The Barchester Chronicles

Season 1 Episode 6

Episode 6

0
Aired Unknown Dec 15, 1982 on BBC Two
7.4
out of 10
User Rating
3 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Episode 6
AIRED:
The Thornes throw their annual Garden Party at their estate, and during the day, various things that have been brewing in Barchester come to a head.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A few things come to a head in this episode and a few items reach a critical mass. That sentence sounds very exciting, but, alas, this installment is NOT...typical.

    4.6
    Well, the awfulness of the adult Stanhope children becomes apparent in the early part of this episode, and yet, by the end, we are supposed to believe in the beneficent intercession of Madeline Stanhope Neroni, the worst of the trio.



    Without proper build-up for the viewer to believe or understand it, Eleanor Harding Bold is filled with contempt for her sister, brother-in-law, and even Rev Slope (with whom she has willingly spent so much time and whom she has defended against the maligning of others). She even trades malicious mockery about them with the Stanhopes, with whom she seems awfully cozy all of a sudden (we had seen that Bertie was interested in painting her and she was flattered--and we knew that his sisters wanted him to marry Eleanor for her money, but we did NOT see this chummy friendship develop).



    We don't see how Mrs Proudie beats her husband back into complete stupidity and submission after his nascent assertiveness under Slope; well, why expect this when we didn't really get to see how he began to have his epiphany about needing some testicular fortitude either? Who cares at this point now, anyway? The fun and fire of the power struggle between Mrs Proudie and Slope is a wet blanket now.



    And apparently, there is a blossoming love affair between Dr Arabin and Eleanor Bold, but it doesn't show until the final moments of this Garden Party, and what DOES show is underwhelming and not sufficiently explained or demonstrated. But we're supposed to understand it is what is happening. Who cares at this point?



    The only reason this episode gets the 4.6 instead of a 3 and a half is for Rickman's achingly uncomfortable, florid, religiously-overtoned marriage proposal and his subsequently getting knocked on his backside.



    There has been far too little of Nigel Hawthorne as Archdeacon Grantly, whose rich characterization has been left in the dust of too-quick tie-ups of loose ends and glossed-over turning points for too many characters, and the deliciously complicated but contemptible Slope created by Alan Rickman has also been deserted by the writers (although he makes valiant work of what they give him).



    Does Anthony Trollope's original work drop the ball like this? Does it begin as badly as this mini did? Does it limp to its conclusion? I can't believe that anybody thought it would make a good mini if it were as badly mismanaged as this television presentation has been.moreless
Mischa de la Motte

Mischa de la Motte

The Dean

Guest Star

Roger Booth

Roger Booth

Plomacy

Guest Star

Ian Brimble

Ian Brimble

Harry Greenacre

Guest Star

Angela Pleasence

Angela Pleasence

Mrs. Grantly

Recurring Role

Barbara Flynn

Barbara Flynn

Mary Bold

Recurring Role

Janet Maw

Janet Maw

Eleanor Bold

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Charlotte Stanhope: I don't think of father as a clergyman.
      Bertie Stanhope: Wel, he's the best kind. He takes the money, neglects his responsibilities and indulges himself.

    • Mrs Proudie: (about the Hardings) A very unstable family altogether, very unstable.
      Mrs Thorne: Mr Harding, unstable?
      Mrs Proudie: But cunningly concealed!

    • Reverend Harding: The other reason I make music is to celebrate the certainty of the Lord; it is the only way I can understand the confusion and contradictions that surround me.

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Septimus Harding: "I charge thee, fling away ambition: by that sin fell the angels." Shakespeare. He and I both prefer music to politics.
      Harding quotes a line from Shakespeare's "Henry VIII", Act III, Scene 2.

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