Friday, June 19, 2020


Noble House is an American action-drama television miniseries that was produced by De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, and broadcast by NBC on February 21, 1988. Based on the 1981 novel Noble House by James Clavell, it features a large cast headlined by Pierce Brosnan as business tycoon Ian Dunross and was directed by Gary Nelson. However, due to time restrictions, several of the many subplots from the book were removed.
This is NBC's second miniseries adaptation of a Clavell novel, the first being 1980's Shōgun. Both take place in the same fictional universe with Noble House featuring connections to Shōgun and another Clavell work, Tai-Pan.
For the miniseries, the timeframe of the novel was changed; Clavell's original novel takes place in the early 1960s, but the miniseries was updated to the 1980s. The building prominently displayed and used as Struan's is Jardine House.


Despite its impressive history and its reputation, the international trading company Struan's (the Noble House of the title) is in trouble. Overextended by the previous management, new Tai-Pan Ian Dunross (Pierce Brosnan) has had to issue public stock to improve the company's financial standing. Even this, however, has not given him the capital he needs. As a result, he is courting a private investor, American billionaire Linc Bartlett (Ben Masters). Bartlett decides secretly to back Dunross' arch enemy, Quillian Gornt (John Rhys-Davies), who will stop at nothing to destroy Struan's. When Dunross realises that Gornt is suddenly strong enough to ruin the Noble House, he must urgently forge new alliances or reshape ancient ones. He romances Bartlett's second-in-command, Casey Tcholok (Deborah Raffin).
A subplot involves the missing half of an ancient coin. Whoever possesses it may ask any favor of the Tai-Pan. Half the coin is acquired by crime lord Four Finger Wu (Khigh Dhiegh), who aims to ask the Tai-Pan to help him smuggle opium.
Wu and Bartlett are killed in a natural disaster. Wu's son redeems his father's stolen half-coin for a highly paid position in Noble House. Dunross gains access to the Bank of China, whose funding allows him to foil Gornt's scheme. Tcholok becomes head of Bartlett's company, allying the organization with Struan's.

Differences from the novel

Many of the subplots from the novel were left out of the miniseries to simplify the plot. A significant story arc involving KGB espionage in Hong Kong was deleted as the mini-series aired near the close of the Cold War. A further story line involving visiting UK Members of Parliament was removed, as was another involving a former prisoner of war, which provided a link to Clavell's novel King Rat. In the miniseries, Tip Tok-Toh was changed from a mysterious, unofficial contact of the Bank of China to a good friend of Dunross who often appeared at parties.
Several subplots involving Ian Dunross' family were removed. In the novel, Dunross is married and his wife, eldest daughter, sister, and two brothers-in-law (his wife's brother and his sister's husband) are involved in significant subplots while his youngest daughter, son and a cousin also appear in minor roles. In the mini-series, Dunross is a widower and no family members are mentioned.
The bank runs depicted in the mini-series are significantly smaller in scope and significance than those depicted in the novel. Finally, in the novel, Struan's is bailed out by the fictional First Central Bank of New York. Although First Central and its vice-president, Dave Murtagh, a significant character in the novel, are mentioned in the mini-series, they play no role in bailing out the Noble House. The Bank of China assumes this role in return for Dunross arranging the release of captured Chinese police mole, Brian Kwok.
The romance between Dunross and Tcholok is not present in the book as in the novel Dunross is a much older man than the one portrayed by Brosnan.



Brosnan had signed to play James Bond, but been prevented from doing so because of his previous commitment to the Remington Steele television series. This was his first role after Remington Steele.
Clavell said of the adaptation:
I never really want to doctor my work for TV. We had a problem with Noble House, as with most of the books. There are so many subplots and interwoven characters that we had to drop some things. We felt the changes would work well—and I approved it. Eric goes through the book and literally tears out many of the lesser characters. There's no way it can be done otherwise. I hope Noble House will do for Hong Kong what Shogun did for Japan. In my opinion it remains the queen city of Asia and will go on forever despite the changes coming up in the next few years.
Clavell said that production of the mini series was rushed. NBC did not offer to make it until September 1986, and wanted it within 14 months. He said:
Pierce... simply fell into our lap when he couldn't do the 007 job... It was NBC who suggested Masters (as American corporate raider Linc Bartlett). Frankly I'd never heard of him. Raffin (Casey Tcholok, Bartlett's vice president) was the best of the actresses available to us. Casting, especially at this speed, always has a huge element of luck. Later you learn whether your luck was good or bad. If I sound cavalier, I assure you I'm not. It's terribly important to me that this be well received. Miniseries deals for King Rat and Whirlwind are riding on the success or failure of Noble House, which explains my current state of sweaty anticipation.
The budget was $20 million. Filming took place in Hong Kong and North Carolina.


