John Galsworthy’s The Forsyte Saga has been adapted multiple times since its original publication in the early twentieth century. Public broadcasting viewers may recall a successful adaptation in the ’70s, but the most recent take is a mini-series that aired on Masterpiece Theatre in two parts beginning in 2002. That version of The Forsyte Saga is now airing on UNC-EX Saturday nights at 8 (episode one aired June 6) and features some familiar faces.
If you watched – or will watch – you will first recognize Damian Lewis, who stars as Soames Forsyte. He’s acted in many roles, but UNC-TV viewers will probably best know him as King Henry VIII on Wolf Hall.
Also, Rupert Graves, who plays Young Jolyon Forsyte, has been all over UNC-TV recently. He’s Lestrade on Sherlock and he portrayed Nick Savage on Scott & Bailey and he’s slated to appear in the upcoming season of Last Tango in Halifax (premiering June 28) as Gary. Personally, I think his neatest public television connection is that he was born in Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, England. That’s the setting for the Britcom The Café and also the birthplace of Monty Python’s John Cleese!
The last person I’ll point out (if you spend the time you can probably find public TV connections with every actor and crew member who worked on The Forsyte Saga; I generally stick with the stars or the obvious, just to save time) is Wendy Craig who plays Aunt Juley. If you look her up on imdb, you’ll see dozens of roles and series over the years, but I think it’s safe to say she’s best known to UNC-TV viewers as Ria Parkinson on the situation comedy Butterflies. That’s going waaaaay back, since UNC-TV (then the UNC Center for Public Television) aired this Britcom in the mid-80s. If you ever happen upon the show, you’ll see also Geoffrey Palmer (As Time Goes By) as her husband, Ben, and a young Nicholas Lyndhurst (Only Fools and Horses, After You’ve Gone) as one of her two sons.
So there you have it. Some of the people on The Forsyte Saga you may recognize from other roles. Watch The Forsyte Saga Saturdays at 8pm on UNC-EX.