1 9 7 4 – 1 9 7 5 (UK)
26 x 50 minute episodes
A Forsyte Saga imitation – complete with Susan Hampshire as flighty Lady Glencora – The Pallisers centred on a 19th century aristocratic family with political ambitions and scandalous lives.
Both Pauline Collins and Hayley Mills declined when asked to play the role of Lady Glencora. Collins apparently wanted more money (and this was no lavish production – all 26 parts were made for under half a million pounds) and Mills felt weak at the idea of a long series.
Hampshire took up the challenge and was loved for it, playing opposite Philip Latham’s snooty but dull MP Plantagenet Palliser.
Adapted by Simon Raven from the six Palliser novels of one-time Liberal candidate Anthony Trollope, the series failed to fly artistic heights despite fine production (on a modest budget) from Martin Lisemore.
Serious students of Trollope’s novels accused Raven of taking liberties with the dialogue in his adaptation, but those were nothing compared with the liberties a commercial radio station took when a BBC strike halted the recording of the final two episodes.
They cashed in by broadcasting excerpts from the novels covering the passing of Lady Glencora.
Still, viewers eventually enjoyed Susan Hampshire’s last gasps – though she had lain on her deathbed for two months.
Lady Glencora Palliser
Plantagenet “Planty” Palliser
Duke of Omnium
Earl of Silverbridge
Lady Mabel Grex