Most helpful positive review
80 of 85 people found the following review helpful
New package, lower price, complete dramatic trilogy, 7 episodes
on March 18, 2012
A trilogy of substance. 3 Barbara Taylor Bradford books adapted to mini-series, now a complete epic. In bonus film of the author, she praises adaptations, she always influenced content, and her husband produced 2 & 3. "It was faithful to the book."--BTB. Bradford said Jenny Seagrove was indeed the young Emma she envisioned. Long novels, therefore some cutting. What's left is great British drama of not a women's libber, but a driven woman successful in a man's business world.
Cast is stellar. Jenny Seagrove is flawless as young Emma in #1, then Gr-daughter Paula in #2. Deborah Kerr is 1980s Emma in #1 & #2 (her last performance ever). Diane Baker played Laura, but was the force behind the series' start. Biggest surprise is Liam Neeson a new face in his 30s, as Blackie, lifetime lover/friend to Emma. He was as good then as he is today. Meg Wynn Owen (Upstairs, Downstairs), Peter Chelsom, Steven Collins, James Brolin, Claire Bloom (King's Speech), Christopher Cazenove, Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey, Monarch of the Glen), Bionic Lindsay Wagner, Anthony Hopkins...well, many & more.
SUBTITLED. My wife and I enjoyed all 3 series. #1 `A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE' best, #2 `HOLD THE DREAM' almost equally but you do have to get used to the lead actress changing roles, & #3 `TO BE THE BEST' perhaps not the best, but a modern finish to the saga. Comparisons one to the other can/& are written, but it's best to simply enjoy the DVDs, not as the novels, but as video entertainment well worth the price.
A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE-3 episodes In 1905 young Emma is maid at Fairley Hall, Squire (Peter Egan), alcoholic Mrs (Nicola Pagett) & 1 good son (Chelsom), 1 bad (Christopher Gable). Builder Blackie (Leeson) arrives for repairs meeting Emma, who's Ma (Meg Wynn Owen) is seriously ill. There are secrets, ambition and love to encounter.
In ep 2 Emma leaves facing problems & new beginning. 1906 moves through arson, a rapid business climb, WWI and Emma makes a shrewd mill purchase for war garments.
Ep 3 Widow Emma inherits more property as wounded brother (Mick Ford) returns. Death, financial gain, remarriage, & Emma's hatred of Fairley's cultivates in surprises in lusts of love, money, & power. War ends. Personal battles grow. Love rendezvous, disaster, WW2 and a 1980s attempted business takeover.
HOLD THE DREAM-2 episodes Kerr in a larger role, Seagrove in a new, with other family returning but played by new actors. Neeson is an older Blackie, still perfection in the role. He competes with Kerr & Seagrove as show anchors. A new generation of affairs, business tycoons, Harte-Fairley feud. 1980s loves lost as fast as new lusts begin. Worldwide business managed by Emma's grands. Gran-Paula (Seagrove) becomes an Emma clone, including marital issues. Matriarch Emma mellows. Who can hold another's dream? Business gets physically rougher.
TO BE THE BEST-2 episodes Paula (now Lindsay Wagner) continues taking on a modern business world. Competition becomes violent and deadly. Players in this game are in London, Hong Kong, NY, & Indiana (rudely misrepresented as a mix of a southern/Country Western state) about 1990. International intrigue within family lines, high finance garnished w2ith adultery. A dramatic contemporary change from Emma's quaint beginning.
Bonus interviews Baker 22min; Author BTB 59 min -all subtitled. +Text bio & book list.