North & South (2004)
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Episode #1.1 

Margaret Hale, a 19-year-old lively young girl, and her parents leave the south, when her father Richard resigns as the clergy in Helstone on a matter of conscience. The family moves to ... See full summary »


Brian Percival


Elizabeth Gaskell (novel), Sandy Welch (screenplay)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Daniela Denby-Ashe ... Margaret Hale
Tim Pigott-Smith ... Richard Hale
Emma Ferguson Emma Ferguson ... Edith Lennox
Travis Oliver ... Captain Lennox
Jane Booker ... Mrs. Shaw
Lesley Manville ... Maria Hale
John Light ... Henry Lennox
Pauline Quirke ... Dixon
David Fleeshman David Fleeshman ... Landlord
Tom Charnock Tom Charnock ... Williams
Richard Armitage ... John Thornton
Frank Lauder Frank Lauder ... Stephens (as Frank J. Lauder)
Anna Maxwell Martin ... Bessy Higgins
Sinéad Cusack ... Hannah Thornton
Jane Cameron Jane Cameron ... Young Woman


Margaret Hale, a 19-year-old lively young girl, and her parents leave the south, when her father Richard resigns as the clergy in Helstone on a matter of conscience. The family moves to Milton in the north of England where Mr. Hale starts working as a private tutor. Margaret and her mother find it difficult to adapt to the North. While Margaret tries to deal with her new home and thereby befriends Bessy Higgins and her father Nicholas, poor local mill workers, she becomes aware of the social inequalities. On seeing John Thornton, a cotton-mill owner, badly treating one of his workers, Margaret's prejudices are reinforced, Thornton, on the other hand, forms a more positive opinion of Margaret. Written by R.

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Drama | Romance




Release Date:

14 November 2004 (UK) See more »

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Bessy Higgins: A basket? What would we do with a basket? We've got little enough to put in it!
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User Reviews

North & South: Part 1
10 September 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always had a lifelong love for period dramas and adaptations. There are disappointments out there, both as book adaptations and on their own terms (the latter of which for me has always been a fairer way to judge), but many masterpieces.

Elizabeth Gaskell's 'North & South' is a masterpiece and a beautiful and affecting love story. This four-part mini-series succeeds not only as an adaptation and very faithful but also on its own terms. The story here is still the beautiful, affecting and timeless story that made me love the book in the first place. And the dialogue is wonderfully written, every bit as eloquent, sophisticated and literate as that in the book, as well as insightful. This is apparent from the get go of the first part.

On its own terms, 'North & South' succeeds amazingly. This first part is setting things up, but does so with a lot happening without being over-stuffed. The pace is spot on with few rushed or draggy spots and no skimming over of pivotal scenes, and the length is just right. Plenty of time to flesh out the central relationship and explore with complexity the many different relationships 'North & South' has.

Production-values-wise, 'North & South' is flawless. The scenery is breathtaking without being too clean, the costumes are beautifully tailored and the photography is suitably elegant. The music is equally very good, with enough elegant and haunting motifs/themes to make it memorable.

The direction is always very assured, and the acting is pretty much outstanding with the characters written so well you do care for them and their situations. Daniela Denby-Ashe is a very poignant Margaret, and there are outstanding supporting turns from Tim Piggott-Smith and Lesley Manville.

Sinead Cusack is a standout in the supporting cast, relishing her beastly character. What made the mini-series for me was the superlative performance of Richard Amitage, who is very handsome and charismatic, has great delivery of his lines and manages to convey all sides of his complex character brilliantly.

All in all, stunning. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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