Sparkhouse was a modern-day drama take on the Wuthering Heights story set against the backdrop of the Yorkshire moors. Carol and Andrew, friends and sweethearts since the age of 12, plan to secretly get married at the age of 18.
But she is from a working-class family and Andrew’s family find out and disapprove, revealing to him a dark family secret that causes him to jilt her at the alter. She runs away taking her sister (who is the subject of the dark secret) with her.
Five years pass – and Andrew has married, and Carol returns to manage her dying father’s farm, “Sparkhouse” and the relationship between her and Andrew is rekindled with tragic consequences.
“The themes are perennial,” says Sparkhouse producer Derek Wax. “The battle between passionate love and economic necessity; following your heart, or doing something expedient, or socially desirable. These questions are the same in the 21st century as they were in the 19th,”
Joe McFadden plays Carol’s love, Andrew Lawton. “Carol brings excitement into his life,” says Joe McFadden simply. “I suppose you could say that she could be seen as a bad influence on him – she doesn’t come from the ‘right’ kind of family. But for him it is the perfect love.
UK / BBC1 / 3×60 / started 1 September 2002 / 9:00pm
Writer: Sally Wainwright / Producer: Derek Wax / Director: Robin Sheppard
SARAH SMART as Carol Bolton
JOSEPH MCFADDEN as Andrew Lawton
ALUN ARMSTRONG as Richard Bolton
CELIA IMRIE as Kate Lawton
NICHOLAS FARRELL as Paul Lawton
CAMILLA POWER as Becky Lawton
SIOBHAN FINNERAN as Sue Bolton
RICHARD ARMITAGE as John Standing
JESSICA HARRIS as Tessa Gillespie
APRIL JAMES as Young Lisa Bolton
HOLLY GRAINGER as Older Lisa Bolton