Evelyn Waugh's 1945 novel Brideshead Revisited was offered to television viewers in this 11-part adaptation that originally aired on the U.K.'s ITV network. The miniseries, like the book, lays bare the eccentricities of the young British aristocracy, concentrating upon several Oxford students. The story is told from the point-of-view of Charles Ryder (Jeremy Irons), who is sucked into decadence by the "magically beautiful" Sebastian Flyte (Anthony Andrews). Flyte is the son of Lord Marchmain (Laurence Olivier), master of Brideshead Castle, where most of the story (covering the years 1924 through 1944) takes place. Brideshead Revisited was brought to America on PBS' Great Performances series, beginning its run on January 18, 1982. The miniseries created a stir in the U.S. because of its mild nudity and profanity; the presentation had to be re-edited when it was shown for a second time on PBS.
by Hal Erickson synopsis