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Michael Hordern , Annette Crosbie , Alvin Rakoff , Martyn Friend  |  NR |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Hordern, Annette Crosbie, Peter Egan, Paul Shelley, Colin Blakely
  • Directors: Alvin Rakoff, Martyn Friend
  • Writers: John Mortimer
  • Producers: Brian Walcroft, Jacqueline Davis, Johnny Goodman, Lloyd Shirley
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: October 6, 2009
  • Run Time: 738 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001VB8U9U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,807 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A gripping family saga from Rumpole creator John Mortimer

As seen on Masterpiece Theatre

Leslie Titmuss (David Threlfall, Shameless) has never quite fit in among the denizens of Rapstone village. Socially awkward and hailing from a humble background, he nonetheless aspires to the highest levels of society—and he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to get there.

For much of his life, Titmuss was taken under the wing of the kindly Reverend Simcox (Michael Hordern, Anne of the Thousand Days). This caused little concern for the clergyman’s sons, Henry (Peter Egan, A Perfect Spy) and Freddy (Paul Shelley, A Tale of Two Cities). But when their father dies, they have every reason to complain: he has willed the family fortune to Titmuss.

Was he mad? Or is there a darker explanation? Follow the families’ interwoven histories from the years after WWII to the death of Reverend Simcox and beyond. Nominated for four BAFTAs, Paradise Postponed and its sequel, Titmuss Regained, also star Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient), Annette Crosbie (Edward the King), and Zoë Wanamaker (Poirot).

DVD FEATURE INCLUDES biography of author John Mortimer.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puts the "Masterpiece" into Masterpiece Theatre September 11, 2009
This was the best "Masterpiece Theatre" series in the 1980s - I can't wait to see it again. Following John Mortimer's novel closely, the plot revolves around a purplexing mystery: why has a saintly and steadfastly liberal vicar left his sizeable fortune to villainous Thatcherite cabinet minister Leslie Titmuss? All is revealed in as the series travels back several decades examining the tangled relationships between the middle class families of the Rapstone Valley and the working classes of Skurfield. The central mystery ultimately serves to illuminate how Britain has changed from the post-war period to the 1980s England of Margaret Thatcher.
The sequel "Titmuss Regained" is less sweeping but also bitterly amusing as cabinet minister Titmuss takes a bizarre detour from his political ambitions to attempt personal happiness and romantic love. Titmuss is an astounding fictional creation - Mortimer wrote a third "Titmuss" novel, "The Sound of Trumpets" - maybe someday the BBC will dramatize the last chapter in the life of this somehow loveable villain.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This set contains not only an 11-episode saga (Masterpiece Theatre) but a 3-part sequel to the dramatic story (mystery) of the last will of Rev. Simon Henry Simcox (Michael Hordern), who died at age 82, on February 21, 1985. His financial legacy is left completely to a family outsider, MP Leslie Titmuss (David Threlfall), a politician, one of those Simon marched and opposed through decades of preaching, speaking, and protesting. Why? Why not even providing for his life-long partner, his wife? How could he ignore his sons, and even a grandchild?

Immediately the series begins transitioning to former days in the lives of the family and those connected to the family. Is there a puzzling secret in the Rectory that needs exposed? Sons, Henry (Peter Egan,) and Fred (Paul Shelley) question Titmuss receiving the family fortune, especially for the sake of their mother, Dorothy (Annette Crosbie) left near penniless. Was he insane?

The search for clues to the will's purpose reveals a past as far back as WWII with characters including Agnes Salter (Eleanor David) daughter of family Dr. Salter (Colin Blakely), Charlotte 'Charlie' Fanner (Zoe Wanamaker) daughter of Sir Nicholas (Richard Vernon) and Lady Grace (Jill Bennett). And a whole Rapstone Village of others including Titmuss's lower-class parents.

This "Masterpiece" was written by lawyer/author John Mortimer who died Jan. 16, 2009, after being not only successful with this series but also writer of the 15-year TV series (1978 beginning) of "Rumpole of the Bailey". What a tribute to release this series+sequel DVD set so soon after the masterful author's death.

It represents more TOP QUALITY British drama, masterfully reproduced from the original airings in 1986 and 1991.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Really Good Drama! February 28, 2012
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I liked the way this series explores the differences in the ruling class, the upper class, and the working poor. There are times when the lines are blurred, even for the Reverend Simcox. It results in an young man from the village who wants to better himself being used by the ruling class and the upper classes to hide a multitude of sins. He does not realize it because he thinks that his schemes are the reasons for his success. I highly recommend seeing this series.
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