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The Lakes 

Danny Kavanagh leaves Liverpool for the Lake District, finding work at a hotel and love with a local girl named Emma. Yet Danny remains an outsider in the close-knit community, and through ... See full summary »


Jimmy McGovern

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2   1  
1999   1997  
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
John Simm ...  Danny Kavanagh 14 episodes, 1997-1999
Elizabeth Bennett Elizabeth Bennett ...  Mrs. Archer / ... 14 episodes, 1997-1999
Charles Dale Charles Dale ...  Chef 14 episodes, 1997-1999
Mary Jo Randle Mary Jo Randle ...  Bernie Quinlan 14 episodes, 1997-1999
Kaye Wragg Kaye Wragg ...  Lucy Archer 14 episodes, 1997-1999
Robert Pugh ...  Father Matthew 14 episodes, 1997-1999
James Thornton James Thornton ...  Pete Quinlan 14 episodes, 1997-1999
Samantha Seager Samantha Seager ...  Julie 14 episodes, 1997-1999
Robin Laing ...  Joey 14 episodes, 1997-1999
Kevin Doyle ...  John Fisher / ... 13 episodes, 1997-1999
Matt Bardock Matt Bardock ...  Albie 13 episodes, 1997-1999
Elizabeth Rider ...  Sheila Thwaite 13 episodes, 1997-1999
Emma Cunniffe ...  Emma Kavanagh / ... 13 episodes, 1997-1999
Paul Copley ...  Peter Quinlan 13 episodes, 1997-1999
Tony Rohr ...  Grandad 13 episodes, 1997-1999
Nicholas Day ...  Mr. Archer / ... 13 episodes, 1997-1999
Clare Holman ...  Simone Fisher / ... 11 episodes, 1997-1999
Lee Oakes Lee Oakes ...  Tharmy 11 episodes, 1997-1999
Elizabeth Berrington ...  Ruth 11 episodes, 1997-1999
Jessica Perry Jessica Perry ...  Annie Quinlan 11 episodes, 1997-1999
Barbara Wilshere ...  Dr. Sarah Kilbride / ... 10 episodes, 1997-1999
Bob Mason Bob Mason ...  Sergeant Slater / ... 10 episodes, 1997-1999
Marshall Lancaster ...  Ged Hodgson 8 episodes, 1999
Annabelle Apsion ...  Beverly 8 episodes, 1999
Amanda Mealing ...  Jo Jo Spiers 7 episodes, 1999


Danny Kavanagh leaves Liverpool for the Lake District, finding work at a hotel and love with a local girl named Emma. Yet Danny remains an outsider in the close-knit community, and through the machinations of fate, he finds himself implicated in a tragedy. As the series goes on, the secrets, lies, and crimes, of the seemingly tranquil community continue to be revealed. Written by Azure_Girl

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

14 September 1997 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A tavak See more »

Filming Locations:

Cumbria, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(4 parts) | (10 parts)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


References Star Trek (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best TV dramas of the 90s.
19 November 2000 | by dmnkeenSee all my reviews

Nobody can accuse Jimmy McGovern of settling for a quiet life. His dramas, right from "Needle", through to "Cracker" and "Priest", to this masterpiece confirm him as one of the most exciting writers in any medium to emerge in the last decade.

And a masterpiece is what "The Lakes" is, even considering its flaws. Occasionally, McGovern seems more concerned with hitting home his messages (about Catholicism, country-versus-city, sexual politics, etc) at the expense of his characters, but he still creates dramatic situations which are credible, raw, and overwhelmingly moving without succumbing to sickly sentiment.

Focussing on the story of Danny, a Liverpudlian drifter and compulsive gambler, who marries Emma, the daughter in a devoutly Catholic family living in a small Lake District town, and who is implicated in the drowning accident which claims the lives of four local children, McGovern wrings every piece of emotion from his storyline, and supplies a script which his excellent cast are obviously having a field day with.

John Simms is remarkable as Danny, perfectly realising the inner conflict facing his outsider character who craves to do the right thing while aspiring to escape the emotional prison he finds himself in. Robert Pugh and Mary Jo Randle as the parish priest and would-be middle-aged lover handle their roles with compassion and truth, and Paul Copley as Randle's unknowing and decent husband also deserves some kudos.

In fact, the entire cast is outstanding, all perfectly getting under the skins of their characters, and the action is all brilliantly orchestrated by director David Blair, who brings all the initially disparate plotlines into one immensely satisfying whole.

In an age of endless costume drama, "The Lakes" comes like a blast of welcome fresh air, and very few other dramas produced in the 1990s (with the exception, maybe, of Alan Bleasdale's "GBH") come anywhere near matching its heartfelt intensity.

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