Last Night’s TV – Cranford

by Lynn Connolly

What an absolute innocent joy Cranford is, and last night’s first of a two-part Christmas special took me joyously by the hand and re-introduced me to the splendour of Cranford life. And how I’ve missed it.

Miss Matty, Miss Pole, Mrs Forrester and Miss Tomkinson had me yearning to be one of their kind; a bonneted fusspot/busybody with – in Miss Pole’s case – a joie de vivre that was so infectious, I hankered after some crinolins of my own. And a walk down one of Dickens’ snowy streets.

Though the Christmas half of the two-parter is next week, just the knowledge that it’s on its way made me feel all warm and fuzzy, even as the scenes of the much feared and dreaded train hurtling through decidedly unwintery countryside played out beautifully.

And as ever, there was wry and intelligent humour, both in word and deed and even in Dame Dench’s notorious frowns. That the cast is somewhat stellar is reflected in the quality of both Heidi Thomas’s script adaptation and Simon Curtis’s direction. The combination of all these factors made a drama that would’ve had you feeling you knew the Cranford ladies personally, even if you’d never met them before.

The scenes of cows in jumpers and the ladies on the train had me laughing out loud, which makes this show an even bigger treasure.

But I am most definitely waiting with baited breath for the second episode which is on BBC1 on Sunday 27th when what I consider to be the jewel in Cranford’s crown – the Christmastime episode – is on.

I’m a total sucker for pretty much anything Christmassy but there are few more gratifying watches than Christmas Victorian style, and that of course is what Cranford – and Lark Rise – do so, so well at this time of year.

I can’t wait!

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.