Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review: The Pallisers (1974) -- Episodes 15 - 19

And a Happy Birthday to me! :-D. So on my birthday, I will continue with my Pallisers reviews. And after this, one more Pallisers review and this review series will be complete. But anyways, I've had been enjoying The Pallisers at this point in the series and continued to watch and review it (I have finished it already, but I'm a little behind on the reviews). But enough of that: here's the review for the next part!

Note: This review contains spoilers from the previous sections. If you do not want to encounter spoilers, do not read this review. I do encourage you to read the first review and the second review of The Pallisers, though.

Box Set
These episodes of The Pallisers follow the events that happen in the book Pineas Redux in Anthony Trollope's Pallisers series. The story continues to focus on Phineas Finn's and Lizzie Eustace's stories, but slowly brings back Plantagenet and Glencora Palliser's story and chronicles Plantagenet's ascension to dukedom. After loosing his wife and child, the mourning Phineas Finn returns to England to continue his political career. While continuing his friendship with Lady Laura while she is separated from her husband, Phineas Finn makes an enemy out of Laura's husband, Robert Kennedy, who has lost his reason. Meanwhile, Lizzie Eustace has married Reverend Emilius, who treats her poorly and who may still be married to a woman in Prague. Lizzie manages to escape and finds refuge with the Bonteens, Mr. Bonteen being Phineas Finn's political rival.

Most of the recognizable actors/actresses are returning characters from previous episodes. Though I will also note that Benjamin Whitrow (Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (1995)) appeared in one episode, though I completely missed him.

Actor/ActressCharacterAlso Seen In
Susan HampshireLady Glencora PalliserThe Barchester Chronicles as Signora Neroni
Anna MasseyLady Laura Standish/Lady Laura KennedyHe Knew He Was Right as Aunt Stanbury
Mel MartinViolet EffinghamPoldark (1996) as Demelza Poldark
Derek JacobiLord FawnThe King's Speech as the Archbishop of Canterbury

Lady Glencora Palliser
While the Palliser family isn't as much of a main focus in this section as in the first section of episodes, they do come in more in this section than in the previous (yes!). I was happy to see more of the Pallisers (since the series is called The Pallisers) and see them involved in the plot (unlike the last section where you can only see bits and pieces of them). We get to see their family expanding more and Plantagenet's career go further as he becomes the Duke of Omnium. We also get to see Glencora's friendship with Marie Goesler develop, which is a nice subplot in itself. I grew to like Marie more and more as the episodes continued.

Marie Goesler taking to Phineas Finn
I even grew to like Phineas Finn a little bit more (though I hated the beard that he grew, but that's a story for another day). Maybe it's because the plot was lighter on politics (though politics are still involved: he is a politician after all) and more on an actual plot. But I think another reason why I like him a little bit more could be that he calmed down after he married Mary in Ireland (before, he was too much of a ladies man). It was sad that he lost both Mary and his child early in these episodes, which caused me to have more sympathy for him. Plantagenet, Glencora, and Marie become better friends with him, which proves helpful Spoiler when Phineas goes on trial for murder End of Spoiler. I definitely feel better about his character in these episodes, though I did think that he should have left Lady Laura alone since he knew he was causing trouble Robert Kennedy.
Lizzie Eustace and Emilius

Lizzie Eustace also becomes a more sympathetic character in these episodes. I admit that a lot of her problems could have been avoided had she made better decisions, but after she married Emilius, she became a more sympathetic character and I felt bad for her. You may not have been rooting for her in the previous section of episodes, but in this section you may start to hope that everything turns out better for her.

The scenery is pretty much the same as it always has been. Some of the indoor scenes I suspect were shot on a sound stage, but by doing further research, I found out that some scenes were shot on location (for instance, the Palliser's home of Matching was shot Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire). From what I recall, there weren't as many outdoor scenes with nice scenery as the last two sections of The Pallisers.

Okay, I couldn't find a picture from
The Pallisers of this dress, but
Glencora wears it and it looks
The costuming still maintains to be fabulous! In this set of episodes, the women's outfits lose the bustle for the natural form look (Mid-1870s to Early 1880s). The dresses are very lavishly decorated and look stunning. Glencora is still clearly the best dressed character on the show, though both Marie and Lizzie Eustace still have nice clothes (though both widows, Marie wears blacks and grays while Lizzie chooses to wear colors: maybe a statement on their personalities?). Lady Laura is always dressed in black (not quite sure why since she's not in mourning Spoiler until the end of this section when her husband dies. End of Spoiler). One thing I have to complain about is all the men getting beards in this section. I know around this time, beards were becoming popular, but for a lot of the men, it didn't look good. Plantagenet, thankfully, didn't don a beard, but Phineas Finn's looked pretty bad.

Oh Phineas Finn... Your character improved,
but your beard doesn't look good at all...
Overall: 3.5/5
I'd say this section was better than the previous section, but not as good as the first. I think it's because, for me, it's still working up from the rating from the previous section: it wasn't as good and now is getting better. The Phineas Finn storyline is getting better and the Pallisers are coming back into the story line (yay!). The trial that comes into the story was even interesting. The costumes are still spectacular and very note worthy. I think after watching this and Poldark, I've gained a little more hope for period dramas made in the 70s.

From what I can remember, there really is only one scene that I would skip if there is a scene to skip (but this scene wasn't graphic or anything and cuts away in time, but it is a little suggestive). The rest of the content is pretty much some suggestive dialogue and (maybe?) some swearing. The Pallisers maintains a TV-PG rating in my view.

The Pallisers is available on DVD. There are 26 episodes in and and each episode runs at about 50 minutes.

Old-Fashioned Charm
This review (along with the other reviews for The Pallisers) is apart of the Period Drama Challenge. Come join the fun!

Read the Other Reviews!
Part 1Part 2Part 4
Note: Some of the other reviews might contain spoilers


  1. Oh, it was your birthday? Happy BIRTHDAY! :D Another March birthday. I keep finding those this year. ;)

    (I don't feel like signing into my other account, haha.)


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