Christopher Lee's ten-part history of the great families who were as significant in Britain's history as the monarchs themselves.

Narrated by Anna Massey.


EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedDescription
01The Godwins - Part 12002020320050322 (BBC7)
20060608 (BBC7)
Anna Massey begins with the most powerful dynasty, whose story begins when Aethelred the Unready is king and culminates in 1066.
Anna Massey begins with the most powerful dynasty, whose story starts when Aethelred the Unready is king and culminates in 1066.
01The Godwins Part 1 20091110 (R7)
20091111 (R7)
Christopher Lee's vivid account of the impact of Britain's most powerful families.
Narrated by Anna Massey.
02The Godwins - Part 22002021020050323 (BBC7)
20060609 (BBC7)
Anna Massey tells how Harold Godwinson became King Harold II.
02The Godwins Part 2 20091111 (R7)
20091112 (R7)
Christopher Lee's vivid account of the impact of Britain's most powerful families.
Narrated by Anna Massey.
03The Despensers2002021720050324 (BBC7)
20060612 (BBC7)
20091112 (R7)
20091113 (R7)
Christopher Lee's vivid account of the impact of Britain's most powerful families.
Narrated by Anna Massey.
The greedy, corrupt Despensers' influence was short-lived, but it was, to say the least, a colourful time in British history.
04The Irish Dynasties2002022420050325 (BBC7)
20060613 (BBC7)
20091113 (R7)
20091114 (R7)
Christopher Lee's vivid account of the impact of Britain's most powerful families.
Narrated by Anna Massey.
The MacMurroughs', the Fitzgeralds', and the O'Neills' relationships were as influential as any of the mainland dynasties.
05The Churchills2002030320050328 (BBC7)
20060614 (BBC7)
20091116 (R7)
20091117 (R7)
Christopher Lee's vivid account of the impact of Britain's most powerful families.
Narrated by Anna Massey.
Anna Massey tells the story of the family that produced two of the greatest leaders in British history.
06The Berkeleys2002031020050329 (BBC7)
20060615 (BBC7)
20091117 (R7)
20091118 (R7)
Christopher Lee's vivid account of the impact of Britain's most powerful families.
Narrated by Anna Massey.
One of Britain's longest-surviving families, whose story involves the gruesome murder of a king.
07The Russells2002031720050330 (BBC7)
20060616 (BBC7)
20091118 (R7)
20091119 (R7)
Christopher Lee's vivid account of the impact of Britain's most powerful families.
Narrated by Anna Massey.
This family included Lord John Russell, whose achievements are still felt today, and Bertrand Russell, the philosopher.
08The Norfolks2002032420050331 (BBC7)
20060619 (BBC7)
20091119 (R7)
20091120 (R7)
Christopher Lee's vivid account of the impact of Britain's most powerful families.
Narrated by Anna Massey.
This family go back nine hundred years and are still associated with tradition, pageantry, and ceremony.
09The Dalrymples2002033120050401 (BBC7)
20060620 (BBC7)
20091120 (R7)
20091121 (R7)
Christopher Lee's vivid account of the impact of Britain's most powerful families.
Narrated by Anna Massey.
A Scottish family whose achievements have been overshadowed by their involvement in one particular tragic event.
10 LASTThe Carringtons2002040720050404 (BBC7)
20060621 (BBC7)
20091123 (R7)
20091124 (R7)
Christopher Lee's vivid account of the impact of Britain's most powerful families.
Narrated by Anna Massey.
One of the more recently established of the great families, who have managed to produce some scandalous characters.

Trivia

  • BBC7 is sometimes announcing the wrong original broadcast dates for these episodes; I think it's confusion caused by mixing them up with the other This Sceptred Isle series.
  • The theme music is from Suite For String Orchestra (Prelude) by Frank Bridge

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