Lark Rise To Candleford Review: To The Bonnetmobile!

January 10, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

tv-stars-3halfLark rise300LARK RISE TO CANDLEFORD: Sunday 10th January, BBC1, 8pm ALERT ME

I’m beginning to suspect that the BBC has a special Bonnetfest department, whose job it is to do nothing but turn out adaptations of Dickensian Britain. But as tired as I am of the inevitable 19th century yarn, Lark Rise To Candleford is actually rather good.

Lark Rise itself is such an idyllic little country hamlet and so bathed in warm colours that you could be forgiven for thinking that it was set in The Shire. Any moment now, they’ll be surrounded by Hobbits. Either that or it’s an extended Jordan’s Country Crisp advert.

The third series begins with Laura and her father trading platitudes and aphorisms on a bench while watching the world go by. They’re soon visited by Daniel, a journalist from the glamorous Oxford Post who brings with him news that Laura’s parents are to inherit a large sum of money. But is Daniel quite what he seems? And will money change the Timmins family?

Meanwhile, Miss Lane the postmistress teaches her parlour maid Minnie about the importance of honesty at all times, leading to some inevitable blunt speaking which threatens to rattle some cages.

Journalist Daniel continues to stir up things in Lark Rise by convincing local postie Thomas that he should lead a musical procession up Candleford main street, while Thomas’s wife Margaret is desperate that they might “endeavour? to consummate their marriage.

Mark Heap is particularly excellent as the pious Thomas, pitching his Alan Statham-esque priggish awkwardness and embarrassment exactly right. Quite why he’s not more celebrated is a bit of a mystery.

It may be a familiar set up and how much you enjoy this will depend on how sick you are of costume dramas. As it’s a BBC production, it’s well made (the rural backdrop does look lovely), well acted and it’s impossible to be too critical, especially considering the fact that there’s so much other rubbish on TV. Frusli Bar anyone?