdeacon Grantly; Cyril Luckham as Bishop Grantly; Barbara Flynn as Mary Bold; Angela Pleasence as Susan Grantly; Denis Carey as Skulpit; George Costigan as Tom Towers; William Redgrave as Samuel Grantly; Michael Aldridge as Sir Abraham Haphazard; Keith Marsh as Bell; Christopher Maynard as Baby Bold; Clive Swift as Bishop Proudie; Alan Rickman as Rev. Obadiah Slope; Alec Bregonzi as Footman; Richard Bebb as Dr. Vesey Stanhope; Phyllida Law as Mrs. Stanhope; Susan Hampshire as Signora Madeline Neroni; Geraldine McEwan as Mrs. Proudie; Peter Blythe as Ethelbert ‘Bertie’ Stanhope; Susan Edmonstone as Charlotte; Jonathan Adams as Quiverful; Maggie Jones as Mrs. Quiverful; Derek New as Dr. Francis Arabin; Mischa De La Motte as The Dean; Ursula Howells as Miss Thorne

Writer: Alan Plater / Novels: Anthony Trolloppe / Music: Derek Bourgeois / Cinematography: Geoff Feld / Production Design: Chris Pemsel / Costume Design: Juanita Waterson / Producer: Jonathan Powell / Director: David Giles

UK / BBC-2 / 7×55 minute episodes / 1982