The Manions of America

Season 1 Episode 1

Part I

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Sep 30, 1981 on ABC
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Episode Summary

Part I
The miniseries opens with a funeral procession in rural County Galway Ireland, which is rudely interrupted by a group of British residents on a fox hunt. Rachel Clement, the daughter of the British landlord for what was once O'Manion property in County Galway, arrives to live at her father's estate and finds that her brother David is also in the area, stationed there as part of a British regiment. Rachel meets and takes an interest in Rory O'Manion, a local Irish rebel, and convinces her father to hire him. Concurrently, David has a disastrous run-in with Rory's sister Deidre, where the result leads to an eventual courtship. But much to Rachel's consternation, the funeral outrage coupled with the death of his mother during childbirth, a growing agricultural disaster affecting the potato crop, and his involvement in an armed uprising against the British occupiers, forces Rory, now a fugitive, to leave his beloved home in search of a new beginning in the bustling river port city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1840s United States.moreless

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  • The introductory episode that mixes painful historic context with free-for-all acting to evolve the story into a sweeping romantic epic...

    In a somewhat Harlequin classic style, this miniseries kicks off by building the background for the main protagonists whose lives will intertwine over decades. Featuring Pierce Brosnan in his U.S. television debut, the episode carefully develops an atmosphere of extreme hardship coupled with the duty and dedication of family to survive while under occupation and with failing crops that threaten their very livelihood. To this setting, enter the flamboyant and somewhat theatric Kate Mulgrew, who will come to be the temptress, albeit a manipulative one, whose Rachel Clement character attempts and succeeds in bringing out the fire in Brosnan's rebellious and passionately loyal Rory O'Manion.

    Because these two, who supposedly declared off-screen that they felt there was no chemistry between them, whatever they assumed did not translate on the screen as they manage to pull it off quite well.

    But perhaps most notably were the supporting characters - Simon MacCorkindale as Rachel's brother David and Linda Purl as Rory's sister Deidre - who IMHO steal the show, as their characters interact in a way unique from their siblings. Their understated, less theatric storyline and eventual coupling was a pleasure to watch.

    In any case, kudos go out to the telling of a tale that deserved more than just a footnote mention in the history books, as it eventually brought forth a group of immigrants to the U.S. who are currently the largest ethnic group in the country - with their current estimated population now nearly 10 times that of those who continue to reside in their native land.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Rachel: Good morning. Pat? That's your name, isn't it?
      Padric: (while walking about pruning plants in the garden) Ah, in fact my name is Padric, Miss. That's Patrick in the Irish language.
      Rachel: (chuckling) Oh good gracious. I didn't even know there was an Irish language. Are you older than your brother or younger?
      Padric: Matter of fact Miss, we're twins.
      Rachel Twins? But you're not in the least alike.
      Padric: Aye. A shame he couldn't be the handsome one. But uh, we're both Irish and we want the same things, although sometimes in different ways.
      Rachel: Tell me. Why does your brother always seem so angry?
      Padric: Ah well now, he hasn't my saintly nature. In fact my father says that Rory feels too much and thinks too little.
      Rachel: Especially about Ireland. And what do you feel?
      Padric: What do I feel? If Ireland ever shall be free, her head and heart must come together, as if a rainbow is to be. It springs from rain and sunny weather.
      Rachel: Who wrote that? I believe it was you! I never knew a gardener before who wrote poetry.
      Padric: And, um, do you mind that I'm one who writes poetry?
      Rachel: Oh no, no. I think I rather like it. But it would certainly never happen in England. Thank you for letting me hear your poem, Pat.

    • Rory: I think you better go.
      Rachel: Why should I?
      Rory: I think of a stone wall, of grass so sweet to make my head swim, my body ache. And what do you think of?
      Rachel: (words whispered unintelligibly)
      Rory: I think of the land. I think of the land that comes in the night like a lover. Dark haired, whispering. She's jealous. She'll abide no other lover. Yet if a man be true to her, she'd understand.
      Rachel: (softly) What? What does she understand?
      Rory: That he is a man.

    • David: (to Rachel as he looks directly at Rory who is standing beside a horse) Oh, and Rachel, be careful with these high-spirited animals.

    • Rachel: Oh incidentally, didn't you remark that our land was O'Manion land?
      Rory: Uh huh.
      Rachel: Why?
      Rory: Because it is ours. It was taken from us by the English and held captive for 300 years.
      Rachel: (nervously laughing as she turns to walk away) Three hundred years? Surely you can't blame us for things that happened so long ago.
      Rory: Uh, Miss Clement? We have long memories in Ireland.

  • NOTES (0)