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The Ginger Tree (BBC Drama, Samantha Bond)

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The Ginger Tree BBC Samantha Bond

In four part period drama serial The Ginger Tree, Mary Mckenzie (Samantha Bond) moves to Manchuria at the turn of the 20th Century and has trouble adjusting to her new way of life, she later causes scandal by having an affair with Japanese soldier Count Kentaro Kurihama (Daisuke Ryu).

The story spans across forty years and things don’t go smoothly for Mary. The child she has with Kurihama is taken from her but eventually she found her own way – becoming a fashion designer.

The series was a UK – Japan co-production and was filmed in Japan, Taiwan, Liverpool and the Isle of Man. The Ginger Tree of the title is a reference to the tree that Mary plants in her garden. It’s not a tree that is native to Japan and, like Mary, has trouble adapting to its surroundings.

Star Samantha Bond is the daughter of actor Philip Bond and producer Pat Sandys.

Cast: Samantha Bond as Mary Mackenzie; Daisuke Ryu as Count Kentaro Kurihama; Cecile Paoli as Isabelle De Chamonpierre; Adrian Rawlins as Richard Collingsworth; Nicholas Farrell as Friar Anthony; Carol Starks as Margaret Blair; Fumi Dan as Baroness Aiko Kurihama; Joanna McCallum as Alicia; Noriko Aida as Misao

Writer: Christopher Hampton / Novel: Oswald Wynd / Music: Dominic Muldowney / Producer: Tim Ironside Wood / Executive Producers: Alan Shallcross (BBC), Naonori Kawamura (NHK) / Directors: Anthony Garner (BBC), Morimasa Matsumoto (NHK)

UK / BBC Two – NHK Japan – WGBH Boston / 4×60 minute episodes / 26 November – 17 December 1989