  1. ^ Maksian, George (November 19, 1986). "Brosnan Wins a Noble Prize". Philadelphia Daily News. p. 55.
  2. ^ Davis, Ivor (February 20, 1988). "Clavell Is a Big Winner on the Small Screen". The Globe and Mail. p. 8.
  3. ^ Wisehart, Bob (February 20, 1988). "Japanese Prison Freed His Muse: James Clavell Lived a Lifetime in 3 Years As a POW". Philadelphia Daily News. p. 18.
  4. ^ Hill, Michael E. (February 21, 1988). "Pierce Brosnan; Good Luck, Bad Luck or Joss?". The Washington Post. p. Y10.

Technicolor SA

Technicolor SA, formerly Thomson SARL and Thomson Multimedia, is a French multinational corporation that provides services and products for the communication, media and entertainment industries. Technicolor's headquarters are located in Paris, France. Other main office locations include Rennes (France), Los Angeles, California (United States), Edegem (Belgium), London (England, UK), Bangalore, Chennai, Gurgaon (India) and Lawrenceville, Georgia (United States). The former US headquarters of Thomson Consumer Electronics in Carmel, Indiana (United States) was closed in 2017.
On January 27, 2010, the company changed its name to Technicolor SA, re-branding the entire company after its American film technology subsidiary. Thomson's US subsidiary became Technicolor USA, Inc.
Technicolor SA
Thomson SARL
Thomson Multimedia (1910–2010)
Traded asEuronextTCH
CAC Mid 60 Component
ISINFR0010918292 Edit this on Wikidata
IndustryCreative industries
Founded1893; 127 years ago
FounderGeneral Electric Edit this on Wikidata
Headquarters ,
Key people
Richard Moat (CEO)
Bruce Hack (Chairman)
Revenue3.988 billion (2018)
266 million (2018 EBITDA)
Number of employees
14,639 (2012)
SubsidiariesTechnicolor USA
Technicolor India
The Mill
Mr. X Inc
Technicolor Animation Productions
Mikros Image[1]
Moving Picture Company
Trace VFX[2]


Technicolor began as Thomson, named after the electrical engineer Elihu Thomson, who was born in Manchester, England, on March 26, 1853. Thomson moved to Philadelphia, USA, at the age of 5, with his family. Thomson formed the Thomson-Houston Electric Company in 1879 with Edwin Houston. The company merged with the Edison General Electric Company to become the General Electric Company in 1892. In 1893, the Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston (CFTH) was formed in Paris, a sister company to GE in the United States. It was from this company that the modern Thomson Group would evolve.
In 1966, CFTH merged with Hotchkiss-Brandt to form Thomson-Houston-Hotchkiss-Brandt (soon renamed Thomson-Brandt). In 1968 the electronics business of Thomson-Brandt merged with Compagnie Générale de Télégraphie Sans Fil (CSF) to form Thomson-CSF. Thomson Brandt maintained a significant shareholding in this company (approximately 40%).

