The Barchester Chronicles

Season 1 Episode 7

Episode 7

0
Aired Unknown Dec 22, 1982 on BBC Two
7.3
out of 10
User Rating
3 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Episode 7
AIRED:
Slope gets his comeuppance.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • I am caught between thinking "Finally, it's over!" and feeling angry at the seven hours of life it took from me while I waited for something to happen, and then, when it did, angry at the waiting for the satisfying use of the element(s) that hadmoreless

    3.5
    Too much stuff happened in this quick, convenient wrap-up of things that was not sufficiently built up in advance. It feels like the writer looked up and was startled to find he was coming to the end of the allotted time for the television show after taking far too long for anything interested to happen in the first place.



    The reprehensible but charming Madeline Neroni is supposed to be believable as a suddenly beneficent interceder for one of the toys she used for her amusement, Eleanor Bold. Charming, roguish Bertie Stanhope quickly deteriorated into a limp dolt, who inexplicably outraged his who-is-this-guy-again? Dad (we barely saw Dr Vesey Stanhope and had NO inkling of his relationship with his children) enough to get banished from the home. Eleanor Bold, who spent lots of time with Rev Slope quite willingly and in open defiance of her family, suddenly declares she loathes him and never cared for him at all. Gentle, tolerant Susan Grantly suddenly becomes a nosy nag. Dr Francis Arabin is introduced almost as an afterthought, and we are supposed to believe there is love blossoming between him and Eleanor Bold, but where? when? we can't tell by watching! At least the thin caricature that is Mrs Proudie remains the same. And in the last two episodes, everything gets cluttered up further with these cardboard cut-out, one note characters (who suddenly change their spots for no apparent reason) with the introduction of more extranneous persons who exist only to justify (or in hopes of justifying) a plot development that will wrap this mess up.



    Archdeacon Grantly (Nigel Hawthorne), one of the only fiery, fun, complicated characters becomes suddenly bland as we pass the halfway mark. The writing for Alan Rickman's richly realized, rotten Rev Slope fails miserably as well: especially infuriating is the unsatisfying scene where he finally has the chance to have it out with Mrs Proudie. As I said in the beginning of my reviews and episode summaries: Hawthorne and Rickman are the only reasons to watch this rendering of Trollope's works for television....and what they are given to do disappoints terribly.



    I can't believe that Trollope's originals were this badly done. No one would have greenlighted this project. It's a shame that the viewer cares so very little about what happens in general, and that the two characters who arouse our interest at all are so badly underserved by the writer (and director...and the producers who should have said "hey, go rework this!"): especially since their appearance in the earlier episodes is such a delight in the dearth. It is easy to see how this mini brought such recognition to Rickman in particular and Hawthorne, who made valiant attempts to bring interesting, intricate characters to life.moreless
Joseph O'Conor

Joseph O'Conor

Bunce

Recurring Role

Angela Pleasence

Angela Pleasence

Mrs. Grantly

Recurring Role

Barbara Flynn

Barbara Flynn

Mary Bold

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Bertie Stanhope: Why are you writing to these people?
      Madeline Stanhope: They are my friends.
      Bertie Stanhope: And you wish to interfere in their lives?
      Madeline Stanhope: Of course, why else do I have friends?

    • Archdeacon Harding: No man has ever given less cause for forgiveness than Septimus Harding. He's not a hero, not a man who is widely talked about, not a man who should be toasted at public dinners, not a man who should be spoken of with conventional absurdity as the perfect divine. He is simply a good man, without guile, believing humbly in the religion he has striven to teach and guided by the precepts he has striven to learn.

    • Slope (to the Proudies): May you both live forever! (sotto voce): …And together.

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