Picks and Pans Review: Masterpiece Theatre: Lost Empires

updated 01/26/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/26/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

PBS (Sun., Jan. 25, 9 p.m. ET)

C+

Here we have your basic young-man-coming-of-age story, except the young man, Colin (Camille) Firth, is 20 already. Even though he lives in the rowdy, bawdy, boozy world of England's music halls around World War I and even after he sleeps with a handful of neurotic women, they still tell him: "You know nothing about girls.... You talk like a solemn young goose." Wimp. The story is slow and stretched thin over seven hours, and its messages are written in neon. But there are, at least, fine performances all around—including Laurence Olivier's as a has-been comic—and a stellar piece of acting from John (I, Claudius) Castle as the young man's uncle, who is an evil-eyed magician.

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