The BEST Episodes of The Way We Live Now

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Oct 23, 2021

Network: BBC One

First screened on BBC in 2001, The Way We Live Now will surprise those who know Anthony Trollope through the subtleties of his Barsetshire novels. This story of ambition centers around Augustus Melmotte, an Austrian Jewish financier who takes the London money markets and social scene by storm in his efforts to become an "English country gentleman." His rise and fall is followed with remorseless logic by Trollope, and David Yates's direction keeps this in focus against a wealth of subplots and character interaction. The cast is a strong one, with David Suchet's Melmotte gripping in his recklessness, climaxing in the theatrical magnificence of his departure in disgrace from the House of Commons. Shirley Henderson is magnetic as his put-upon daughter Marie, courted by the cream-of-society bachelors for her dowry rather than her person.

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Episode 4

#1 - Episode 4

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Dec 2, 2001

Melmotte reaches the highest echelons of London society but the wolves are beginning to gather at his door. Paul takes his chance to act and Felix comes face to face with some tough opposition, while Hetta contemplates settling for second best. Climaxing in love lost, love gained, a death and some just desserts.

star 9.00
32 votes
Directors: David Yates
Writers: Andrew Davies
Episode 2

#2 - Episode 2

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Nov 18, 2001

While Paul Montague throws himself into the booming railway business with Melmotte, the presence of his mysterious American friend in London threatens to jeopardize his chances with Hetta. Felix is forced to desperate measures to secure his future with Marie when he learns that her father is planning her marriage to a rival suitor.

star 8.83
35 votes
Directors: David Yates
Writers: Andrew Davies
Episode 3

#3 - Episode 3

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Nov 25, 2001

Paul visits Mexico to have his worst fears about the railway construction confirmed. Returning to London he decides to confront Melmotte and resolve his romantic situation. Melmotte involves himself in increasingly ambitious business schemes while Felix gets himself into further trouble and Hetta recieves some devastating news.

star 8.79
33 votes
Directors: David Yates
Writers: Andrew Davies
Episode 1

#4 - Episode 1

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Nov 11, 2001

When infamous financier Augustus Melmotte (David Suchet) mysteriously appears in London, the city's impoverished aristocrats greedily court his favor. Felix Carbury, a charming but lazy young baronet, is one of the many gentlemen swarming around Melmotte's rich heiress daughter, Marie. Meanwhile, Felix's independently minded sister, Hetta, falls in love with a bright young engineer, Paul Montague, who is in town to approach Melmotte with an ambitious business propostion. Complications soon arise in business and love.

star 8.03
36 votes
Directors: David Yates
Writers: Andrew Davies