Home Television Drama What Maisie Knew

What Maisie Knew

1 9 6 8 (UK)
3 x 45 minute episodes

Future Man About The House star Sally Thomsett starred as Maisie in this three-part Saturday serial from BBC2 based on a novel by Henry James.

When Beale (Paul Hardwick) and Ida (Maxine Audley) Farange are divorced, the court decrees that their only child, the very young Maisie, will shuttle back and forth between them, spending six months of the year with each.

The parents are immoral and frivolous and use Maisie to intensify their hatred of each other.

Beale Farange then marries Maisie’s pretty governess Miss Overmore (Penelope Horner) – who becomes Mrs Beale – while Ida marries the likeable but weak Sir Claude (Gary Raymond). Maisie gets a new governess, the frumpy, somewhat-ridiculous but devoted Mrs Wix (Ann Way).

Both Ida and Beale soon cheat on their spouses. In turn, Claude and the new Mrs Beale begin an affair with each other.

Maisie’s parents abandon her and she becomes largely the responsibility of Sir Claude.

Eventually, Maisie must decide if she wants to remain with Sir Claude and Mrs Beale (who are not married to each other) in the south of France or stay with Mrs Wix in an indefinite future.

Although Maisie is deeply enamoured with Sir Claude, she chooses Mrs Wix and the two of them return to England.

Maisie Farange
Sally Thomsett
Ida Farange
Maxine Audley
Beale Farange
Paul Hardwick
Miss Overmore/Mrs Beale
Penelope Horner
Mrs Wix
Ann Way
Sir Claude
Gary Raymond
Susan Ash
Yvonne Antrobus