Rent Strangers and Brothers: Series (1984)

3.7 of 5 from 51 ratings
10h 50min
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As World War II looms in Europe, an ambitious young English lawyer embarks on his turbulent career - and even stormier love life. Set amidst the politically turbulent times surrounding World War II, this acclaimed 13-part BBC drama (adapted from C.P. Snow's novel) chronicles the impassioned life of young Englishman Lewis Eliot (Shaughan Seymour). In a world where truth and justice test the moral fibre of even the most solid of men, Eliot is the ambitious lawyer fighting the temptations that could ruin his career, friendships and marriage. His decisions lead his career on a tempestuous journey of success, tragedy, and rekindled love.
Throughout it all, Eliot realizes his true "brothers" masquerade as "strangers". Shaughan Seymour stars as Lewis, Sheila Ruskin as his mentally troubled first wife, Sheila, and Cherie Lunghi as his second wife, Margaret. The cast also boasts Anthony Hopkins, Nigel Havers, Peter Sallis and Tom Wilkinson.
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Philip Hinchcliffe
Julian Bond, C.P. Snow
Simply Media
British TV, TV Dramas
Remembering Tom Wilkinson
Release Date:
Run Time:
650 minutes
English Mono
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
Disc 1:
This disc includes episodes 1 - 4
Disc 2:
This disc includes episodes 5 - 7
Disc 3:
This disc includes episodes 8 - 10
Disc 4:
This disc includes episodes 11 - 13

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Reviews (1) of Strangers and Brothers: Series

Watch closely - Strangers and Brothers: Series review by SB

Spoiler Alert

This is a review of episodes 1-7 only , being those which cover the timescale I am interested in, from the late twenties to the earlier part of the Second World War. Adapted from CP Snow's novels and set in the worlds of the law, academia and the civil service/scientific research, the series needs needs close attention (the books are even more demanding). The locations and backgrounds are well done, and there are many fine performances from character actors in a massive cast.

Unfortunately Shaun Seymour, playing the lead Lewis Eliot, is also really a character actor, and is simply not up to the job of portraying someone who is seldom off-screen. It is not possible to believe the things people say about him or that he would make such an impression on others. He was much better as, say, Lord Hollingford in the BBC 'Wives and Daughters'. The revolting Sheila Ruskin is also a mistake as Eliot's first wife. But there is some redemption in the depths of the war as Eliot finds a lover (played by Cherie Lunghi) who apparently understands him and loves him for his own sake. Nigel Havers as the tortured Roy Calvert is good in a departure from his more usual 'light' roles.

Out of these episodes, the best (not least because Eliot's wife is absent) is probably episode 5, which is based on 'The Master' and is a tightly-focussed examination of college politics in Cambridge. Even this however is much more superficial than the book.

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