Cranford: Exquisite TV

YOU’ll need the tissues handy for the last two episodes of Cranford.
Not us blokes, of course. We never blub, do we?
Well, aside from the unfortunate incident at the 1982 press screening for ET, when the cinema lights went up just a few seconds into the closing credits.
No, I’m thinking of those viewers who possess a more delicate countenance and may be prone to a nervous eclipse, as they say in Cranford.
Or as a surprised Mr Carter comments this Sunday: “Lady!”
Philip Glenister fans will be pleased to know that Lady Ludlow’s estate manager has several important scenes in the final two episodes.
Astride his horse, Mr Carter this week shows young Harry (Alex Etel) the site being prepared for the incoming Manchester railway.
“This is how it begins. A mark on a map, a double line of tape,” he says.
“Those are just surveyors. As the railway comes closer, it will devour every acre in its path.”

Mr Carter gets to do some serious glowering at milliner Miss Galindo (Emma Fielding).

He also tells Lady Ludlow (Francesca Annis): “Madam, please, you must attune to the times.”
I stayed up until the early hours of today watching the fifth and final episode, which will be screened a week on Sunday.
Forward-thinking widower Mr Carter again plays a crucial part in the story, as do morals, friendship and matters of the heart.
There’s much to learn from the brilliantly-written conclusion to this love letter to community, with a simply perfect last line of script.
All I can say, yet again, is do not on any account miss it.
Exquisite TV.
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2 responses to “Cranford: Exquisite TV

  1. daphne

    Thanks for this discriminating commentary, Ian. I am over in Canada waiting for this series to come to air here, and you are making it very hard indeed to be patient. Your appreciation of Philip Glenister’s work is spot on and your support for television of the best quality is a joy to read. Thanks for sensitively indulging the singlemindedness of Philip’s many admirers with the pictures you have chosen, while always remaining balanced and discriminating in your articles. I love your humour as well – and let’s face it, we all cried at the end of ET. It would even move the stony heart of Gene Hunt, could he ever be persuaded to attend such a nancy, girly show.

  2. Paul Palmer

    This is quite the finest costume drama the BBC has ever shown. For me it is faultless.
    Much has been added to the book that Mrs Gaskell did not write, and yet it all seems so right.
    I watch the complete series again and again, and yet detect no weakness, either in cast or acting; marvellous.

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