An encore presentation of Cranford (2007) a three part mini-series begins this Sunday, December 20th at 9:00 pm ET on PBS with the first episode. Here is brief synopsis:
Mary Smith (Lisa Dillon) arrives in the small, rural town of Cranford to stay with two spinster sisters, Deborah (Dame Eileen Atkins) and Matty Jenkyns (Dame Judi Dench). Deborah is the dominating force in Cranford society, and the kind-hearted and eccentric Matty believes her to be the best judge in all matters. The Jenkyns are intrigued when Captain Brown (Jim Carter), his daughter Jessie (Julia Sawalha) , and Jessie’s ailing older sister move into the house across the street.
A handsome new doctor, Frank Harrison (Simon Woods), also comes to Cranford. A young bachelor trained in London, Dr. Harrison becomes the talk of the town, not only for his revolutionary medical methods, but also for the effect he has on many female hearts. He soon sets his sights on Sophy Hutton (Kimberly Nixon), the rector’s oldest daughter.
Ten-year-old Harry Gregson (Axel Etel) is caught poaching by Mr. Carter (Philip Glenister) , the trusted estate manager of Lady Ludlow (Francesca Annis ), Cranford’s reigning aristocrat. However, Mr. Carter is so moved by Harry’s dismal poverty, good nature, and intelligence that he offers to secretly teach him to read and write.
At Lady Ludlow’s garden party, the ladies are scandalized by the news that a new railway line is to be built running straight through Cranford. Is this the end of Cranford?
This will be my second viewing of this production and a great refresher to the characters before Return to Cranford, the continuation of the mini-series airs starting January 10th, 2010. Cranford was one of my favorites from last season on Masterpiece Classic. The casting, production values and direction were excellent. Dame Judi Dench as Miss Matty and Simon Woods as Dr. Frank Harrison were endearing standouts in a cast that swims with stellar British talent. What I cherish most about this miniseries is the story that Elizabeth Gaskell created and how she shows how the shift in England during the 1840’s toward industrialization changed even a small rural village, how each character is affected and their reactions making this a very character driven story, which are my favorite.
Don’t miss it!
Visit the official Cranford website at Masterpiece Classic for casting, full synopsis, behind-the-scenes video and a biography of author Elizabeth Gaskell.
- Preview of the Masterpiece Classic 2010 season
- Some say that Gaskell is Austen embellished with Dickens
- Reflections on Cranford (2007)
- Cranford reprise on Masterpiece Classic
Image courtesy © BBC Worldwide 2007 for MASTERPIECE