The First Churchills

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The First Churchills was a BBC serial from 1969 about the life of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and his wife, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough. It starred John Neville as the duke and Susan Hampshire as the duchess, was written and... read more

The First Churchills was a BBC serial from 1969 about the life of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough and his wife, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough. It starred John Neville as the duke and Susan Hampshire as the duchess, was written and produced by Donald Wilson, and was directed by David Giles. It is notable as being the first programme shown on PBS's long-running Masterpiece series in the United States. Wilson and Giles were fresh from their success in writing and directing The Forsyte Saga, which also starred Susan Hampshire and Margaret Tyzack.

Original Release

09/27/1969 on BBC

US Release

01/10/1971

Cast

John Standing Sidney Godolphin
Robert Robinson Louis XIV
Margaret Tyzack Princess Anne
Roger Mutton George of Denmark
John Neville John Churchill
Michael Culver Charles Churchill
Alan Rowe William, Prince of Orange
Job Stewart Lord Shrewsbury
John Humphry Sunderland
John Tordoff Becket
(see additional cast & crew)
# Title Air Date
1 The Chaste Nymph Saturday, 27 September 1969
2 Bridals Saturday, 04 October 1969
3 Plot, Counter-Plot Saturday, 11 October 1969
4 The Lion and the Unicorn Saturday, 18 October 1969
5 Rebellion Saturday, 25 October 1969
6 The Protestant Wind Saturday, 01 November 1969
7 Trial of Strength Saturday, 08 November 1969
8 The Queen Commands Saturday, 15 November 1969
9 Reconciliation Saturday, 22 November 1969
10 A Famous Victory Saturday, 29 November 1969
11 Breaking the Circle Saturday, 06 December 1969
12 Not Without Honour Saturday, 13 December 1969

Directors

David Giles

Writers

Winston Churchill, Donald B. Wilson

Cast

John Standing Sidney Godolphin
Robert Robinson Louis XIV
Margaret Tyzack Princess Anne
Roger Mutton George of Denmark
John Neville John Churchill
Michael Culver Charles Churchill
Alan Rowe William, Prince of Orange
Job Stewart Lord Shrewsbury
John Humphry Sunderland
John Tordoff Becket
John Neville John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough
Susan Hampshire Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough
James Villiers Charles II
John Ringham Laurence Hyde
John Westbrook James, Duke of York
James Kerry James, Duke of Monmouth
Kenneth Ives Wratislaw
Lisa Daniely Princess Mary
Jill Balcon Abigail Hill
Sheila Gish Mary, Duchess of York

Producers

Editors

Alistair McKay

1971 Emmy Outstanding Series - Drama Nominated
1971 Emmy Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series Won
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