On the eve of World War I, Agnes Conway manages both the business and the problems of her troubled family. She finds the strength to break class barriers and help her sister Jessie marry a ...
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On the eve of World War I, Agnes Conway manages both the business and the problems of her troubled family. She finds the strength to break class barriers and help her sister Jessie marry a good boy from a family of dockside toughs. Is she strong enough to break them again when Charles Farrier, a gentleman, courts her over his parents' opposition? Agnes faces an added dilemma when she finds her heart divided between Charles and his soldier brother Reginald. Written by
The song lyrics heard during the end credits are from the poem "A Town Window" by John Drinkwater, which was written during the period in which the story is set. In the song, Warwick has been changed to Durham. See more »
Catherine Cookson was for many years the most borrowed and read writers from UK public libraries, and her novels remain popular years after her death. The TV adaptations which were made over a twenty year span generally do the books proud without making their thin plots seem ridiculous, and 'The Wingless Bird' is no exception.
Agnes Conway (Claire Skinner) is an independent young lady who works in her father's sweet shop. She's shielding her sister Jessie (Michelle Charles), who is having a secret romance with someone of a lower class, while herself engaging in an intrigue with the impossibly handsome Charles Farrier (Edward Atterton), the second son of a moneyed military family.
This is typical Cookson territory, really. There's high drama, attempted murders, disgrace, scandal, and a swathe of upper class snooty horrors including Charles' mother (Elspet Gray, perhaps still best known as mother to The Black Adder).
'The Wingless Bird' is engrossing, if predictable, fare, and is beautifully photographed and flawlessly played by its cast (Skinner in particular is excellent as are Anne Reid as her mother and Julian Wadham as the eldest Farrier son, Reg). A superior soapy drama.
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