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A New Adaptation of 'The Forsyte Saga' is Coming

Daniel Hautzinger
Stephen Moyer, Josette Simon, and Danny Griffin headshots
Stephen Moyer, Josette Simon, and Danny Griffin will all star in a new adaptation of 'The Forsyte Saga.' Credit: Masterpiece

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A new adaptation of The Forsyte Saga by Nobel Prize winner John Galsworthy is coming to PBS and WTTW via Masterpiece. The multi-generational story, published in the early twentieth century, follows the "new money" family the Forsytes as they navigate ups and downs in a changing England. It consists of three novels and two interludes, and the new Masterpiece series is planned to be several seasons. The first season, which will be six episodes, is about to begin filming.

The new adaptation comes from the team behind Poldark: screenwriter Debbie Horsfield and studio Mammoth Screen, which is responsible for other recent period dramas and book adaptations such as Victoria, World on Fire, and Tom Jones. It reimagines and expands the books of The Forsyte Saga, centering the women and exploring events before the first book.

Francesca Annis (Home Fires, Flesh and Blood) stars as the Forsyte matriarch Ann, with Stephen Moyer as her eldest son Jolyon and Jack Davenport her younger son James. Danny Griffin is Jolyon's son Jo, Tuppence Middleton (Downton Abbey: A New Era) is Jo's wife Frances, and Joshua Orpin is James' son Soames. 

Outside the Forsytes there are roles taken by Poldark's Eleanor Tomlinson, Millie Gibson, Josette Simon (who has appeared in Midsomer Murders and Sanditon), and Tom Durant Pritchard, who was recently announced as a new main character in Miss Scarlet. Susan Hampshire, who starred in the magisterial 1967 BBC adaptation of The Forsyte Saga, will return in this new version.

In addition to the 1967 adaptation, there was also a 2002 version with Damian Lewis and Rupert Graves.