Wounded in the Boer War, discharged from the army, Paul Craddock (Nigel Havers, Chariots of Fire) returns home to an inheritance and buys a neglected Devon estate. Based on the historical novel by R.F. Delderfield, filmed in the green English countryside, this classic BBC miniseries from the late 1970s unfolds slowly, chronicling Craddock's life, the changing times, and the approach of the first World War. 13 episodes, 11 hrs, 4 DVDs, SDH.
Part 1: 1902 Valley for Sale
Paul Craddock arrives in Devon to view the deteriorating estate of Shallowford House. John Rudd introduces him to some of the locals, including the rough-around-the-edges Potters and the Derwent family, whose daughter Claire catches Craddock's eye. Uneasy about Craddock's intentions, Rudd tries to figure out his true plans.
Part 2: 1902 The Party
As the new squire of "the Valley," Paul enlists Claire's help to redecorate Shallowford house, and the two grow better acquainted. A rivalry emerges between Paul and the terse Lord Gilroy of the neighboring land. Later at the coronation party, Paul broaches the subject of a relationship with Grace Lovell.
Part 3: 1903 An Outbreak of Romance
The impending marriage of Will and Elinor causes a ripple of unrest throughout the town. Meanwhile, Paul and Grace struggle with their own troubles, which are exacerbated by the arrival of Rudd's son, who is transparently interested in Grace.
Part 4: 1905 A Birth and a Death
A pregnant Grace arrives in the middle of the night during a politician's visit with Paul. When Grace goes into labor after a heated argument with her husband, Paul must choose between offering his assistance in two life-and-death situations.
Part 5: 1905 The Storm
Doctor O'Keefe's daughter, Maureen, comes to town on an invitation from Paul, who expresses his concern over her father's alcoholic state. Paul and Grace's marriage reaches a climactic point, and Mrs. Potter tries to prevent Mr. Potter from meeting his fate.
Part 6: 1905 The Hollow Victory
When Smut Potter is caught hunting game on Lord Gilroy's property, Paul tries to convince him to turn himself in. An accident incapacitates Parson Bull, and Paul has to find his replacement. After the election results come in, Paul asks Claire for a new beginning.
Part 7: 1914 The Last Hot Summer
Nine years have passed, and a now-married Paul and Claire are busily preparing for the Valley's fete. Mrs. Potter prophesizes a dark event in Claire's summer, but won't reveal what it is. Romance blooms between Rudd and Maureen and between the Potter twins and a newcomer to the Valley.
Part 8: 1914 Call to Arms
Paul receives a nonnegotiable "request" from the government regarding his land. A reluctant Elinor must come to terms with Will leaving when the town gives him a raucous send-off. With anti-German sentiment running wild in the Valley, the German professor becomes its victim.
Part 9: 1915 Death of a Hero
Ten months into the war, a barely recognizable and visibly shell-shocked Will returns from battle. Paul and Claire experience a hiccup in their marriage, resulting in Claire spending time with a young officer. Mysterious white feathers make their way into homes in the Valley.
Part 10: 1916 The Profiteers
Will's brother, Sydney, shows up in the Valley and proposes a crooked deal to Paul to profit from the war. When Pan's husband is killed, Dandy dutifully pursues a betrothal. Paul reveals to Claire that he's solicited the army for a war position in France.
Part 11: 1917 The Bad Season
In Paul's absence, Claire is left running Shallowford, which has become a convalescent home. Elinor takes on a German farmhand and can't help but be drawn to him when he begins to bond with her son.
Part 12: 1918 The Service
Rudd keeps watch as a mysterious arsonist sets farms on fire in the Valley. When Paul comes home on leave, he feels both joyful and disoriented, and he struggles to repair the distance between himself and his son. Later, Claire receives a devastating letter.
Part 13: 1919 The Old and the New
Amidst an influenza epidemic, Sydney Potter snakes through the Valley presenting its inhabitants with a tempting offer. Claire experiences a whirlwind of emotions as she receives conflicting reports about Paul's whereabouts. A final decision is made regarding the Valley's future.
Packaging: Boxed set
Run Time: 673 minutes
Format: Full screen
Number of Discs: 4
Color or B&W: Color
Region Code: 1
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Other: Due to the age of these programs and the improved resolution that DVD provides, you may notice occasional flaws in the image and audio on this DVD presentation that were beyond the studio's ability to correct from the original materials.
"A most splendid series" -- The Washington Post
"A good story well told" -- The Washington Post
"Another fine TV series from the British" -- The Washington Post
"High quality" -- The Washington Post