Season 1, Episode 1: June 184218 November 2007
In June 1842, Mary Smith arrives in Cranford to stay with her mother's friends Miss Matty and Miss Deborah Jenkyns. Cranford is a small town, on the edge of modernization. The railway now reaches Manchester and there is much change in the air. The village gossips are all aflutter when the local doctor announces that his cousin's son, Dr. Harrison, will soon be joining him in his medical practice. Harrison is a young bachelor who brings new medical ideas to the community. When the local tradesman, Jem Hearne, has an accident Harrison decides to try and save his arm rather than amputate it. Mary offers to assist him in the operation. Lady Ludlow plans her annual garden party and hopes that her long-absent and spendthrift son may return from Italy. The village welcomes other new residents when Captain Brown and his two daughters, one of whom is ill, move into the house across from the the Jenkyns'.
25 November 2007
After a few months in the village, Dr. Harrison has caught the eye of several of the young ladies. He has focused his attention on the parson's daughter, Sophie Hutton, and hopes to spend some time with her at Lady Ludlow's garden party. Her younger brother Walter takes ill however. Captain Brown receives a visit from Major Gordon who has an interest in his daughter, Jessie. While she too is interested in the Major, she's not sure she can leave her father alone. Mayhem ensues when Mrs. Forrester's cow, Bessie, goes missing after someone leaves the gate open. Lady Ludlow's estate manager Mr. Carter catches young Harry Gregson trespassing but decides to hire him rather than report him to the constable. Matilda meets someone from her past. Rumors have it that the railway may be coming to Cranford.
2 December 2007
It's Christmas-time and Miss Matty isn't sure it would appropriate to celebrate with friends and neighbors given the death of her sister. Mary Smith convinces her otherwise. Matty renews her friendship with her long ago love. Dr. Harrison hopes for a Christmas invitation from the Huttons but none is forthcoming as Sophy is uncomfortable in his presence since the death of her little brother. The residents of Cranford are suffering through a crime spree when Dr. Harrison's house is broken into and Mr. Johnson is attacked as he is closing his store. When Gregson is arrested for the crimes, young Harry has to admit that he and his father were out poaching at that time. By the time Valentine's day rolls around, Dr. Harrison's approach to Sophy receives a more positive reception. However, Miss Caroline Tomkinson receives an anonymous Valentine card and is more convinced than ever that Dr. Harrison is available.
Season 1, Episode 4: April 18439 December 2007
Railway construction begins. Dr. Harrison speaks to Sophy's father and he agrees that they can step out together. Harrison emphasizes that he cannot ask for her hand until he is better established and his practice more prosperous but that his intentions are entirely honorable. Caroline Tomkinson cannot understand why Dr. Harrison has not contacted her since receiving her Valentine day card so her sister decides to probe him. Mrs. Rose and her friends also misinterpret the Doctor's actions. Jessie Brown regrets having turned down Major Gordon's proposal of marriage and Mary Smith decides to do something about it. Lady Ludlow is not impressed when she learns that Mr. Carter has been teaching Harry Gregson to read and write and that he has been working in his office. Miss Matty's financial situation is severely affected when she learns that her bank has failed. May Day celebrations lead to confusion and confrontation when several ladies claim Dr. Harrington's affections.
Season 1, Episode 5: May 184316 December 2007
Martha and Jem are married and move into Miss Matty's home as lodgers. Dr. Harrison learns that Sophy has been sent away to stay with an aunt in Shropshire. When she returns home she contracts typhoid. Lady Ludlow mortgages the estate against Mr. Carter's advice. The ladies of Cranford decide they want to help their friend Miss Matty in her time of need. Mary manages to identify the man who sent the Valentine cards. Mr. Carter is injured in an explosion at the railway construction site and dictates his last will and testament. Major Gordon returns to Cranford but he also has a surprise for Miss Matty.
20 December 2009
It's August 1844 and Miss Matty knows only too well that faces will always come and go in Cranford, but for now she is happy that her dear brother, Peter is home from India and that Martha, Jem and baby Tilly make for a lively household. Lady Ludlow is awaiting the return of her son, Septimus, and young Harry Gregson is about to start his education at Shrewsbury, benefiting from the moral support of Miss Galindo. Then there's news that wealthy widower, Mr Buxton has returned to live in Cranford, bringing with him his charming ward, Erminia and his handsome Eton-educated son, William. Whilst at nearby Thorn Cottage, Peggy Bell tries to make the best of things caring for her mother and brother Edward. Elsewhere, the world continues to change, but for now the railway has stopped five miles outside Cranford in spite of the efforts Captain Brown. All too soon life in Cranford will change in some very unexpected ways.
27 December 2009
Everyone is overjoyed at the news that William Buxton and Peggy Bell are to be married - except it all comes as news to the elder Mr. Buxton who thinks his son is marrying beneath himself. With few choices left to him, William decides he will have to make his own fortune and begins working on the railroad with Mr. Brown. The ladies of the village are somewhat taken aback when Mrs. Jamieson announces that her sister-in-law, Lady Glenmire, will be visiting but then fails to invite anyone to meet her. It becomes known that Mrs. Jamieson thinks they are all beneath her Ladyship. Mr. Buxton has agreed to sell the railroad a small parcel of land they require in order to build the railroad to Cranford and puts the sale in the hands of Edward Bell. He thinks highly of the young man but he is to be deceived when not only does Edward cheat Mr. Buxton on the purchase price, he uses the deeds to the land to cover his own debts. Peggy soon faces the prospect of accompanying her brother to Canada where he hopes to start a new life. A series of unforeseen circumstances, including a cataclysmic accident, will bring all plans to a grinding halt.
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