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DVD Review

DVD cover

Rosamunde Pilcher's Four Seasons
Summer, Autumn


Starring: Michael York, Senta Berger, Frank Finlay, Juliet Mills and Paula Kalenberg
Acorn Media UK
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 07 September 2009

Endellion should be an idyll nestled in the Cornish countryside, as home to the Combes it should provide all the comfort and security which money and power afford. But the return of the family's eldest son, Stephen, sparks off a chain of events which threatens to tear the family apart and certainly changes their lives forever...

Rosamunde Pilcher’s Four Seasons: Summer, Autumn is a tale of a family set against the seasons of their lives. The show was directed by Giles Foster with a screenplay by Matthew Thomas and T.R. Bowen. Pilcher is a well known author of mainly romantic novels having started her writing career producing novels for Mills & Boon. The DVD set is spread across two DVDs each one with a running time of approximately one and a half hours.

The DVD set represents the first two segments of a four part story, so I’m not really sure why the whole thing wasn’t released as a box set. It is possible that since this is such a recent program that the third and forth parts haven’t even aired yet as the next two parts are not set for release until 2010. The show does boast some of the finest British actors in the form of Michael York, Tom Conti, Frank Finlay, Perdita Weeks, and Juliet Mills.

To be honest, these tales of rich people having a bad time never really did move me much. I understand that people like to see fortunate people having their lives torn apart, but I never felt that vindictive towards the wealthy. There are many who enjoy this sort of show and I will admit it does have some things going for it. The acting, for the most part, is superb and the cinematography of the countryside sumptuous.

We follow the family’s fortunes through Abby’s journey to discover the truth behind her mother’s suicide and the desertion of her grandmother for another man. The show starts with a plane crash not far from the estate which involves Abby’s grandmother which creates the impetus for her journey of discovery. Of course, what the audience discover is that the estate is resplendent with skeletons. The show is less drama than melodrama.

The set does some with a few extras. On disc one you get a photo gallery as well as a text-based biography of Rosamunde Pilcher and the cast filmographies. There are no extras on the second disc.

Fans of Pilcher will enjoy Acorn Media’s continued release of her adapted work as will fans of melodrama, though you have to be aware that you are purchasing an incomplete story, unless you want to wait for 2010.


Charles Packer

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