1 9 6 9 (UK)
4 x 45 minute episodes
This BBC2 miniseries took over where The Forsyte Saga left off. The time was the ill-defined 1920s, the milieu an upper-middle-class that was left with a few more years before the second world war killed it for good.
Evelyn Orcham (Roy Dotrice) is the manager of the biggest luxury hotel in the world. He is married to his work since his wife died.
Into his life comes Sir Henry Savott (Cyril Luckham), a baronet accustomed to always getting his way, and his daughter Gracie (Hildegard Neil), an independent-minded girl taken to driving racing cars and – like her daddy – getting her own way.
Sir Henry wants the hotel as part of a deal with nine others, with Evelyn to run them. Gracie wants Evelyn.
But Evelyn doesn’t want to be entangled with other hotels and has no designs on Gracie. Evelyn appoints Miss Powler (Anna Cropper) from the laundry to a position of some responsibility at the hotel and the ingredients of a successful miniseries – romance, suspense, business – were thus provided.
Patsy Rowlands was funny as the talkative Beatrice Noakes and by part 4, everything was right with the world again with even the teeniest loose end finished off in a perfect little bow.
Sir Henry Savott