7.5/10
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56 user 10 critic

Gormenghast 

A villain threatens the rise of a new earl in an ancient kingdom.
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1  
2000  
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Based on the works of Mervyn Peake, the series chronicles the reign of the Groan Dynasty over Gormenghast Castle, an endless and crumbling castle with vast halls and serpentine corridors. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Warren Mitchell ...  Barquentine 4 episodes, 2000
Celia Imrie ...  Lady Gertrude 4 episodes, 2000
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ...  Steerpike 4 episodes, 2000
John Sessions ...  Dr. Prunesquallor 4 episodes, 2000
Christopher Lee ...  Flay 4 episodes, 2000
Neve McIntosh ...  Lady Fuchsia 4 episodes, 2000
Fiona Shaw ...  Irma Prunesquallor 4 episodes, 2000
Zoë Wanamaker ...  Clarice Groan 3 episodes, 2000
George Antoni George Antoni ...  Bookman 3 episodes, 2000
Lynsey Baxter ...  Cora Groan 3 episodes, 2000
June Brown June Brown ...  Nannie Slagg 3 episodes, 2000
Sean Hughes ...  Poet 3 episodes, 2000
Ian Richardson ...  Lord Groan 2 episodes, 2000
Stephen Fry ...  Professor Bellgrove 2 episodes, 2000
Richard Griffiths ...  Swelter 2 episodes, 2000
Eric Sykes ...  Mollocks 2 episodes, 2000
Windsor Davies ...  Rottcodd 2 episodes, 2000
Olga Sosnovska ...  Keda 2 episodes, 2000
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Storyline

Gormenghast is an ancient city-state which primarily consists of a rambling and crumbling castle. The narrative, based on the first two of the three Gormenghast novels by Mervyn Peake, begins with the birth of a son, Titus, to the 76th Earl, Sepulchrave Groan, and Countess Gertrude. This mismatched pair (he'd prefer the melancholy privacy of his library; she'd prefer the company of her menagerie of cats and birds) also have a teenaged daughter, Fuchsia, who resents her new brother but comes to love him dearly. Simultaneously, a young kitchen apprentice, Steerpike, takes advantage of an altercation between head cook Swelter and the Earl's manservant, Mr. Flay, and escapes from the kitchens. Gormenghast is rigidly feudal in structure, but Steerpike has ambitions. He befriends the imaginative, yearning Fuchsia, and through her becomes apprenticed to the castle physician, Dr. Prunesquallor, who lives with his man-hunting sister Irma. This position allows Steerpike to work his way into the... Written by G.M. Baxter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

77 generations built the kingdom of Gormenghast... Will one kitchen boy bring it down? See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

BBC Online | PBS [United States]

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 June 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gormenghast See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(4 parts)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lady Gertrude's white crow was, at the time, the only known white crow in the world. See more »

Quotes

Barquentine: Damn his Lordship! Where is he?
See more »

Connections

Spin-off The Boy in Darkness (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Good looking adaptation
5 January 2000 | by Dodger-9See all my reviews

This looks like being the year of big budget gothic adventure (all featuring Christopher Lee) with Sleepy Hollow packing them in at multiplexes around Britain and The Lord of the Rings trilogy currently shooting in New Zealand - not to mention this lavish mini-series which is one of the biggest fantasy productions ever staged on British TV.

Gormenghast spent five years in production and it seems like all the hard work was worth the wait.

With an impressive cast including Celia Imrie, John Sessions, Warren Mitchell and Jonathan Rhys Myers, the BBC have ensured that Mervyn Peake's classic tale of murder, seduction and tragic events striking the family of a crumbling castle is a faithful version of a literary classic.

At one point, Sting owned the rights to the books and was planning to star in a movie version - he settled for playing Steerpike in an adaptation from 1984.

It's perhaps best that this ended up as a TV drama: The plot and scale of the original material is far too dense to do justice in a two hour movie.

The casting is excellent, the special effects are fine and direction by Andy Wilson is assured.

Well worth a look.


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