1 9 7 4 (UK)
6 x episodes
This drama series from HTV presented an ancient family estate being broken up.
The vast Gethin estate, which occupies acres of land in Wales, is in danger because a £6 million bill for death duties has to be paid – and the taxman is pressing.
James, Lord Gethin (Robert Urquhart) has the ferocious pride of an aristocrat whose forebears have for centuries ruled the same land. Yet, at the age of 58, he dreads old age and longs to find a place in the sun with the woman he loves – his divorced assistant, Sally Neville (Jacqueline Hurst).
But pride and honour call him to defend every inch of his embattled family estate.
32-year-old Michael Gethin (Peter Egan) is fiercely attached to the vast family estate but, unlike his father, he does not regard the heritage as a mere possession. His wife, Eleanor (Heather Wright), who faces a future as a baroness, longs for more than her lady-of-the-manor life.
Meirion Ryder (Meredith Edwards) is the pillar of Gethin estate tenants. His simple lifestyle and values disguise his shrewdness. He stands to lose more than most, for under his farm geologists have found valuable mineral deposits, and a mining company wants to exploit the copper reserves under the beautiful Trethowan Valley.
His son, Alun (John Ogwen) is a city manipulator and former friend of Michael Gethin.
He is determined to play a part in the break-up of the estate – not just to protect his father’s interests, but also to pay off old scores.
Pendry (Wallas Eaton) is the Gethin’s smooth London solicitor with an eye to any incidental benefits that might come his way – like his fees when a deal is done. Hated by Michael Gethin, he has no affection for rural life or the landscape.
Sefton Garrett (Bill Maynard), the illegitimate son of a Welsh girl, yearns to return to glory in the land of his fathers. A self-made millionaire, he finds in the Gethin estate the answer to his dreams.
His adopted daughter, Jennie (Sarah Douglas), is the mistress of Eliott Morris (Philip Madoc), the ruthless project director for a mining company.
Mackie (Richard Hurndall) is a tax official with a puritanical zeal for hunting estate duty debtors. Lord Gethin is the largest fish yet to fall into his net – and it outrages him that anyone should cling to such vast wealth.
James, Lord Gethin