Symphonie / In Bester Gessellschaft (1986)

Carrie Fairchild

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Do any of our European Tellytalkers remember this? I was familiar with other "Euro-Dynasty" series like Chateauvallon but I'd never heard of this until the intro came up as a suggestion on YouTube. It was apparently a co-production between France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and West Germany and followed the lives of a Swiss watch making dynasty. It only ran for 18 episodes in 1986/87. It was called Symphonie in some countries and In Bester Gessellschaft (In Good Company) in others.
 

Willie Oleson

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OMG, Carrie, what have you unearthed this time?
I can only tell you that it wasn't shown in Holland because prime time soaps (good or bad) would never fly under my radar in those days.
It may have been on Belgian TV but there's a difference between Flanders (Dutch) and Wallonia (French).
Chateauvallon got a bit of promotion in the magazines, maybe that wasn't the case with Symphonie.
 

Marika

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The series was a co-production between France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Germany.

In Germany, the first episode was shown on October 29th, 1986. It has been repeated a couple of times, but the last broadcast was in 1989.

I found a German synposis which I've translated for you:

"In bester Gesellschaft"/"Symphonie" – 1985/1986 – 18 episodes á 45 minutes – produced by Cesare Ferrario – directed by Jean-Pierre Desagnat
Constance Dussault (played by Giselle Pascal) is the senior president of a long-standing Swiss watch-making company. She's at the top of a family business that is affected by affairs and schemes. Her son-in-law Jean-Claude Fontaine (played by Pierre Michael) is the chief executive of the company. To save the ailing business, Constance banks on a luxury line which is diamonded, while Jean-Claude wants to save costs and tries to disempower his mother-in-law. His brother and co-worker Marcel (played by Alain Chevallier) and Constance's housekeeper Sophie Bernham (played by Ilona Grübel) steal the watches and the diamonds. Jean-Claude's assistant Pierre Savagnier (played by Francois Duval) has an affair with Jean-Claude's wife Nicole (played by Josephine Chaplin). Constance's other daughter Jacqueline (played by Rachel Cathoud) is married to the conductor Bruno Steinberg (played by Wolf Roth). He cheats on her with Alessandra (played by Paola Onofri), who's also married. In addition, she's the daughter of his artistic director Giovanni Ferrari (played by Franco Fabrizi). In revenge, Jacqueline sleeps with Alessandra's husband Giorgio Thesis (played by Vanni Corbellini). Shortly after, her dead body is fished out of Lake Como. She's said to have committed suicide. Constance turns out to be Alessandra's mother and is being blackmailed by Giorgio who knows about her secret. In addition, Sophie is revealed to be the daughter of a former business partner of Constance, whom she ruined. Now Sophie wants to take vengeance.

German episode titles:

  1. Uhren und Amouren (= Watches and Amours)
  2. Hiebe und Diebe (= Hits and Thieves)
  3. Schmutziges Spiel (= A Dirty Game)
  4. Herz in Flammen (= Heart in Flames)
  5. Todesmelodie (= Melody of Death)
  6. Unter Mordverdacht (= Under Suspicion of Murder)
  7. Leben nach dem Tode (= Life After Death)
  8. Heißer Boden, kalte Füße (= Hot Floor, Cold Feet)
  9. Höchste Zeit (= High Time)
  10. Zarte Bande (= Gentle Bonds)
  11. Gegen die Uhr (= Against the Clock)
  12. Schatten der Vergangenheit (= Shadows of the Past)
  13. Erpressung (= Blackmail)
  14. Alte Liebe (= Old Love)
  15. Stunde der Wahrheit (= Hour of Truth)
  16. Kalte Sophia (= Cold Sophia)
  17. Schlag auf Schlag (= Blow on Blow)
  18. In letzten Augenblick (= In the Nick of Time)

Btw, it's spelled "In bester Gesellschaft" with only one "s" in "Gesellschaft" ;)
 
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Carrie Fairchild

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The series was a co-production between France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Germany.

In Germany, the first episode was shown on October 29th, 1986. It has been repeated a couple of times, but the last broadcast was in 1989.

I found a German synposis which I've translated for you:




German episode titles:

  1. Uhren und Amouren (= Watches and Amours)
  2. Hiebe und Diebe (= Hits and Thieves)
  3. Schmutziges Spiel (= A Dirty Game)
  4. Herz in Flammen (= Heart in Flames)
  5. Todesmelodie (= Melody of Death)
  6. Unter Mordverdacht (= Under Suspicion of Murder)
  7. Leben nach dem Tode (= Life After Death)
  8. Heißer Boden, kalte Füße (= Hot Floor, Cold Feet)
  9. Höchste Zeit (= High Time)
  10. Zarte Bande (= Gentle Bonds)
  11. Gegen die Uhr (= Against the Clock)
  12. Schatten der Vergangenheit (= Shadows of the Past)
  13. Erpressung (= Blackmail)
  14. Alte Liebe (= Old Love)
  15. Stunde der Wahrheit (= Hour of Truth)
  16. Kalte Sophia (= Cold Sophia)
  17. Schlag auf Schlag (= Blow on Blow)
  18. In letzten Augenblick (= In the Nick of Time)

Btw, it's spelled "In bester Gesellschaft" with only one "s" in "Gesellschaft" ;)
Thanks Marika! Between jewel theft, murder, blackmail and numerous affairs, it sounds like the standard 80's soap extravaganza. Seeing as a few of the other glossy Eurosoaps of that era were trotted out in some shape or form on British TV, I wonder if this show had a run?
 
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