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Forsyte Saga, The

GENEALOGICAL GALLOP courtesy of (at the time) the Beeb’s most expensive production ever. Basically, 45 years in 26 episodes with 150 characters. KENNETH MORE was Mr. Jolyon Forsyte, main man of original John Galsworthy novels and centre of eponymous household, grappling with shifting sands of class, society, wealth etc. ERIC PORTER, SUSAN HAMPSHIRE and MARTIN JARVIS sat at his table, TERENCE ALEXANDER and MICHAEL YORK dropped by for tea. Notorious “rape” episode divided the country as to whether Irene Forsyte, ahem, “deserved” it or not. Initial success on BBC2 led to hasty repeat on the main channel, prompting church services to be rescheduled and sports events postponed.

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