Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: The Pallisers (1974) -- Episodes 20 - 26

And so I present to you my final review of The Pallisers. (Though, in truth, I finished watching it about a month ago). It was a great ride watching it with my mom, and as the 26 episodes drew to a close, I felt a little sorry that it had to end, but at the same time it ended at a good place. Some series tend to be dragged on further than when it should have ended, so I think Anthony Trollope (and by extension the screenplay writers) made a wise decision to end it when they did.

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 reviewthe second review, and the third review of The Pallisers, though.


The Pallisers finishes up with the concluding episodes chronicling the events that occur in Anthony Trollope's books, The Prime Minister and The Duke's Children. Plantagenet Palliser, the Duke of Omnium, is raised to the position of prime minister, something which his wife, Lady Glencora, take advantage of socially. Plantagenet and Glencora's children, Lord Silverbridge, Gerald, and Lady Mary Palliser, have grown up and become main characters in The Pallisers and the story focuses on their lives.

More recognizable actors come in this final part of The Pallisers.

Actor/ActressCharacterAlso Seen In
Susan HampshireLady Glencora PalliserThe Barchester Chronicles as Signora Neroni
Anthony AndrewsLord SilverbridgeThe Scarlet Pimpernel (1982) as Sir Percy Blakeney
Jeremy IronsFrank TregearThe Lion King as Scar
Michael CochraneGerald PalliserDownton Abbey as Mr. Travis

Finally, most of the focus is back to the Palliser family. After many episodes of them not being so much of the main focus, the focus is back on the Pallisers with some side plots for other characters. Marie, now married to Phineas Finn, is still a big character in these episodes, however Phineas is rarely seen in these episodes and he quietly goes off screen.

Silverbridge with his friend, Frank Tregear
A lot of focus is on the Pallisers' eldest child, Lord Silverbridge (which Scarlet Pimpernel fans will be pleased to see is portrayed by Anthony Andrews). Overall, I liked Silverbridge, though he was a character who always got into trouble (often by his own fault). There were a couple of parts to his story, each of them interesting in their own way: his political life (where he decides to stand for the Tories to the chagrin of his father), his relationship with his father, and who is he going to marry (will it be Lady Mabel Grex, who he's known for all his life but who turns out to be after his title, or Isabel Boncassen, an American who is the daughter of a business man?).

Seriously the best picture I could find of Lady Mary.
Also coming into the story is Silverbridge's friend, Frank Tregear, who falls in love with Silverbridge's sister, Lady Mary. Frank is also the one who introduces Silverbridge to his politics, which doesn't please Plantagenet. I didn't mind Frank Tregear, but I would have liked to have seen more of him to see more of his character. I also would have liked to have seen more of Lady Mary: it seemed like she was a character that was just there and I didn't get to know her character all that well. While we do get to see their relationship develop, it seemed like there should have been more of them.

Glencora receiving some shocking news
There is still a big focus on Plantagenet and Glencora's story despite the fact that so much of the story is focused on Silverbridge. Glencora, while she is still likable, does seem to make some bad decisions that affect Plantagenet's position as Prime Minister Spoiler to the point where he has to step down from his post. End of Spoiler Plantagenet is still likable, but might appear dull in comparison to Glencora, who takes delight in her new found position in society, but at the same time, he balances off Glencora's lively, but impulsive, nature. On reflecting from the first section of episodes, I think they were a good match for each other even though they were made to marry each other: they balanced each other well. Spoiler The saddest thing in this section of episodes is the death of Glencora. She was probably the main reason why I tuned into The Pallisers and then she died? It probably was good that Anthony Trollope finished off the Palliser series when he did because if he did and they filmed the future books, I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much without Glencora. End of Spoiler

The main subplot in this section of episodes is of the politician Lopez and his fall from grace with his fellow politicians. From the start, Lopez was a slimy character and a scam artist that you couldn't like with all his shady business dealings and scams. I was able to feel sorry for his young wife, Emily, who falls victim to Lopez's shady dealings. Even Glencora fell victim to his charm and even encouraged him to run for parliament (which she had to take back), which caused the Pallisers to look very foolish Spoiler and which caused Plantagenet to give up his position as prime minister. End of Spoiler.

The scenery doesn't change too much in this section of episodes. Most of the scenes take place around the Pallisers home of Matching, but there are still some scenes that take place in parliament. We get to see Lopez's home and place of business, but there really wasn't anything extraordinary about the scenery in these episodes.

An older Marie Finn
Ladies Costuming goes out of the natural form era of the Victorian era to the late bustle era that featured large bustles (indicating that these episodes happen after 1883). I wasn't much of a fan of the late bustle era until seeing these episodes. Some of the dresses looked very nice and I wouldn't have minded wearing any of those dresses! What I noticed about all of the ladies' dresses was that, whether young or old, they all had high collars on (I think there was one party scene in which the ladies didn't have the high collars on). The Men's Costuming pretty much stays the same as in the previous section.

There is definitely a difference in appearance in both Marie and Glencora. In earlier episodes, both looked fairly young (even during the last episode of the last section), but once this section started, they both looked old: the hair on both women looked duller with some grey, so you can tell that quite a few years passed since the series started. Still, both are dressed well (though a little matronly as becomes their age).

Overall: 4/5
The Pallisers I thought ended on a high note (though I didn't like the one death that occurred) and nicely completed the saga that I started reviewing a while ago. There weren't really any loose ends at the end of this miniseries, which is always a nice thing to achieve. Was it a happy ending? I think for the most part, yes. Sure, some parts of the ending were sad, but I think everything pretty much worked out for the best.

The Pallisers Overall: 4/5
I've seen four Trollope period dramas, and I think this one is a very good period drama to add to anyone's watch list. While some parts of it can be a little slow (especially in the Phineas Finn story), the overall period drama is great to watch. The acting is very nicely done and the costumes are definitely worth a look! The plot can get a little heavy on politics, however, and you may need to look up some things to understand what is going on, but I still recommend this period drama.

From what I recall, there wasn't any objectionable scenes in these episodes (but if there was, it was minor). There may be some language, but other than that I can't think of anything else. The series still maintains a TV-PG rating.

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 3
Note: Some of the other reviews might contain spoilers


  1. Thanks for recommending this by a comment on my blog. It does sound fun and I've been wanting to see it sometime. Glad to see you give it a 4/5 rating! :)

  2. Hmmm.... this certainly looks fascinating! I am looking for a new series to watch... as our family is nearly done watching (sadly) Lark Rise to Candleford - which has completely swept me away! How dare they end it!

    Thank you for your wonderful review!


Thank you for visiting Elegance of Fashion. If you wish to leave a comment, please do. I ask that you refrain from bad language and are polite and constructive. If you are posing under "Anonymous", if you could leave a name, that would be great! I reserve the right to delete any comments that I deem family unfriendly.

Thank you very much and please come again.