In the 1830's in northern England, Riah Millican, a widow with three children, takes a job as housekeeper to a reclusive former teacher, Percival Miller. Miller makes Riah the gift of a ... See full summary »
Set in 1870s England, the story tells of Annabella Lagrange and the terrible secret her wealthy parents have kept from her. When she finally learns the truth, she runs away and eventually ... See full summary »
Seperated from her prostitute mother as the woman flees on foot down the filthy mid-19th century streets of Newcastle from the police, ten year old Millie is taken under the wing of rag ... See full summary »
In northern England around 1900, the worker John O'Brien lives near poverty in a small house in the worker's district. He falls in love with Mary, the teacher of his highly intelligent ... See full summary »
In mid-19th century Northumberland , Hannah Boyle is left with the family of Matthew Thornton, the man her dying mother claims fathered her. Ill-treated by Thornton's bitter and vindictive ... See full summary »
Based on a little known 1848 novel by Anne Bronte, Tara Fitzgerald stars as an enigmatic young woman who moves to 19th Century Yorkshire with a young son. Distancing herself from everyone ... See full summary »
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 »
Yorkshire in the 1880's: Joe Skinner marries Lily Whitmore, the woman he has long admired, to give a name to her illegitimate child by Lionel Fillmore, the opportunistic son of an ... See full summary »
Set in 1913 Northumbria, England, the story is about Robert Bradley, a strong-willed young worker at a Jarrow shipyard, who arrives home one day to find that his father has died. At the ... See full summary »
It's not often I have to reach for the 'off' button but that was the case with THE MALLENS, an early Catherine Cookson adaptation which has dated so badly it's completely unwatchable.
The main problem with this show is the lack of quality. The set-bound approach to the drama looks cheap and cheesy, little better than a particularly poor episode of Baker-era DR WHO. All BBC drama from this era has the same problem because of the use of now-dated cameras. It IS forgivable - but only if the script and characters make up for it. Unfortunately, both are dull here.
The acting is straight off the stage and completely unconvincing. The characters are weak without a likable lead in sight. It takes ages for anything in the way of plot development to occur, and when it does it's often laughable. The picturesque northern locales are great, but it's not enough to keep watching. The various 1990s-era Cookson adaptations are a million times better than this.
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