TV UK TV

Cranford (BBC-1 2007-2009, Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins)

Cranford

Cranford was a gorgeously shot and marvellously cast adaptation of a trio Elizabeth Gaskell novels set amongst the lives of the people who live in the town of the title in the 1840’s. At the heart of the drama are ageing sisters Matty and Deborah Jenkyns who cast their imperious eye over the comings and goings. Cranford is growing into a town and there is a sense of change in the air, especially with the arrival of new doctor and the threat of a railway link to the town.

After the first five episodes there was a surprise two part edition for Christmas 2009 where the action, naturally enough, moved forward two years from 1842 to 1844. Matty Jenkyns is now alone following the death of her sister but the house is far from empty, her brother Peter is still around and her maid Martha and her husband have given birth to a daughter called Tilly. Matty also has things to occupy her in the shape of the arrival of the newly widowed Mr Buxton and lonely Peggy Bell. Meanwhile the ladies of the town are in a flap about the impending visit of Lady Glenmire but is their social standing of suffiecient calibre that they will be allowed to meet her. Captain Brown is also working hard to bring the railway finally to Cranford.

Cranford is the kind of production that the BBC do best, one of those shows that is beloved throughout the world. Almost every member of the cast is a well known and respected actor. Sumptuous is indeed the word!

production details
UK / BBC One / 5×60 minute episodes 2×90 minute episodes / 2007 and 2009

Series One Broadcast Sunday 18 November – 16 December 2007
Series Two: Sunday 20 December – Sunday 27 December 2009

Writer: Heidi Thomas / Producer: Sue Birtwistle / Director: Simon Curtis

cast
JUDI DENCH as Miss Matty Jenkyns
EILEEN ATKINS as Miss Deborah Jenkyns (2007)
PHILIP GLENISTER as Mr Carter
FRANCESCA ANNIS as Lady Ludlow
IMELDA STAUNTON as Miss Octavia Pole
JULIA McKENZIE as Mrs Forrester
JULIA SAWALHA as Jessie Brown
GREG WISE as Sir Charles Maulver
LESLEY MANVILLE as Mrs Rose (2007)
BARBARA FLYNN as Mrs Jamieson
DEBORAH FINDLAY as Miss Tomkinson
SIMON WOODS as Dr Frank Harrison
ALEX JENNINGS as Reverend Hutton
JIM CARTER as Captain Brown
EMMA FIELDING as Miss Galindo
JONATHAN PRYCE as Mr Buxton (2009)
LESLEY SHARP as Mrs Bell
ANDREW BUCHAN as Jem Hearne
JODIE WHITTAKER as Peggy Bell
RORY KINNEAR as Septimus Hanbury
NICHOLAS LE PREVOST as Mr Peter Jenkyns
LISA DILLON as Mary Smith
TOM HIDDLESTON as William Buxton
ALEX ETEL as Harry Gregson
MICHELLE DOCKERY as Erminia Whyte
MATTHEW McNULTY as Edward Bell
ADRIAN SCARBOROUGH as Mr Johnson
DEBRA GILLETT as Mrs Johnson
CLAUDIE BLAKLEY as Martha
EMMA LOWNDES as Bella Gregson
HANNAH HOBLEY as Bertha
NICHOLAS BISHOP as Giacomo
BESSIE CARTER as Margeret Gidman