My latest BBC addiction..."Lark Rise to Candleford." It ran for four seasons, and I've now watched three on my beloved Netflix....alas, I don't want it to end! Of course, it has all the fixings of my usual BBC addictions -- small village, quirky characters, loving relationships, and British accents.
The story is told through the eyes of Laura, on the right, the daughter of a poor family in Lark Rise, who moves to the "big city" of Candleford to work for her mom's cousin, Dorcas (on the left), who owns the post office there. Laura is sweet and really sharp, and constantly torn between her small village roots, and her desires to not only educate herself and have a career, but to also fall in love and settle down. Dorcas is inspirational...single, never-been-married in a social world where this is completely taboo, incredibly sharp, and completely content with who she is -- well, most of the time. She is incredibly strong, yet tender and loving to a fault. I can really admire that.
Met this handsome fella first in the modern BBC series, "Coupling" -- across between "Sex in the City," "Friends," and "Seinfeld." So, weird at first to see him play Sir Timothy Midwinter, the squire who lives in Candleford, but is the squire for Lark Rise. He's the "guy-she-shoulda-married" for Dorcas, so lots of sexual tension there in the first couple series.
Thomas is a mail carrier for Dorcas at the post office, and is incredibly pious. But in the most enchanting way. He is married to Margaret, the deceased pastor's daughter, and it took him FOREVER to admit his feelings for her -- to himself, never mind everyone else.
This is Robert and Emma Timmins, Laura's parents, and I adore them. She's a Lark Rise girl, and he was a stonesmith traveling through when she captured his heart. They are stubbornly liberal-minded and progressive, and have an equitable, loving relationship. And are still hot for each other, even after four children...that's cool!
Alf lives in Lark Rise, and is a farmer, raising his younger siblings by himself. He's childhood friends with Laura, and early in the series, he's in love with her, but it's unrequited -- alas, he's in the "friend zone." He plays the accordian and sings songs that get everyone in the tiny village dancing. And he's got a heart of gold.
And Alf loves Minnie -- at least he does at the end of Series 3. I don't know what happens in Series 4, so don't spoil it! She is a maid and cook for Dorcas, who rescued her from the work house. She's naive, always has a twinkle, and is intent on bettering herself -- she's often hilarious.
Queenie and Twister live in Lark Rise, and are the most lovely couple. She keeps bees, engages in earthy, pagan practices, and is always ready with not only natural ways to heal just about any ill that takes you, but is sweet and wise beyond words. Twister? He like beer and whiskey and playing music -- and he loves Queenie fiercely!
And these two! Sisters who own a dress shop in Candleford...gotta love their matching outfits and snobbery-mixed-with-heartwarming-tenderness!
Finally, one of my FAVE actresses USED to be on the show -- Dawn French! She's Caroline Arliss, Alf's mom, but, well, she's in prison. Seriously...love these quirky folk!