This three-part miniseries, starring Judi Dench and Emmy-winer Eileen Atkins, is based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s witty and poignant novels about a village on the cusp of change.
Cranford (Part 3)
Sunday, January 3 at 9:00 p.m. on WPBT2
Through a terrible misunderstanding, Dr. Harrison (Simon Woods) becomes engaged to three ladies at once, casting him into disgrace. Meanwhile, Mr. Carter (Philip Glenister) discovers with horror that Lady Ludlow (Francesca Annis) has mortgaged her estate. Matty (Judi Dench), too, is in hock after her bank fails. Then tragedy strikes on the railway. Can Cranford’s tight-knit community survive all these disasters?
Return to Cranford
Change is racing towards the small, close-knit village of Cranford like a steam train — quite literally. As the railroad continues to encroach at the edge of town, Cranford strives to open to new realities, from surprising romances to unexpected losses and even waltzing! Matty Jenkyns (Judi Dench), Miss Pole (Imelda Staunton), Mrs. Forrester (Julia McKenzie) and Mrs. Jamieson (Barbara Flynn) are back with other distinguished residents of Cranford, along with one well-outfitted and mischievous cow. When a shocking event seemingly derails Cranford from its innocence, can a bit of magic and faith in enduring friendships save the day? Based on the stories of Victorian-era writer Elizabeth Gaskell, Return to Cranford also features Tom Hiddleston (Wallander) and Tim Curry.
Return to Cranford (Part 1)
Sunday, January 10 at 9:00 p.m. on WPBT2
New life is charmingly apparent in Cranford as Matty Jenkyns enjoys sharing her home with Tilly, the daughter of her maid Martha and carpenter Jem Hearne. Familiar faces including Miss Pole, Mrs. Forrester and Mrs. Jamieson surround Miss Matty in a loving community.
Some new faces have arrived as well — Mrs. Bell, her daughter Peggy and son Edward. Mr. Buxton and his son William have returned to town after years away. Young William eagerly aspires to be an engineer, while his father is grieving the loss of his wife.
The railway has crept closer to Cranford, but has been halted several miles outside the village. For it to move any further, Lady Ludlow would have to sell part of her land. Captain Brown is determined to make progress for the railway, but meets resistance from the village residents.
An unexpected and alarming shift signals yet more change in store for Cranford. Can Matty and the women of Cranford muster support for what inevitably awaits?
Return to Cranford (Part 2)
Sunday, January 17 at 9:00 p.m. on WPBT2
William Buxton’s big news is not warmly received by his father. William, in turn, decides to strike out on his own in an apprenticeship with Captain Brown on the railway. But the work is difficult, and his separation from Peggy problematic.
The social scene of Cranford becomes the center of focus when Mrs. Jamieson’s sister-in-law Lady Glenmire arrives. The women of Cranford eagerly anticipate some interactions, but are seemingly spurned by their friend Mrs. Jamieson. Lady Glenmire, with the encouragement of Captain Brown, takes matters into her own hands, and plans a party.
In the meantime, Miss Galindo is concerned about Harry Gregson, who has disappeared from school. Worse still, it becomes clear he has a very good reason for running away.
The friendships in Cranford are strained when a surprise wedding shocks everyone. But no one can know the tragedy and challenge that await and will threaten the ties of the close-knit Cranford community, putting the women to their ultimate test.
Visit the website at www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/classic.