I have seen the first two episodes of this drama. I am not impressed. The cast, which includes so many of Britain's very best actors, is unable to lift this story out of its morass of superficial, stereotyped stodge. There is no believable sense of life in these characters. We have too many over the top, all too predictable scenes. For example, the chase for the missing cow. For another example, the tragic death of the young boy in episode 2. We have great actors reduced to delivering drivel. There is the over emphasis on town customs at that particular time. There is too much discussion among characters about what is and isn't appropriate in this town. The episode with the French lace cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, progress the plot. If the producers didn't intend to create a ridiculous farce, they need to re-examine their craft. As for the town gossips, I think they are portrayed as complete blabbering imbeciles. Their presence in the show does nothing to advance the plot, nor does it lend any further credibility to the idea that this is a serious attempt at period drama. There are many period dramas that are far and away better than this one. Downton Abbey did the big country estate and changing social and political conditions. Their first season was beautiful to watch. There was comparatively little hyperbole in the first season, Great ratings made the producers commit to further series - unfortunately, in later series the plot lines became far too facile. Downton got one series dead right. Cranford couldn't get two episodes right. I cannot see this one going anywhere. I wouldn't be surprised to learn in the future that this program was a cynical effort to cash in on the current popularity of English period costume dramas, by serving up a mess of garbage that even the best actors in the business couldn't rescue. I would give this zero stars.
Like the other reviewers LOVING THIS FIRST DISC and know the 2nd one will be as good. Great acting. The BBC sure c an this this sort of series sooooo very very very well. Thoroughly recommend. Easy to get lost in the stories.
A fantastic period film with great actors and good acting. It is very easy to watch, with much intrigue with the different characters. The film portraits how some of the English villages were and still are today in some of the quainter villages and towns.
While I know of Elizabeth Gaskell I hadn't read the Cranford books - this series is fantastic and was disappointed I didn't get a chance to see it when I lived in the UK. This is the fictional tale of a self contained community in northern England in the mid 19th century - but with the arrival of some new residents and some major technological developments things are about to change.... It may sound dull - but it's actually full of great humour and insight into the social rules and regulations at the time. For example it was considered very unseemly for women to attend a funeral (even that of a close relative).
Loved this and like Skye (below), can't wait for the next disc! At times very witty and funny (loved the cat in the boot!); at times moving. A wonderful glance into the era with all the characters and rules.
I love this show! I cant wait to get the next discs. Im totally hooked!
This starts off slow - bewarned - but by the second episode you're in. Typical BBC classy stuff - excellently done.
Thoroughly enjoyable drama with great actors and sets.
Absolutely brilliant! If you like clever BBC drama with a twist of conspiracy then you'll love this. Fantastic!
The BBC just does these stories better than any one else. Thoroughly enjoyable. first class acting and wonderful sets. The changes and deletions from the three books didn't spoil the series for me. The times are well and convincingly re-created.