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Fortunes Of War

1 9 8 7 (UK)
7 x 60 minute episodes

The BBC’s £6 million Fortunes Of War was based on Olivia Manning’s story set in Bucharest at the outbreak of World War II.

The series acquired a deft delicious script from Alan Plater and the world’s most irritating hero, Guy Pringle (played by Kenneth Branagh).

It also had Emma Thompson, struggling under some awful wigs, as his sensible wife Harriet, finding to her anguish that her husband – a naive lecturer working for the British Council – was all things to everyone but quite insensitive to her needs.

As Harriet and Guy reaffirmed their love high on a pyramid (with a friend he’d invited along for good measure) you knew this was the Harrods class of drama.

In a prime case of life imitating art, Branagh and Thompson later married in real life.


Guy Pringle
Kenneth Branagh 
Harriet Pringle 

Emma Thompson
Prince Yakimov 

Ronald Pickup

Charles Kay

James Villiers
Sasha Drucker 

Harry Burton
Bella Niculesco 

Caroline Langrishe
Lord Pinkrose 

Alan Bennett
Simon Boulderstone 

Rupert Graves
Edwina Little 

Diana Hardcastle
Toby Lush 

Christopher Strauli 

Robert Stephens

Mark Drewry
Angela Hooper 

Ciaran Madden

Desmond McNamara

Richard Clifford 
Aidan Pratt 

Greg Hicks
Sophie Oresanu 

Elena Secota 

Magdalena Buznea

Vernon Dobtcheff

Mischa De La Motte