The Sydney Morning Herald
25 August 2003
by Robin Oliver
Show Of The Week
The Forsyte Saga, ABC, 8.30pm
When the first series of The Forsyte Saga screened a year ago, viewers who remembered the BBC version of 1967 were disappointed, appalled even, that Granada seemed to be calling a halt just as Fleur (daughter of Soames and Annette ) and Jon (son of Irene and Jolyon ) were born. They remembered Susan Hampshire as the original Fleur and thought the best bits might be lost.
Welcome, then, to the next chapters in the Galsworthy saga. It is 1909, Fleur is seven and getting dressed to visit Aunt Hester; Soames is impatient. They will be late, but first a battle of wills must be won. When Fleur finally appears in her favourite satin dress, Soames’s clenched smile of joy blended with pure triumph is a tremendous TV moment.
Hester’s 80th birthday is peppered with greedy anticipation of how her fortune will be shared. The continuing feud is evident, for when June (Gillian Kearney ) drops in uninvited with Irene’s son (Toby Parkes ), Soames ( Damian Lewis ) is engulfed with rage.
Kate Brooke’s ingenious screenplay will soon leap 11 years. But first there’s Irene (Gina McKee ), away in the country with Jolyon and infuriatingly serene, as Soames surely suspects. A splendid start.