It's Time to Return to 'The Forsyte Saga' as BBC Preps New Adaptation

The key art for the 2002 adaptation of The Forsyte Saga

The key art for the 2002 adaptation of The Forsyte Saga


There are few British TV classic dramas more associated with the BBC and PBS' Masterpiece than The Forsyte Saga. The first miniseries adaptation of John Galsworthy's early 1900s era novels of the same name and the trilogy follow-up, A Modern Comedy, aired in 1967 on BBC Two, back when it was only available in a minority of British households, and rerun on BBC One in 1968 to a much larger audience. (It was, in that sense, the first of the BBC Two dramas to be promoted to BBC One in light of its ratings.) The next year, it ran nationally on PBS stations in the U.S. and became public television's first major hit, becoming the foundation for Masterpiece's launch in 1970. When the series was remade in 2002, Masterpiece was on it, airing the Daman Lewis-led version in the waning day of Masterpiece Theater. Now, a new adaptation is in the works, once again produced by the BBC, though it remains to be seen if Masterpiece will board.

The Cinemaholic first reported the news at the end of February 2024; unfortunately, there were no other reports to back it up at the time, so we had to file it under rumor until further notice. However, in the past week, notices have gone up at various production sites looking to hire crews to begin filming in Bristol in May 2024, confirming the earlier report. Though the BBC has not yet put up an official announcement, nor revealed the cast, it looks as if this may be produced by Mammoth Screen Productions, the company behind such hits as Endeavour and Murder is Easy, among others.

Also of note, the one piece of information available is the director: Meenu Gaur, who recently directed the aforementioned Murder is Easy and Mammoth's other recent series, World on Fire. World on Fire and Endeavour are also series that were Masterpiece co-productions, making it a likely candidate.

Here is the synopsis:

The series unfolds as an epic drama, chronicling three generations of the influential Forsyte family during the early 20th century. Beneath their imposing facade, the family harbors a tumultuous core of unhappy and brutal relationships. Soames Forsyte, a formidable London solicitor and a key figure in the influential family, accustomed to securing his desires, becomes fixated on marrying the beautiful but indifferent Irene. Despite her initial resistance and passion for art and beauty, Irene succumbs to a life of affluence with Soames but remains adamant about not becoming his possession. As the absence of love becomes apparent and Irene falls for a young architect, Soames, determined to assert control, resorts to coercive measures he couldn’t buy with wealth alone.

The Forsyte Saga trilogy is technically three novels (The Man of Property, In Chancery, To Let) and two short stories, referred to as "interludes" ("Indian Summer of a Forsyte," and "Awakening") released between 1906 and 1921. Traditionally, the adaptations also include the follow-up trilogy A Modern Comedy which is also three novels (The White Monkey, The Silver Spoon, Swan Song) and two interludes ("A Silent Wooing" and "Passers-By"), published from 1924-1928.

Hopefully, the BBC will confirm the series when filming begins in the next few weeks. We have reached out for comment but did not hear back by time of publication.

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The Forsyte Saga

A compelling drama of love, adultery, obsession, power and money in the Victorian era.
The Forsyte Saga: show-poster2x3


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

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