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TV-PG | | Drama | TV Series (2007–2010)
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In the 1840s, Cranford is ruled by the ladies. They adore good gossip; and romance and change is in the air, as the unwelcome grasp of the Industrial Revolution rapidly approaches their beloved rural market-town.
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2   1  
2010   2008  
Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 16 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
Judi Dench ...  Miss Matty Jenkyns 7 episodes, 2007-2009
Julia McKenzie ...  Mrs Forrester 7 episodes, 2007-2009
Imelda Staunton ...  Miss Pole / ... 7 episodes, 2007-2009
Lisa Dillon ...  Mary Smith 7 episodes, 2007-2009
Deborah Findlay ...  Miss Tomkinson 7 episodes, 2007-2009
Barbara Flynn ...  Mrs Jamieson / ... 7 episodes, 2007-2009
Alex Etel ...  Harry Gregson 7 episodes, 2007-2009
Alex Jennings ...  Reverend Hutton / ... 7 episodes, 2007-2009
Jim Carter ...  Captain Brown 7 episodes, 2007-2009
Emma Fielding ...  Miss Galindo 7 episodes, 2007-2009
Adrian Scarborough ...  Mr Johnson 7 episodes, 2007-2009
Andrew Buchan ...  Jem Hearne 6 episodes, 2007-2009
Claudie Blakley ...  Martha 6 episodes, 2007-2009
Debra Gillett Debra Gillett ...  Mrs Johnson 6 episodes, 2007-2009
Francesca Annis ...  Lady Ludlow 6 episodes, 2007-2009
Emma Lowndes Emma Lowndes ...  Bella Gregson 6 episodes, 2007-2009
Simon Woods ...  Dr Harrison 5 episodes, 2007
Rosy Byrne Rosy Byrne ...  Lizzie Hutton 5 episodes, 2007
Kimberley Nixon ...  Sophy Hutton 5 episodes, 2007
John Bowe ...  Dr Morgan 5 episodes, 2007
Selina Griffiths Selina Griffiths ...  Caroline Tomkinson 5 episodes, 2007
Philip Glenister ...  Mr Carter 5 episodes, 2007
Lesley Manville ...  Mrs Rose 5 episodes, 2007
Hester Odgers ...  Helen Hutton 5 episodes, 2007
Julia Sawalha ...  Jessie Brown 5 episodes, 2007
Greg Wise ...  Sir Charles Maulver 5 episodes, 2007-2009
Hannah Hobley Hannah Hobley ...  Bertha 4 episodes, 2007-2009
Hannah Stokely Hannah Stokely ...  Bessie 4 episodes, 2007
Bessie Carter ...  Margaret Gidman 3 episodes, 2007-2009
Dean Lennox Kelly ...  Job Gregson 3 episodes, 2007
Andrew Byrne Andrew Byrne ...  Malachi Gregson 3 episodes, 2007
Joe McFadden ...  Jack Marshland 3 episodes, 2007
Finty Williams ...  Clara Smith / ... 3 episodes, 2007-2009
Tom Hiddleston ...  William Buxton 2 episodes, 2009
Eileen Atkins ...  Miss Deborah Jenkyns 2 episodes, 2007
Lesley Sharp ...  Mrs Bell 2 episodes, 2009
Jodie Whittaker ...  Peggy Bell 2 episodes, 2009
Matthew McNulty ...  Edward Bell 2 episodes, 2009
Jonathan Pryce ...  Mr Buxton 2 episodes, 2009
Michelle Dockery ...  Erminia Whyte 2 episodes, 2009
Haydon Downing Haydon Downing ...  Walter Hutton 2 episodes, 2007
Nicholas Le Prevost ...  Mr Peter Jenkyns 2 episodes, 2009
Alistair Petrie ...  Major Gordon 2 episodes, 2007
Michael Gambon ...  Mr Holbrook / ... 2 episodes, 2007
Roger Ennals Roger Ennals ...  Mulliner 2 episodes, 2007
Patricia Leach Patricia Leach ...  Gypsy Woman 2 episodes, 2007
Andrew Westfield Andrew Westfield ...  Farmer Graves 2 episodes, 2007
Imogen Byron ...  Kate 2 episodes, 2007


In the 1840s, Cranford is ruled by the ladies. They adore good gossip; and romance and change is in the air, as the unwelcome grasp of the Industrial Revolution rapidly approaches their beloved rural market-town.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

BBC [UK] | PBS [United States]





Release Date:

4 May 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(total runtime) | (5 parts)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Judi Dench had read the novel 'Cranford' at school, and when a neighbor lent her the book, she was vividly reminded of Gaskell's writing. She stated that she hoped that this television adaptation would "make people want to read her." See more »


Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 16 March 2010 (2010) See more »


Green Grow the Rashes
Heard in score
See more »

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User Reviews

Heartwarming? Yes. But clever, too, with outstanding performances and a fine screenplay
27 May 2008 | by Terrell-4See all my reviews

The opportunity to watch so many of Britain's great female actors working together in parts that allow them to demonstrate just how good they are is one of the two immensely satisfying aspects of Cranford, the five-part, 291-minute drama imported from Britain by way of Masterpiece Theater. The other is the story itself -- a kind of Austen-like tale of good manners, gossip, punctilious courtesies and extraordinarily detailed production values. Cranford may be a genteel and gentle soap opera, but it glows with warmth, humor and the occasional dramatic crisis.

Cranford is a small English village, tidy and well kept. The time is the early 1840's. The village hasn't changed much over the years. The established ladies of the village plan to keep it that way. For the next 12 months of Cranford we'll see a new, young doctor come to town, the affects of a train line being built closer and closer to the village, romance and marriages, typhoid, death and poverty. We'll see why some think the lower classes should not be taught to read or write, how it really hurts to have your leg amputated, how a woman of a certain age who is not married may well expect to live a lonely life. We'll also see friendships, misunderstandings, the love for a cow and the deep comfort of accepted ways. Keep in mind that the story isn't simply a bucolic tale of a world long gone. We're going to deal with class distinctions, poverty, condescension to women, and customs that can strangle affection. There are several story lines that develop and weave around each other.

At the heart of the story are the women of Cranford, for whom gossip is a way of life. Eileen Atkins plays the elderly Miss Deborah Jenkyns, a severe woman who is not without feelings and who is the acknowledged arbiter of what is proper. Her sister, Miss Mattie Jenkyns, played by Judy Dench, is a bit scatterbrained but a warm and empathetic person. And we have Miss Pole (Imelda Staunton), a lightening transmitter of juicy information; Mrs. Forrester (Julia MacKenzie), a widow who is a bit of a ditherer but good-hearted; and Miss Jamieson (Barbara Flynn), better off than the others which she is careful to display, and more conventional, but prepared to be brought around. There is Mary Smith (Lisa Dillon), who comes to live with the Jenkyns sisters to escape a busybody stepmother and who finds more than she thought she would. Thankfully, she has a good mind and a sense of humor. And there is Lady Ludlow (Francesca Annis), the grand, aging lady in the grand estate nearby who learns to acknowledge that others may be correct, while not seeming to apologize for her class standards. What of the men? They're around, but for the most part they exist simply to provide the framework for the women's stories. Such superior actors as Michael Gambon, Jim Carter and Martin Shaw play them.

When we leave Cranford five hours after we arrived, we've smiled a lot, teared up a few times, and have come to admire these women, their capacity for friendship and their desire to keep the future from arriving too soon. If you hear the term "heartwarming," don't be put off. This program is intelligently written and is acted with extraordinary and underplayed skill.

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