It is hard to believe that it was 10 years ago that this mini series hit the TV channels. Originally produced by British Granada TV, it crossed the ‘pond’ in 2003 and became an instant hit on PBS’s Masterpiece Theater. In 2004 A second season The Forsyte Saga: To Let was broadcast and also became an instant hit for Masterpiece Theater.

The series is based on two books penned by John Galsworthy between 1906 and 1921. They chronicle the life and times of the Forsyte’s, a well to do Victorian, and later Edwardian family. The patriarch of the family is Soames Forsyte, a  successful solicitor with a rather serious outlook on life, he is the text book version of the repressive times in which he lived. His cousin Jolyon however is cut from a very different cloth, free wheeling and free thinking, he pushes the envelope.

What makes this series outstanding is… well just about everything!

The story line is wide ranging, greed, ego, and a dose of adultery all make appearances. While these ideas may be common themes in today’s books and movies, I am sure that John Galsworthy’s books were viewed as scandalous when he wrote them. On the technical side, the cinematography, settings, costumes, and acting is of the very highest quality. Casting Damian Lewis as the ‘starched collared’ Soames Forsyte was nothing short of genius.

As I recall John Galsworthy wrote a total of nine books about the Forsyte family, this series only covers two of them, I hope that Granada decide to do more.

The Forsyte Saga Collection is a 5 DVD boxed set that contains all 14 episodes from both seasons. If you love great drama, this is a must watch series.

You can buy your copy from Amazon by using the link above.

Simon Barrett

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