Lark Rise calls it a day, Downton Abbey ushered in....

The article below by Sean Marland highlights a change in the period drama scene.

[As much as I'm enjoying Downton Abbey, I hate to think that it's the reason that the BBC has given up on Lark Rise to Candleford as Marland hints in his article. I will say that I do hope that the overwhelming success of Downton Abbey encourages the BBC to step up their game and stop with the recycling of so many classics when countless other adaptations have yet to be adapted for screen - a frustration echoed by so many of us!]

Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) and Julia Sawalha (Lark Rise to Candleford)

"Lark Rise To Candleford returned to our screens this month in a flourish of bonnets and terribly frightful misunderstandings, but while time passes rather languidly for country folk in the 19th century, the same cannot be said in the field of modern costume drama. Downton Abbey may have won gushing plaudits from all corners last year, but this week’s news that its counterpart will be axed is the biggest compliment it will ever receive and confirmation that it had raised the bar in the BBC’s own backyard. A few years back, their producers simply divided a pre-war novel into six episodes, dug out the keys to the corset cupboard and put in a call to Julia Sawalha’s agent. However, like a navvy with a JCB, their erstwhile bumbling rivals blew the whole genre wide-open last Autumn.

...As joyful, rich and popular as Lark Rise is, in the wake of this genre shake-up, it seemed older hat than any head attire worn on its rural sets. While I realise that such parameters are both deliberate and highly-cherished, the fact that the programme has no great themes aside from the quaint examination of human foibles and the ongoing novelty of old-fashioned mores makes for slightly repetitive viewing. Lark Rise has always been inexplicably idyllic, but after watching Fellowes’ fiercely chronological story-arc, the Corporation’s thoroughly un-mechanised costume vehicle started to look very lightweight in its fourth outing. It is an experience rather than a story.

...Lark Rise has retained audience figures this year, but while bosses from Wood Lane will insist that this week’s termination was all planned well before Downton was even thought of, a scenario in which the ITV drama kick-started a re-jig seems more likely."


  1. I have just discovered your Blog through Vic Sanborn's Blog "Jane Austen Today".... and it is terrific!! Well Done! I shall certainly list it on my Blog...

  2. This is seriously disappointing news. "Lark Rise" is a totally different kind of program than "Downton Abbey". It is real FAMILY television; the kind of programming I remember as a child watching "Little House on the Prairie" and "Avonlea". It is simple, focuses on people being kind and neighborly (tell that to Lady Edith and Lady Mary), and in its own way is a really good example of strong women. I will hate to see it go.

  3. just found your blog via costume chronicles. i look forward to following!

  4. I'm not happy about this news. Larkrise To Candleford is one of my favorite shows. It's my evening feel-good television fix. *sigh*

  5. I do think it's unfortunate that such a quality wholesome show is coming to an end when there are so many fans who still would love it to continue.

    Tee and Kat,
    Welcome! Glad you dropped by!

  6. It saddens me that they're getting rid of "Lark Rise"...such a good series!

  7. No Lark Rise? What a tragedy.

  8. Becky and Vic,
    It is disappointing especially considering all the inferior offerings that seem to fill up the tv schedules.

  9. I am SO disappointed by this decision. Lark Rise is wonderful programming for everyone in the family. It's typically that the more adult-type fare would win out.

    I wonder -- does this mean they just aren't renewing for another season, but the current one will continue to run its course so hopefully they can tie up some story lines? Or did they ax it as of the episodes currently completed, whch as far as I can tell are four.

  10. Em,
    They announced that this would be the final season after the 6 episodes have aired. I don't know their reason for cancelling it. They might have just felt it had run its course but it is sad when quality programming like that is offered rarely.



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