The Barchester Chronicles (1982) – Ace Mini-Review + How Ace Is Alan Rickman?

The Barchester Chronicles
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Janet Maw, Nigel Hawthorne
Written by: Alan Plater
Books by: Anthony Trollope
Directed by: David Giles
U.K., 1982

How good is this mini-series?

The personal and professional trials of a humble priest living in a small English town are amusing in places but don’t exactly make for gripping drama. I can’t really recommend it, but it is worth watching for its almost Dickensian supporting cast, notably Archdeacon Grantly (a loveably irascible Nigel Hawthorne), Mrs Proudie (a sternly formidable Geraldine McEwan), and Obadiah Slope (a wonderfully slimy Alan Rickman).

How ace is this mini-series?

Marriage, particularly the many courtships payed to Eleanor, is a major part of the story, but sex itself doesn’t come up much, and there’s plenty of other stuff going on.

How ace is Alan Rickman?

Character: Obadiah Slope (chaplain)

Slope is courting at least two prominent women, but it’s clear that he is primarily interested in their money and social position, rather than their bodies. In fact, when Signora Neroni offers herself to him, no strings attached, he balks. This is, of course, partly because he knows how bad such an affair could be for his career, but the fact that he doesn’t even seem tempted suggests that sex just isn’t that appealing to him.

What if he is?

Slope is clearly motivated by ambition and the desire for social advancement rather than sexual or romantic interest, and that holds true whether he is asexual or not.

3 Stars; 3 Aces

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