1 9 7 5 – 1 9 7 6 (UK)
6 x 50 minute episodes
Life is harsh but uncomplicated and happy for the Morgan family – father Gwilym (Stanley Baker), mother Beth (Siân Phillips), four sons and a daughter – in their coal-mining village in the Rhondda Valleys of Wales.
But as the 20th-century approaches, the younger generation is restless. The three sons already in the pit are beginning to recognise that men have rights and, what’s more, they feel they have the power to demand them.
This dramatisation of the Richard Llewellyn novel by Elaine Morgan skilfully introduced this central theme as well as several others – religious conflict, social manners, politics, a successful courtship and an unsuccessful one – in a succinct, effective script that held all the elements together in a satisfying balance.
The BBC2 series debuted on Monday 29 December 1975. Stanley Baker fell ill during filming in October 1975. He was diagnosed with lung cancer on 13 February 1976 and subsequently died from pneumonia four months later.