At the end of World War I, the Bannerman family re-opens the Grand Hotel after a lengthy closure and a costly re-furbishing. The hotel has been in the family for a long time and John ... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
Paul Warriner ...
 Esme Harkness 18 episodes, 1997-1998
 Marcus Bannerman 18 episodes, 1997-1998
Maria Mescki ...
 Brenda Potter 17 episodes, 1997-1998
 Lynne Milligan 17 episodes, 1997-1998
Michael Siberry ...
 John Bannerman 12 episodes, 1997-1998
Julia St John ...
 Sarah Bannerman 12 episodes, 1997-1998
 Lark Rothery 10 episodes, 1998
 Stephen Bannerman 10 episodes, 1998
 Ruth Bannerman 10 episodes, 1998
Camilla Power ...
 Adele Bannerman 10 episodes, 1997-1998
Michael Begley ...
 Jim Craig 9 episodes, 1998
 Stephen Bannerman 8 episodes, 1997
 Ruth Manning 8 episodes, 1997


At the end of World War I, the Bannerman family re-opens the Grand Hotel after a lengthy closure and a costly re-furbishing. The hotel has been in the family for a long time and John Bannerman and his wife Sarah desperately want to make a go of it. Their son Stephen has returned from the wars without any physical harm but still suffers from the mental anguish of seeing so many of his comrades-in-arms falling on the battlefield. When they learn that their accountant has squandered what little money they had left, they must turn to John's brother Marcus, a successful businessman who has eschewed any interest in the hotel over the years but now seems ready to plunge into the business with both feet. He also has an interest in Sarah. For the most part, the staff take pride in their work and are lead by the Hall Porter, Jacob Collins, who lost his son in the war and by Kate Morris one of the chamber maids who, by force of her own personality, is bound to make an impression on anyone who ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

4 April 1997 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Loistohotelli Grand  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(18 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A failure
6 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

"The Grand" is nothing like "Upstairs, Downstairs" or "The Duchess of Duke Street", or even like the original "Forsyte Saga" series. It doesn't possess their superlative qualities, their excellent, realistic production values. Those series had sympathetic characters, and by the time you were done watching them you felt like you were being wrenched away from beloved family members! There is no such feeling here with "The Grand" and its cast of largely unsavory characters.

It's actually a relief to STOP watching this series! All the characters, even the kindest one - Kate the servant girl - are out for Numero Uno, they are selfish to the core, and there is little feeling of bonding or real caring between them - and that is why one of their own ends up swinging from the gallows. In "Upstairs, Downstairs" we know that the aristocracy cares about their servants living below. In "The Grand" that feeling is almost completely lacking. Several times during the show long term servants are threatened to be fired, for example, and then almost immediately they are re-instated. "Oops, sorry." No one behaved that way back in 1920. Your "yes" meant "yes", and your "no" meant "no".

The writing is not cohesive or spellbinding enough to keep your attention going for long. Ridiculous mistakes were made in the scripts for these shows: for instance, why would the police arrive to arrest Monica the servant girl for murder in the public foyer of the hotel, without first going upstairs to look at the dead man and the evidence? Bizarre and extremely unrealistic. Who wrote this, a nine year old?

Then we have the smarmy situation of a man lusting after his brother's wife - for the entire part one and into part two of the series, and then the story line is just dropped abruptly like a hot potato, and it goes into other unrealistic directions - including black market baby selling and more prostitution stories! Who cares about these reprehensible characters?

It looked to me like the writer was just grasping at straws....what can I come up with next that's titillating enough to hold their attention? Then they change two major cast members at the start of series two, which disrupts the feeling of the entire show and its flow of events; in addition, since part two was made a year or so after part one, all the cast members who were kept on immediately looked older.

But the worst flaw in "The Grand" is one that seems to be common today for too many writers and producers and directors of historical series and films. That is they insist on applying modern cultural and societal mores to a time period which was much more conservative than our own, and which kept these issues - if they even came up at all - private and between families. Not broadcast to an entire hotel filled with strangers. Again, doing this does not endear an intelligent audience to a vintage period story, because it is artificial and forced, almost as if someone is trying to push their own immoral agenda on their audience.

Skip it.

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