This beautiful, entertaining lark is something I hoped to find any way to get a hold of. As a continuity airing on British television, the wait was an even longer wait in making its way to the states. Eventually, Lark Rise to Candleford, series one did arrive on DVD, and I excitedly purchased all four series!
Lark Rise to Candleford (2008) Series One Review
The Timmins family is unable to provide for their children, but on this particular day, a fifth child joins the family. Robert Timmins (Brendan Coyle) struggles to find work in his small village of Lark Rise. His wife Emma (Claudie Blakely) lifts some of the burden by placing their eldest daughter in an apprenticeship which Robert strongly opposes. Laura (Olivia Hallinan) is his “little girl,” which makes him feel worse unable to provide. But you see, a cousin is the postmistress in the more cultured town of Candleford, and in Laura, Emma sees a thirst for more. Not about to leave without argument Laura doesn’t shy away from an opinion, and is none too happy to leave her childhood friend Alf (John Dagelish).
As the only child of the Candleford Postmaster, Dorcas Lane (Julia Sawalha) carries on the legacy of the post office from her late father and she feels a certain responsibility to keep up standard. Unmarried, Dorcas has a heart of gold, and helps anyone in need. Upon the arrival of Laura, Dorcas is willing to allow some concessions for inexperience, but she expects the best from her employees which also includes the devout mail carrier Thomas Brown (Mark Heap) a stickler for the rules. Soon after she leaves, Laura is conflicted when the two villages begin to take opposite sides in debate!
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There is so much more going on in this charming little series than one can scribble into a brief synopsis. There’s a love triangle and unrequited love; broken hearts and moral struggles; along with the desire to be better. As the themes work out, there isn’t any one that stands out as being more prevalent because each episode is independent from the others. Some do build on the other but its talent keeps viewers interested week after week with a different story-line that follows the daily lives of residents.
In addition to the leading characters and top-billed stars, this series also has a host of supporting British talent. There’s the Pratt sisters (played by Matilda Ziegler and Victoria Hamilton); and Ben Miles plays the wealthy land owner who (continues to) breaks Dorcas’ heart. Everyone works so well together, seeing to form a rapport (which may very well be true give filming took place for about seven or eight months out of the year). The simple changes these characters went through yet another thing to love about the show. It’s adorable to see Laura’s progression into, not only adulthood, but also a civilized, charming young woman. Opposite this, it’s a delight to experience the wisdom of Dorcas. Something that seems to carry into the scripts, which are wonderful.
Another beautiful thing about this is the costumes, for want of a better term, they’re gorgeous. If you are a fan of costume dramas, seeing this should be high on your priority of television series. If you like Wives & Daughters or When Calls the Heart, then this little gem of a series is one not to miss.
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You can find Lark Rise to Candleford on Amazon Video (digitally) or DVD.
‘Lark Rise to Candleford,’ Series One: This is a British Drama of Charm. A review of the BBC drama with Julia Sawalha. #PeriodDrama #WhattoWatch #Review #BBC Click To Tweet
Content: I cannot remember anything to bother families’ concerned with content. Nevertheless, the show would likely have a ‘PG’ rating; if anything there may be a rare innuendo.
Note: this review was published in the archives five or more years earlier. Since moving to WordPress, 90% of the reviews, lists and articles need re-formats and/or other updates. Updated edits and changes to fit current formats have been made; it has also been updated with new photos, and republished.
This review originally published November 6th, 2012.