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North And South (BBC Drama, Patrick Stewart, Robin Bailey)

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In period BBC drama serial North and South, Margaret Hale’s (Rosalind Shanks) family is forced to move from their comfortable life in the South to the less prosperous working class North in the cotton mill town of Milton. There she meets mill owner John Thornton (Patrick Stewart) whom she perceives as being harsh and unjust with his workers during strike action.

His fortunes wane and eventually circumstances transpire that she inherits the mill and becomes the new owner which brings them together romantically for a happy ending. Interestingly when North and South was remade in 2004 Tim Pigott-Smith had a role in that too, he plays son Frederick Hale in the first and in the second some thirty years later plays the father Richard Hale.

Cast: Rosalind Shanks as Margaret Hale; Patrick Stewart as John Thornton; Rosalie Crutchley as Mrs Thornton; Gail Harrison as Edith Shaw; Robin Bailey as Mr Hale; Kathleen Byron as Mrs Hale; Ian Marter as Henry Lennox; Peggy Ann Wood as Dixon; Barbara Hickmott as Bessy Higgins; Ginette McDonald as Mary Higgins; Norman Jones as Nicholas Higgins; Tim Pigott-Smith as Frederick Hale

Writer: David Turner / Novel: Elizabeth Gaskell / Design: Tim Harvey / Script Editor: Betty Willingale / Music: Dudley Simpson / Producer: Martin Lisemore / Director: Rodney Bennett

UK / BBC Two / 4×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 1-22 December 1975