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He Knew He Was Right      TV PG
Airing Sundays, March 26 + April 2, 2006, on PBS
(Check local listings; dates and times may vary)

Aired previously January 2005

He Knew He Was Right is comfort television of the highest order: intelligent drama, well acted with crisp dialogue and all the ingredients required for a period piece. Richly atmospheric ...
-- The Hollywood Reporter


"When Louis Trevelyan was 24 years old, he had all the world before him where to choose; and, among other things, he chose to go to the Mandarin Islands, and there fell in love with Emily Rowley ... " So begins the fairy tale opening of one of Anthony Trollope's greatest and most tragic novels.

Oliver Dimsdale (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries) stars as Louis Trevelyan, a handsome man of high principles and deep insecurities, and Laura Fraser (Knight's Tale, Titus) is Emily Rowley -- beautiful, independent and raised in the free-spoken ways of the tropics.

Madly in love, they marry, settle in London, have a child and are blissfully happy until Emily's godfather, Colonel Osborne (Bill Nighy, The Lost Prince, Love Actually), mischievously sparks a rift between them.

Louis has become convinced that Emily is having an affair with Osborne, a notorious ladies' man, despite Emily's vehement denials. Osborne is flattered by this tribute to his virility and does nothing to correct Louis' grievous error. Obsessed with his delusion of infidelity, Louis slowly descends into madness.

Trollope based his 1869 novel on Shakespeare's Othello, but expanded the Bard's tale of sexual jealousy into 1,000 pages of enthralling Victorian plot twists, featuring child abduction, a private detective (one of the first in literature) and a cast of remarkably liberated women.

"This novel has a lot of confident women discovering themselves and making their own choices," says screenwriter Andrew Davies, whose previous Masterpiece Theatre credits include the acclaimed adaptations of Trollope's The Way We Live Now, Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago and George Eliot's Daniel Deronda.

"Trollope seems to have preferred women who were gentle, like his docile, dutiful wife," observes Davies. "However, in his middle years he traveled a lot and fell in love with a very vivacious, emancipated young American girl called Kate Field. He lost his heart to her, although they only had a sentimental, platonic friendship. These fiery women with strong opinions who'd argue like a man were very attractive to him, if also a little bit daunting."


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