Television is turning its attention to the industrial working class as an antidote to recent period drama focusing on upper-class glamour. The BBC is looking to adapt Elizabeth Gaskell's Victorian novel Mary Barton, the story of a young woman trapped in the appalling housing conditions and social inequality of 19th-century Manchester.
Heidi Thomas, the creator and writer of the BBC1 hit Call the Midwife, is working on the draft script of the first episode for BBC Wales. Call the Midwife has been the biggest BBC drama hit for a decade, and this is encouraging a move towards bolder social realism.
Thomas said: "I think it is important the working classes have their story told and history brought to life. I am keen to see that on screen. The novel is all about the rights of workers,