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Master of the Game

Master of the Game

Another of the many Sidney Sheldon novels given the TV-miniseries treatment in the 1970s and '80s, Master of the Game yielded a three-part, nine-hour extravaganza, with enough corporate and romantic intrigue to fill an entire television season. Covering nearly 100 years, the story (which remained astonishingly faithful to the book) begins in the late 19th century, when ruthless young Scottish entrepreneur Jamie McGregor (Ian Charleson) emigrates to South Africa, in hopes of accumulating enough wealth and power to get even with his longtime enemy, Dutch merchant Van der Merwe (Donald Pleasence). Thanks to an extremely prolific diamond mine, the money comes quickly -- as does vengeance, when McGregor deflowers Van der Merwe's convent-educated daughter, Margaret (Cherie Lunghi). The result of this indiscretion is a daughter named Kate (Dyan Cannon), who turns out to be the Master of the title. Upon attaining adulthood, Kate assumes control of her father's vast financial empire, ruling her inherited international conglomerate, and her husband, David Blackwell (David Birney), with an iron fist. The story continues into the next several generations, with Kate's lily-livered son, Tony (Harry Hamlin), giving birth to twin daughters, Eve and Alexandra (both played by Liane Langland). One is good, the other evil; the evil twin threatens threaten to destroy everything that Kate has so painstakingly built up. Eventually, they both become the victims of a sneering, malevolent gigolo (Fernando Allende) with a penchant for beating young women senseless. Told in flashback, the narrative comes to a head during Kate's 90th birthday celebration, an event tainted by the efforts of a mysterious killer to wipe the domineering matriarch and her family from the face of the earth. (Source: videodetective.com)

Episode Info

Final: 1x03 -- Episode 3 (Feb/21/1984)

Angharad ReesAngharad Rees
As Marianne Hoffman
Barry MorseBarry Morse
As Dr. John Harley
Cherie LunghiCherie Lunghi
As Margaret Van der Merwe
Cliff DeYoungCliff DeYoung
As Brad Rogers
David BirneyDavid Birney
As David Blackwell
David SuchetDavid Suchet
As Andre d'Usseau
Dyan CannonDyan Cannon
As Kate Blackwell
Fernando AllendeFernando Allende
As George Mellis
Ian CharlesonIan Charleson
As Jamie McGregor
Liane LanglandLiane Langland
As Eve/Alexandra Blackwell

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Producer: Norman Rosemont
Associate Producer: Nick Gillott
Production Designer: John Stoll
Editor: Alan Pattillo
Music: Allyn Ferguson
Hairstylist: Colleen Callaghan
Make-up: Lois Burwell
Based On The Works Of: Sidney Sheldon
Cinematographer: John Coquillon, Ronnie Taylor (2)

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Classification: Mini-Series
Genre: Drama
Status: Canceled/Ended
Network: CBS ( USA)
Runtime: 360 Minutes
Premiere: February 19, 1984
Ended: February 21, 1984
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