1 9 7 9 (UK)
12 x 50 minute episodes
Debuting in October 1979, this 12-part costume romance series from the BBC told the tale of obsessive love and thwarted passion in storm-tossed Cornwall.
The series was brimming with dynastic complexity, spanning the years between 1867 to 1940 and flashing back and forth across three generations. The first episode alone covered 33 years, three generations and three characters called Mark!
It took a while to get the hang of who did whom out of what and when but the series contained all the required cliches of the genre to ensure its success.
Maud Castallack (Angela Scoular) waged war on her cousin Giles Penmar (Shaughan Seymour) for many years in her determination to secure the gloomy Cornwall mansion of Penmarric – which the family called “the inheritance” – for her son, Mark (Martin C Thurley).
But Mark was a man of passion and was beholden to his own desires, being torn between two women – Janna (Annabel Leventon) and Rose (Shirley Steedman). He eventually wed Janna (who had been his father’s mistress), produced four children, raped her, and abandoned her to live with his mistress – all in less than an hour!
Throughout, “the inheritance” was the cause of many legal battles, fist-fights, tears and irritable death-bed scenes – but there was also a lot of hanky-panky around the Cornish coastline, principally in a beach tent.
Martin C Thurley (Thomas Ellice)
Holly De Jong
Young Mark Castallack
Lynda La Plante
John Henry Roslyn