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 ... See full summary »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Agnes Conway (3 episodes, 1997)
...
 Charles Farrier (3 episodes, 1997)
...
 Alice Conway (3 episodes, 1997)
Michelle Charles ...
 Jessie Conway (3 episodes, 1997)
...
 Reginald Farrier (3 episodes, 1997)
Daniel Casey ...
 Robbie Felton (3 episodes, 1997)
...
 Colonel Farrier / ... (3 episodes, 1997)
...
 Grace Farrier (3 episodes, 1997)
Helen Morland ...
 Nan Henderson (3 episodes, 1997)
Anne Orwin ...
 Ma Felton (3 episodes, 1997)
Frank Grimes ...
 Arthur Conway (2 episodes, 1997)
Amanda Royle ...
 Elaine Dawson Porter (2 episodes, 1997)
Ronald Herdman ...
 Doctor Bailey / ... (2 episodes, 1997)
Shaun Mechen ...
 Jimmy Felton (2 episodes, 1997)
Dale Meeks ...
 Mike Felton (2 episodes, 1997)
Moira Redmond ...
 Nessy Forrester (2 episodes, 1997)
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Storyline

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 Debbie Vanderwerff

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Drama

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Release Date:

8 February 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Catherine Cookson's The Wingless Bird  »

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Trivia

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 »

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User Reviews

 
high drama from the first lady of period fiction
9 June 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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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