WPBT2 with Masterpiece Classics premieres a new miniseries South Riding airing on Sundays at 9:00 pm beginning on May 1st.
A feisty schoolteacher returns to her north England home and is drawn to a man who despises everything she stands for on South Riding, Winifred Holtby’s 1936 novel of social consciousness and secret romance. MASTERPIECE Classic presents this Depression-era love story in a three-part miniseries, adapted by celebrated screenwriter Andrew Davies (Little Dorrit, Pride and Prejudice) and starring Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House) and David Morrissey (Sense and Sensibility).
Maxwell Martin plays Sarah Burton, a native of fictional South Riding in Yorkshire, returning to apply for the job of headmistress at the local girls’ high school. Her goal is to bring new energy, new ideas, and a new outlook to the institution, whose students face a bleak future in the hard economic times of the 1930s. Sarah’s nemesis is landowner Robert Carne, portrayed by David Morrissey. Robert is a tradition-bound gentleman farmer, deeply suspicious of Sarah’s social agenda and offended by her pacifist views, especially since he is a veteran of the Great War. But despite his opposition to her candidacy, she gets the job.
Masterpiece: South Riding is based of a modern classic, South Riding. It was the last novel by Winifred Holtby, who died at age 37 of Bright’s disease a month after completing the manuscript. Knowing that she did not have long to live, she threw herself into what became her most enduring book—a chronicle of her native Yorkshire on the brink of change, as the rigid class system was starting to crumble and outspoken feminists like Sarah were charting a new path for women, not least in matters of the heart.
The show airs on Sundays at 9:00 pm beginning on May 1st.