To The Manor Born - Series 1 (DVD)

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To The Manor Born - Series 1 (DVD)

Penelope Keith, who was riding a crest of a wave after her success in The Good Life, was given her own starring comedy vehicle in the shape of TO THE ...

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Review of "To The Manor Born - Series 1 (DVD)"

published 10/09/2017 | CoffeeQueen68
Member since : 08/01/2014
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Excellent
Pro A classic comedy that still makes me laugh.
Cons None.
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"How to be Lord of the Manor"

Penelope Keith as  Audrey and Peter Bowles as Richard

Penelope Keith as Audrey and Peter Bowles as Richard

To the Manor Born was first aired in 1979. This is a classic comedy which I've always enjoyed watching. I remember watching it on TV, and have seen the repeats many times. But I just can't remember watching the very first season, so decided to buy the complete first series from Amazon.

Series Information

Aired: 1979
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Running time: 30 minutes each episode
Creator: Peter Spence

Main Cast
Penelope Keith - Audrey Fforbes-Hamilton
Peter Bowles - Richard DeVere
Angela Thorne - Marjory Frobisher
John Rudling - Bradbinger
Gerald Sim - The Rector
About the series

The Episodes
1) Grantleigh
2) All New Together
3) Rhythms of the Earth/Going to Church
4) Nations Heritage
5) The Summer Hunt Ball
6) The Grapevine
7) A Touch of Class

To the Manor Born is set in the fictional town of Grantleigh in Somerset. Episode 1 begins with the death of Audreys husband, Marton, the Lord of Grantleigh Manor. She's not exactly upset over his death, thinking she will now be sole owner of the manor, which has been in her family for 400 years. But things quickly turn sour when she realises that Marton left her with mounting debts and had gone bankrupt. This left Audrey no option but to put the manor up for auction. At the auction she attempts to buy the manor back, but is outbid by Richard DeVere, a millionaire who runs Cavendish Foods. Audrey subsequently moves into The Lodge, which is just across the way from The Manor with her butler, Bradbinger. And Richard moves into the manor with his mother. Living in the lodge is certainly a step down for Audrey, but on the plus side, she is able to keep a close eye on what is going on in the manor.

Series 1 is really Audrey and Richard getting to know each other as neighbours and finding out a few surprises about each other along the way. Audrey pays close attention with what is happening at the manor. She can't quite let go of it and still wants to be part of things. This is proven in Episode 5 with the summer hunt ball. She is annoyed that her friend, Majory, has been asked to arrange the ball by Richard. Knowing Marjory has absolutely no clue on how to organize or run the ball, Audrey steps in and takes control of things, never once thinking to tell Richard. We also find out in the first series that Richard DeVere is not in fact English, but is from Czechoslovakian heritage when his mother visits Audrey at The Lodge on the pretence of needing some sugar. This shocks Audrey as she thought he was English through and through. He changed his name to DeVere to help him with his business. I think Audrey is slightly resentful with what's happened. She still considers herself Lady of the Manor I think, and can't let go with what once was her home and her life. And with the new Lord of the Manor firmly making his mark, it is interesting to see how she copes with this and how she keeps a firm eye on things.
My Thoughts

I had forgotten how good this was. Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles work well together, and it's interesting to see how their relationship goes from meeting for the first time in the first episode, and how she manages with living in the smaller home close to the large manor house. I can't believe it's nearly 40 years since this was first aired in 1979, but yet it's still funny to watch. The jokes and humour are still really funny, and I like how she bosses Majory about, as well as her butler, and of course the debonair Peter. People of a certain age will clearly remember this show and, I hope, with fond memories. It's certainly a classic show that I have enjoyed watching again.
DVD Extras
  • Interview with Peter Spence, the writer of the show
  • Cast filmographies
  • Scene selections
  • Productions notes
Price and Availability

Series 1 of To the Manor Born is available to purchase on Amazon which comes on a 2 disc version. At the time of writing this review it costs £11.95 new or from £3.55 used.

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Comments on this review

  • CelticSoulSister published 23/09/2017
    Well reviewed!
  • brittle1906 published 16/09/2017
    VH, I loved this series when it was aired on TV and like yourself have watched the re-runs. It doesn't seem to date the way some TV series do.
  • euphie published 14/09/2017
    vh :o)
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Product Information : To The Manor Born - Series 1 (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Penelope Keith, who was riding a crest of a wave after her success in The Good Life, was given her own starring comedy vehicle in the shape of TO THE MANOR BORN. She plays Audrey Fforbes-Hamilton (with two F's), who inherits a large stately home after the death of her husband. No sooner has she taken sole charge of Grantleigh Manor than she finds that her husband was bankrupt and she is forced to sell up to rich London businessman Richard DeVere (Peter Bowles). Moving into the Manor's lodge, Audrey is determine to keep an eye on the new owner and to one day get back her home. Whilst at Grantleigh, Richard is finding that being Lord of the Manor comes with its own problems and responsibilities and that he could use Audrey's help.

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