The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series DVD

Christopher Morahan, O Brien Jim , 1984

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Film Details

Directed by Christopher Morahan, O Brien Jim

Produced in 1984

Main Language - English

Countries & Regions - British Film

MovieMail's Review

In March 1983, Richard Attenborough's Gandhi romped home at the Oscars. A year later, ITV broadcast The Jewel in the Crown, the longest and most complex of the mid-1980s flurry of films and programmes exploring the British Raj – and also the most fondly remembered, not least for establishing Art Malik and Charles Dance as national heart-throbs.

Seamlessly streamlined from the 2,000-plus pages of Paul Scott's Raj Quartet, and set in the final half-decade of British rule in India (1942-47), its fourteen episodes conveyed the historical and political background through the shifting relationships of a relatively small number of people.

Hari Kumar (Malik), a British-educated Indian, and Ronald Merrick (Tim Pigott-Smith), a grammar school-educated policeman, are both fish out of water - Hari culturally, Merrick socially. Both take a shine to Daphne Manners (Susan Wooldridge), an Englishwoman whose idealised view of the Raj is graphically overturned when she is raped by an Indian in an unmistakably symbolic fashion.

This event, and Daphne's subsequent death in childbirth, has repercussions that echo down successive years, not least when Sarah Layton (Geraldine James) tries to find out what happened and also becomes involved with Merrick.

Meanwhile, the dottily eccentric missionary Barbie Batchelor (Peggy Ashcroft) undergoes a loss of faith which represents the general failure of Christianity to come to terms with India's very different spiritual traditions, while dashing British Army sergeant Guy Perron (Dance) turns up near the end to oversee the end of British rule.

Shot with the production values of a feature film but at a length allowing far greater attention to detail, The Jewel in the Crown now embodies a double nostalgia: both for the Raj itself, and for the days when ITV still produced ambitious and challenging drama series.

Michael Brooke on 1st April 2005
Author of 154 reviews

The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series

Film Description

This sumptuously 1984 production of Jewel in the Crown brought Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet to life, and established Art Malik and Charles Dance as national heart-throbs.

Set during the twilight of British rule in India, Jewel in the Crown examines the historical and political changes through the personal lives of a small group of characters. Shot with the production values of a feature film but at a length allowing far greater attention to detail, Jewel in the Crown represents the high point of 1980s TV drama, and features a fantastic cast that includes Tim Pigott-Smith, Susan Wooldridge, Geraldine James and Peggy Ashcroft.

DVD Details

Certificate: 15

Publisher: Granada Ventures Ltd

Length: 800 mins

Format: DVD Colour

Region: 2

Released: 24th August 2009

Cat No: 3711532033

DVD Extras

  • 4 discs

Film Stills

The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series The Jewel in the Crown: The Complete Series

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Community Reviews

by Barry Forshaw on 1st April 2005

To mark the 21st anniversary of the broadcast of the multi-award winning series, this collector’s edition has been digitally remastered and includes tempting extra fea... Read on

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