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directed by Guillem Morales
UK 2017


When theology student Paul Pennyfeather (FRESH MEAT's Jack Whitehall) mobbed and stripped by the rowdy members of the Bollinger Club, he is ejected from Oxford's Scone College for "indecent behavior" (since, as a "person of no importance" he is unable to pay the fines for bad behavior that keep the schoolmasters well-stocked with premium brandy) which also causes him to default on the terms of his inheritance. An employment agency sets him up with a position commensurate with his meager prospects as a junior schoolmaster at a low-rated public school in the wilds of Wales as teacher of German, music, and cricket (none of which he can actually do). Bullied by social-climbing headmaster Dr. Fagan (David Suchet, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS) as well as his own spoiled pupils, Paul is at least relieved to discover that he is not the only member of the faculty with a skeleton in his closet: former priest Prendergast (Vincent Franklin, THE ILLUSIONIST has gone from job to job after losing his faith, Colonel Grimes (PENNY DREADFUL's Douglas Hodge) did not actually lose his leg in the war but in a tram accident ("Drink was taken") and has other vices that tend to land him in the soup repeatedly, and porter Philbrick (Stephen Graham, GANGS OF NEW YORK) confides to Paul that he is a former bank robber who ended up on the campus as part of a plan to kidnap and ransom hapless young Lord Tangent (Felix Griffin Pain). In spite of the embarrassment they cause him and the stress he endures as he tries to maintain a position for which he is highly unqualified, Paul comes to regard them as his friends and finds love at first sight when he meets Margot Beste-Chetwynde (DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES' Eva Longoria), the glamorous and fabulously wealthy widowed mother of Peter (Oscar Kennedy), one of his few decent students. When Margot hires him as Peter's private tutor for the summer, Paul is thrust into high society and finds himself becoming more resourceful and manipulative as he endeavors to fend off Margot's wealthy and more sophisticated suitors - among them a German architect (Anatole Taubman, QUANTUM OF SOLACE) and a Tory politician (Jason Watkins, TOMORROW NEVER DIES) - but Paul is in for even more of a shock and further misadventures when he discovers the nature of Margot's money-making enterprise "The Latin American Entertainment Company" based in Argentina. A breezy adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's satirical novel, DECLINE AND FALL is funny, well-acted, and engaging enough for one to wish that the adaptation had been spread out over a few more episodes (although it is difficult to determine if Longoria's performance is merely superficial or if her pivotal character is underwritten to the point where it seems as if Paul's naivete has him finding her more enthralling than the viewer).

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 31 March 2017 - 14 April 2017 (UK TV)

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DVD Review: Acorn Media/RLJ Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Acorn Media/RLJ Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 2:54:24 (4% PAL speedup)

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 3.35 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English HoH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Acorn Media/RLJ Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� Episodes (with 'Play All' option; 2:54:24):
� - 1 (16:9; 58:44)
� - 2 (16:9; 56:34)
� - 3 (16:9; 59:18)
� 'Adaptation' (16:9; 5:20)
� 'On Set' (16:9; 5:14)
� 'Satire' (16:9; 5:14)
� Picture Gallery (16:9; 1:06)

DVD Release Date: April 17th, 2017

Chapters 18





Acorn's UK arm provide a low bitrate anamorphic widescreen encode of this pretty period piece but it looks just okay in motion (probably not so much on a large display). Audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo and it is not a particularly adventurous mix. Optional English HoH subtitles are provided. A handful of short featurettes are included about the making of the series.

  - Eric Cotenas


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CLICK to order from:


Acorn Media/RLJ Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL


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