Sunday, February 7, 2010

Period Dramas

Period Dramas Part V: Masterpiece Classic
2010 Season

Return to Cranford

The ladies of Cranford are back in this two-part sequel. Miss Matty is happy living in her home with her brother Peter, her maid Martha, Martha's husband Jem and Martha and Jem's baby Tilly. Tragedy strikes Miss Matty's family again, however, and she is forced to confront changes that threaten all she holds dear.

There are new characters as well, the widow of the former Rector, Mrs. Bell and her son Edward and daughter Peggy. The nouveaux-riche Mr. Buxton, his son William and his ward Erminia also return to Cranford.

The railroad is making it's way towards Cranford, blocked by Lady Ludlow's refusal to sell her land and the old ladies' refusal to allow this monstrosity to creep into their traditional life.

Matty interferes to help a pair of star-crossed lovers and help her friends accept the changes that progress inevitably brings. She pays a price for her beliefs however, and Cranford will never be the same.

This story is told with the same charming humor and dramatic moments as the original. My favorite character Mrs. Pole, gets some small plot lines which made me laugh out loud in some parts. Imelda Staunton is a great comic actress. I also liked the return of Bessy, the cow and the newcomer Mrs. Jamieson's sister-in-law, Lady Glenmire who was funny and a nice addition to Cranford.

I didn't like the tragic events that occurred but having read the book this time and seen the first Cranford, I was expecting them so I actually liked Cranford 2 better than the first one. The shorter length kept the attention of those in my family who do not normally watch period dramas. I hope there will be another adaptation of Mrs. Gaskell's Cranford or other works in the future.

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