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Lost Empires

Season 1 1986

  • 1986-10-24T16:00:00-04:00 on ITV
  • 60 mins
  • 6 hours, 51 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Drama

Lost Empires based on the novel by JB Priestley, and featuring one of the last performances of Sir Laurence Olivier, takes you to the last days of Britain's innocence and the glamorous, magical world of the great music halls - which once brought entertainment to millions. In 1913, young Richard Herncastle, played by Colin Firth, escapes from a stuffy, provincial English background into the glitter and excitement of the theatre world. Funny, sad, and nostalgic, Lost Empires, follows Richard from his naïve, country upbringing to join his uncle Nick Ollanton, a famous music hall illusionist - known as the Indian Magician, Ganga Dun. The mystery of illusions, on and off the stage, is eventually shattered for Richard, whose dream of becoming a famous painter becomes sidetracked while he contends with men gone nearly insane, the lusts of countless women, and a murder that hangs over his head.

7 episodes

1x01 Part 1

  • Series Premiere

    1986-10-24T16:00:00-04:00 — 105 mins

Richard Herncastle joins his Uncle Nick, a great illusionist, on the music hall stage. The year is 1913.

1x02 Part 2

  • 1986-10-31T16:00:00-05:00 — 51 mins

Richard is unwittingly involved in Uncle Nick's scheme to help the suffragette movement, although his personal thoughts are taken up with his love for Nancy Ellis.

1x03 Part 3

  • 1986-11-07T16:00:00-05:00 — 51 mins

Despite warnings from Varvara and Cissie, Richard's passion for Julia remains unchecked until Christmas Day. What can he say to Nancy?

1x04 Part 4

  • 1986-11-14T16:00:00-05:00 — 51 mins

Richard continues to disregard warnings about his love for Julie and when Julie takes a love nest near Shepherd's Market, disaster seems inevitable. Uncle Nick pursues his own revenge, and finds the need for another dwarf.

1x05 Part 5

  • 1986-11-21T16:00:00-05:00 — 52 mins

Richard encounters the strange relationship of Lily Farris and her accompanist Otto Mergen. He also received an apology from Julie and some insight into Nancy's behaviour.

1x06 Part 6

  • 1986-11-28T16:00:00-05:00 — 51 mins

A body has been discovered at the Palace Theatre, but who is the killer? Richard visits Blackpool and meets some new girls, but he has never been lonelier. Mr Tewby arrives for the "two-dwarf" effect and Doris joins the Ganga Din act.

1x07 Part 7

  • 1986-12-05T16:00:00-05:00 — 50 mins

As war is declared and the identity of Nonie Coleman's killer is discovered, Richard and Nick have a sad parting as Richard goes to France with his regiment. Here he is reunited with Peggy.