Business changes

In 1982, both Thomson-Brandt and Thomson-CSF saw nationalization due to the efforts of François Mitterrand. Thomson-Brandt was subsequently renamed Thomson SA (Société Anonyme), and soon thereafter merged with Thomson-CSF. GE then sold the rights to make RCA, ProScan and GE-branded televisions and other consumer electronics products in 1988, to Thomson Consumer Electronics, in exchange for some of Thomson's medical businesses. That same year, Thomson Consumer Electronics was formed, and then renamed Thomson SA. In 1995, the French government split the consumer electronics from the defense businesses of Thomson Multimedia and Thomson-CSF prior to privatization in 1999. The company then went through a series of transactions, including with Marconi plc, before becoming Thales in 2000. In 2005, Thomson bought Cirpack and Inventel.[7]
In 2004, Thomson set up a joint venture (TTE) with China's TCL, giving to TCL all manufacturing of RCA and Thomson television and DVD products and making TCL the global leader in TV manufacturing (Thomson still controlled the brands themselves and licensed them to TTE). At the time, TCL was hailed as the first Chinese company to compete on the international stage with large international corporations. Thomson initially retained all marketing of TTE's products, but transferred that to TTE in 2005. In June 2005, the Videocon Group of India announced, that it would acquire the color picture tube manufacturing business from Thomson SA for €240 million. In early 2010, Thomson sold TV brand RCA to ON corporation.
In December 2007, Thomson SA agreed to sell off its Audio/Video and Accessories businesses (the RCA and Thomson brands except communications products such as cordless phones) to Audiovox. In October 2007, Thomson SA agreed to sell its consumer electronics audio video business outside Europe including the worldwide rights to the RCA brand.
In 2000, Thomson Multimedia purchased Technicolor from Carlton Television (owned by Carlton Communications) in the U.K. and began a move into the broadcast management, facilities and services market with the purchase of Corinthian Television, becoming Thomson Multimedia. In Q1 of 2001 it purchased the Broadcast Division of Koninklijke Philips (Philips Broadcast) then in 2002 acquired the Grass Valley Group, Inc. from Dr. Terence Gooding of San Diego, CA. Thomson then purchased the Moving Picture Company from ITV and the internet startup Singingfish, but then sold it to AOL in late 2004. In 2004, Thomson increased its stake in the Bangalore, India based company Celstream Technologies, which specializes in product engineering. Cirpack, a softswitch manufacturer, was incorporated and acquired in April 2005. In July 2005, Thomson agreed to purchase PRN Corporation for $285 million. In December 2005, Thomson re-purchased the Broadcast & Multimedia part of Thales Group.
In September 2005, Thomson first showed its Infinity camcorder. At the April 2006 launch, this was described as "a new line of IT-based acquisition, recording and storage devices. It was designed to end the stranglehold of proprietary products in this market, and was inspired by a Grass Valley executive's trip to Fry's Electronics in Burbank to buy a computer backup device. While innovative it was unsuccessful in taking market share from the predominant players in News Acquisition, Sony and Panasonic. It was too heavy and used too much power, which reduced battery life and increased heat. Its production was discontinued in 2010.
Also in 2005, Thomson marketing executive Nicholas de Wolff developed a plan for the creation of interactive Innovation centers, where early research projects could be demonstrated to industry leaders and clients in a close-up format, allowing for more strategic advanced product development. The centers (in Burbank, USA; Rennes, France; Hannover, Germany; and Beijing, China) were so successful, de Wolff and Thomson CTO, Jean-Charles Hourcade subsequently decided to launch the research demos at IBC and NAB trade shows, despite strong opposition from several business units. The decision resulted in greatly increased confidence in Thomson product roadmaps, and a strong YoY growth in related sales orders at those events.
On January 29, 2009, Thomson announced its intention to sell the PRN and Grass Valley businesses to focus on services business and improve its financial position. This was one of the consequences of an enormous financial crisis in 2009, which forced the company to a total financial restructuring to avoid bankruptcy. From 2010 to February 2011, "Technicolor" (having rebranded itself) divested these sub-businesses: Grass Valley and Broadcast to the Francisco Partners in July and December along with the Transmission business to PARTER Capital Group; Head-end to the FCDE (Fonds de Consolidation et de Développement des Entreprises), and reintegration of PRN.
On June 20, 2012, Vector Capital won a competitive bid for a minority stake in Technicolor,beating JP Morgan with a surprise, last-minute bid. With the investment of €167 - 191 million, Vector Capital will retain a minority stake in Technicolor of up to 29.94%. Following the deal, on June 21, 2012, Technicolor named Remy Sautter as Chairman of the Board and appointed two Vector Capital representatives to the board, Alexander Slusky and David Fishman.
On July 3, 2012, the Technicolor broadcast services division was acquired by Ericsson.
On June 10, 2014, Technicolor announced the acquisition of Toronto VFX studio Mr. X Inc. The same year the company also shut down its final film lab.
On February 25, 2015, Technicolor acquired the French independent animation producer OuiDo! Productions. On July 23 of the same year, Cisco Systems announced the sale of its television set-top box and cable modem business to Technicolor for $600 million—part of a division originally formed by Cisco's $6.9 billion purchase of Scientific Atlanta. The deal was closed on November 20 same year.
On September 15, 2015, Technicolor acquired London-based visual effects leader in advertising The Mill for €259 million.
On November 13, 2015, Technicolor acquired the North American optical disc manufacturing and distribution assets from Cinram Group, Inc. for approximately €40 million.