The Forsyte Saga, Series 1
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The Forsyte Saga is nothing if not superior soap opera. It could all have gone horribly wrong, haunted by the specter of its BBC predecessor--a television legend for anyone over 40. Instead, it succeeds entirely on its own merits with scarcely a weak link--from Stephen Mallatratt's taut and fluid script to David Moore's carefully measured, seamless direction. Risks were taken to banish the old ghosts, particularly in the casting. Damian Lewis's repressed Soames and Gina McKee as his ill-matched bride, the enigmatic Irene, are inspired choices delivering complex portraits of unhappy, damaged human beings who deserve our sympathy. In a sea of marvelous cameos and splendid acting, the top honors go to Corin Redgrave and Rupert Graves for their hauntingly sensitive interpretations of old and young Jolyon, as well as to Amanda Root for her increasingly exasperated Winifred and Gillian Kearney for her sharply intelligent and worldly June. --Piers Ford
- Complete U.K. broadcast edition
- Making-of featurette
- Behind-the-scenes photos
- John Galsworthy biography and booklist
- Cast biographies
Top Customer Reviews
The male characters were better: Rupert Graves, Ioan Gruffaud, Damien Lewis, and Corin Redgrave were wonderful. Damien Lewis captured the tormented Soames quite well and Ioan Gruffaud was an improvement over the actor who played Bosinney in the earlier series. Corin Redgrave was an outstanding Old Jolyon and Rupert Graves was sympathetic as Young Jolyon. The only problem was that Ms. McKee's Irene looked more mature than her love interests, Philip and Young Jolyon. Irene was sixteen years younger than Young Jolyon, but Rupert Graves looked younger than Gina McKee. Ioan Gruffaud looked more suited to the actress playing June than the more mature Irene.
The scriptwriters I felt took liberties with the novel that really clashed with what the characters were all about.Read more ›
Taken on its own terms, it is extremely good--but not perfect--and had me and wife pretty well riveted to the screen on three successive evenings. It did not, however, erase fond memories of the earlier version. Now the 1967 version was "studio-bound, with static camera work, long scenes and long speeches" (as the press release puts it). What the release leaves out was superb acting by established stars and by newcomer Susan Hampshire whose Fleur made her a star.
For example, Eric Porter made Soames a sympathetic human who hurt himself more than he hurt others, especially his miserable first wife Irene. In the 2002 version, Damian Lewis, looking like a demonic Steve McQueen, is 99% pure villain; and his mother's recollection of how he loved a pet cat to death does little to soften his character. It is only in the very last minute of the last episode that he softens--but I will not tell you why.
Another problem is the actress playing Irene, Gina McKee. The original Irene was portrayed by the extremely beautiful Nyree Dawn Porter; and all of the comments in the script about her looks were not contradicted by what we saw of her.Read more ›
Also, when Joliyn (idk how to spell that ridiculous name) and Irene end up together and his daughter walks in on them in bed after Irene has just had their child?! And she didn't even know they were together? Worst father of the year. The plot line is so twisted yet still not particularly interesting.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although I didn't really care for the main character, she seemed rather boring, overall the series was actually entertaining.Published 1 month ago by Catalina C.
I did not enjoy the series. And I could have written a better ending.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customerconfused
I feel like this show should be called This Is Why Feminism Is Good For Society or Even Privelaged White Women Really Had Limited Options Back In The Day or Hey, Morons, Stop... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Penny
A true to life story that holds your attention and causes you to examine your choices. Even when the story is over you are still consumed with sorrow for the characters. Read morePublished 3 months ago by F J.
Let me start by saying that this production of The Forsythe Saga offers a beautiful series that is well worth the time to watch, even though I did not find it to be an accurate... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie
The actress playing Irene Forsyte is annoying. She is cold and pale. Not enchanting at all.Published 3 months ago by shoppingfordeals
I LOVE this series, but ONLY because of Damien Lewis. He is, yes, a romantic, hopelessly in love, and Victorian in every sense.
Irene, however, was awful. Read more