Number 10: Bloodline
In Jeremy's episode, William Pitt the Younger struggles against his fate -- familial lunacy -- while trying to govern the country and court the beautiful Eleanor Eden.
Pitt served as prime minister from 1783 to 1801, and again from 1804 until his death. He was the second son of William Pitt the Elder, an important British statesman.
In this episode, Pitt's father -- who suffered from "mad interludes" -- warns his son of a family curse of madness and evokes a promise on his deathbed that his son will never have children. Pitt the Younger does indeed inherit his father's "interludes" (which he controls with generous amounts of alcohol) and casts his courtship of the much younger Eleanor Eden aside to "spare her."
Synopsis courtesy of RJDoll2:
In a long list of extremely fine performances by Jeremy Brett on film, William Pitt is considered one of the finest given by this courageous actor. It is a favorite amongst Brettish fans and bears a resemblance to his real-life struggles in his later years.
Jeremy unabashedly brings us a man struggling to keep his sanity and daring to love against all odds in this poignant portrayal. One cannot help but be mesmerized as he moves skillfully from one emotion to another.
He is Prime Minister of England, a statesman, a lover, an alcoholic, a madman and a victim of heredity from his father, William Pitt the elder. He gives his life's blood defending his country against Napoleon and asks very little in return. His acerbic wit is evident, and Jeremy delivers his lines as only an actor of his caliber can.
A tragic tale of forbidden love, William Pitt will steal your heart. Even while donning a white wig Jeremy's ever-present sensuality is apparent in abundance!
VHS tape: If you can find it, the episode was released on videotape, called Pitt - The Younger Girl Scandal, which was part of The Secret Lives of the British Prime Ministers series.