Trilogy of dramas based on the novels by Barbara Taylor Bradford. In 'A Woman of Substance' (1985) successful businesswoman Emma Harte (Deborah Kerr) is worried that her sons are plotting against her and begins to look back on her life. She remembers how, as a young woman (Jenny Seagrove), she was abandoned when pregnant by her wealthy lover, had to work to build a future for herself and her child and marry the weak Joe Lowther (Joe Duttine) for her child's sake. During the First World War Emma found love with wealthy industrialist Paul McGill (Barry Bostwick), married for a second time and her empire began to grow. The story continues up to the present-day, with Emma's children threatening to destroy her business and each other. In the sequel 'Hold the Dream' (1986) Emma, now in her 80s, struggles to retain control of her commercial empire. Her intention is to hand her chain of department stores over to her granddaughter Paula Fairley (Seagrove) but faces opposition from other members of her family. Meanwhile, Paula encounters marriage trouble and experiences similar trials to her grandmother before her. In 'To Be the Best' (1992) Paula O'Neil (Lindsay Wagner), the sole heir and head of the empire built-up by her great-grandmother, Emma, must fight off the hostile intentions of her power-hungry cousin Jonathan Ainsley (Christopher Cazenove).