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Larkrise to Candleford

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by redcogs, 10 Mar 2008.

  1. redcogs

    redcogs New Member

    Moray Firth
    i am thoroughly enjoying this tv series, finding it to be touching, reasonably accurate historically, engaging, and proper family type viewing in much the same way that 'All Creatures' used to be, but much better in many ways. Do people agree?

    It is fantastic to see that the BBC can still produce unrivaled quality programs.

    Has anyone read the novels that the series is based on, and can they recommend them?
  2. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK
    I read Lark Rise to Candleford a couple of years ago, and as I remember, it seems fairly accurate. My memory of the book is that not much actually happened - it was just a telling of how life was. I should re-read it now, perhaps, to see how it matches up. And yes, I'm enjoying the series. A good mix of lighthearted stuff and more important social stuff, without being too frivolous or miserably Dickensian.
  3. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Staff Member

    I am enjoying it, though I think that people might of been a little less clean than they appear to be, especially their clothes.
  4. simoncc

    simoncc New Member

    I've read the book a couple of times an it is a classic. As Arch says, nothing much happens. It is a book which describes village and small town life in the 1880s/90s. Small events such as a the visits of a crockery salesman and a travelling German band are described, but there are no sitcom, soap opera style stories as shown on the TV programme. A short, interesting single page description of the latest cycling craze is included. I only watched because I was intrigued as to how the BBC would screen a book which has no real storylines, being a work of social history and not a novel. Now I know. The BBC has simply made up plots and characters which do not appear in the book at all. As a vehicle for showing nice dresses to the costume drama fans on a Sunday night I suppose it is OK, but I found the storylines contrived and clumsy. I'd have preferred a documentary approach to the book which is packed full of intersting detail of life at that time. A dramatisation seems pointless because there is nothing to dramatise really.

    I saw an interview on Richard and Judy with 3 of the stars of the programme. None of them had read the book and said that a single copy was passed round the caravans on set during filming, furthering my suspicion that the show is just an excuse to parade the pretty dresses.
  5. redcogs

    redcogs New Member

    Moray Firth

    Your description of the book as a social history rather than a novel attracts me more to the work in a way.

    However, i have no objection to a little embellishment if it can produce top quality BBC docudrama of the type that Murdoch could never begin to imagine. Dorcus is rather nice in any costume i would say.
  6. betty swollocks

    betty swollocks large member

    Have been watching it in HD on my 42 inch plasma.
    It really is a visual feast too.
  7. redcogs

    redcogs New Member

    Moray Firth
    What benefits do HD bestow Betty?
  8. Saddle bum

    Saddle bum Über Member

    Julia Sawalha is gorgeous, I would watch her with or without the dresses.
  9. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    Lark Rise to Candleford is one of my mum's favourite books and she has read it every year for over twenty years.

    You might not like it though! Given that my mum said that adaptation was appalling and bore no resemblance to the original book at all - neither in the charcater's personailities or actions. She gave up watching the TV series after a couple of episodes.
  10. simoncc

    simoncc New Member

    Yes, the TV 'adaption' really is for the uncritical modern tellywatching crowd, not for lovers of the book. Characters such as Dawn French's simply do not exist in the book at all. The storylines don't. The show isn't an adaption, it is a period costume soap opera with the Lark Rise name bolted on. I watched one about the debtors prison - not mentioned at all in the book by the way, just as the character threatened with imprisonnment isn't. As the book is set in the 1880s/90s during the author's childhood it would have been nice if the BBC had bothered to find out that after 1869 people were not imprisoned for debt in the UK. The other one I watched was when the whole village marched behind a cart trailing a rope to measure the distance for free telegram delivery. Again, this doesn't happen in the book and nothing remotely like it does either, although telegrams do get the odd mention when the author describes her first job in a post office.

    This show demontrates just how dumbed down even the supposedly discerning TV viewer has become. Give a show the name of a famous work of literature and throw in a few nice dresses and they think they are watching quality TV. Flora Thompson wrote her book with intelligent, inquiring readers in mind. The TV show is aimed at an altogether different customer base.
  11. redcogs

    redcogs New Member

    Moray Firth
    Not so i'm afraid. Those who had debts and also had the means to pay them off could still be imprisoned for up to six weeks at a stretch. The episode you refer to didn't make it clear either way for the Dawn French character - she may or may not have had the means to pay (she had a son who worked).

    Perhaps the BBC was simply allowing for a little imagination to become active - a factor that tends to enliven and enhance most docudramas that i've seen.

    Three cheers for the BBC for an excellent production. i can't wait to read the book now. You can send me your copy simoncc, for it appears to have had little beneficial impact upon your historical knowledge base..
  12. DP

    DP Chasse patate

    I've read the first part three or four times, but never managed to make it any further. It always struck me as somewhat dreary and incurious (although good on factual detail I suppose) and was surprised that the BBC considered it worthy of dramatisation.
  13. Gerry Attrick

    Gerry Attrick Lincolnshire Mountain Rescue Consultant

    I know I'm going to regret dignifying Simoncc's post by responding, but nevetheless...........

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. True, the storylines have nothing to do with the trilogy, but given the sheer entertainment provided, I don't give a chuff. Why do you consider the "supposedly discerning TV viewer" as dumbed down? (unless of course you are referring to yourself!). The trailers for the series never stated it was a factual dramatisation of the book, and given it was to be transmitted on a Sunday evening, the implication was that entertainment was its main object. Not all of us want a diet of education each and every time we switch on the electric fishtank, and certainly when I do, I'll reach for the original (in this case the book) every time. There is little enough on the box these days worth praising, but when there is, then due credit is proper.
  14. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    I've not watched that much of it because I thought it looked good (Julia Sawalha helps) and that perhaps I should read it instead. Does that make sense? Also being an actual new(ish) prog on BBC HD also helps.
  15. andyoxon

    andyoxon Veteran

    For us it came too soon after Cranford, and was on too early in the evening.