Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The life and times of Britain's first female Member of Parliament are dramatically chronicled in this British miniseries. Lisa Harrow stars as Virginia-born Nancy Langhorne, who married into American aristocracy when she became the wife of the wealthy, influential, and chronically unfaithful Robert Gould Shaw (Pierce Brosnan). Although this union, and her later marriage to William Waldorf Astor (James Fox), could have easily permitted her to live the life of a pampered dowager, Nancy chose instead to follow her second husband's lead by entering politics, championing causes that were "unpopular" with her own social set, but which endeared her to the poor, downtrodden, and disenfranchised. Highlights of this nine-part miniseries included Lady Astor's ongoing prickly relationships with such political foes as Winston Churchill, her personal travails with her bibulous son, Bobby (Nigel Havers), and her famous query to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin: "When are you going to stop killing people?" First broadcast by BBC2 from February 10 to April 7, 1982, Nancy Astor subsequently aired in America (this time as an eight-parter) as a component of the PBS anthology Masterpiece Theatre beginning April 15, 1984.
Britain, Parliament, portrait