Catherine Cookson's The Wingless Bird

Watch Catherine Cookson's The Wingless Bird

  • 1997
  • 2 Seasons

Catherine Cookson's The Wingless Bird is a British television drama series that was produced and aired in the late 1990s. Based on the best-selling novel by author Catherine Cookson, the show follows the story of a young girl named Louisa Leyton (played by Claire Skinner) who grows up in a troubled family in the early 1900s.

The series is set in the North East of England and begins with Louisa's childhood, where we see her living with her parents, Robert (played by Stephen Moore) and Lavinia (played by Brenda Bruce), and her brother, Will (played by James Purefoy). The family is struggling financially, and her father is an abusive alcoholic who frequently takes his frustrations out on his family. Despite this, Louisa is a resilient and determined young girl who dreams of a better life for herself.

As the series progresses, we see Louisa grow up and face a number of challenges. She becomes involved with a wealthy family, the Howards, who have a troubled past of their own. Louisa falls in love with the son, Richard (played by Julian Wadham), and the two embark on a complicated relationship that is constantly tested by the social class differences between them.

The Wingless Bird is a moving drama that is full of complex characters and relationships that are both heartwarming and heartbreaking. The show explores themes such as poverty, class, love, loss, and family. It is a poignant portrayal of what life was like for the working class in early 20th century England and the struggles that they faced.

One of the show's strengths is its cast of talented actors who bring the characters to life. Claire Skinner is excellent as Louisa, portraying her with both strength and vulnerability. James Purefoy is also great as her troubled brother Will, while Julian Wadham delivers an excellent performance as the conflicted Richard Howard. Supporting performances from Brenda Bruce, Stephen Moore, and others add depth and complexity to the show.

The production design and cinematography are also notable. The show captures the look and feel of early 20th century England beautifully, with well-crafted sets and costumes that transport the viewer to another time. The cinematography is often breathtaking, with sweeping shots of the English countryside that are both stunning and evocative.

Overall, Catherine Cookson's The Wingless Bird is a compelling television drama that is not to be missed. The show is full of well-drawn characters, complex relationships, and emotional storylines that will keep viewers engaged from start to finish. It is a touching and thought-provoking portrayal of a bygone era that still resonates today.

Catherine Cookson's The Wingless Bird is a series that is currently running and has 2 seasons (21 episodes). The series first aired on January 12, 1997.

Catherine Cookson's The Wingless Bird
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The Man Who Cried, Part 2
11. The Man Who Cried, Part 2
January 4, 1993
Now he has a job, and with Dick in school, Abel feels that things are beginning to go his way. Until six months later when Peter Maxwell dies and his young widow surprises Abel by professing her love for him and proposing marriage. Abel sees marrying Hilda as the only way to secure his future even though already married. It is a decision which has repercussions for all their lives, as his past life catches up with him.
The Man Who Cried, Part 1
10. The Man Who Cried, Part 1
January 3, 1993
In 1932 Abel Mason leaves his vicious nagging wife Lena, and goes on the road with his young son Dick. Increasingly desperate, with no money and no job, he reaches the North of England where by chance he meets a wealthy garage owner, Peter Maxwell. Maxwell and his young wife Hilda offer Abel and Dick the security they have been seeking. In order to cover his tracks Abel swears his son to secrecy and changes his name to Gray.
The Glass Virgin, Part 3
9. The Glass Virgin, Part 3
January 20, 1995
They leave as Manuel decides he loves her. It isn't long before Manuel finds work in a glass works. Their marriage takes place three weeks later and is a happy affair until Carpenter's son-in-law, Captain Weir, tries to molest Anna. A furious Manuel attacks Captain Weir and knocks him unconscious. They flee desperately to the caravan but are met there by the police who drag Manuel off to jail. Annabella stays with her mother until he is released and they start a glass blowing business of their own.
The Glass Virgin, Part 2
8. The Glass Virgin, Part 2
January 13, 1995
Annabella is eventually found by Manuel, the latin-looking boy who taught her to ride horses. Manuel agrees to take Annabella with him on his travels. Annabella's father Edmund attacks Manuel in a rage and ends up being killed. The pair take jobs on a farm owned by Mr Fairburn. However, Fairburn's maid is Watford, who lost her job at Redford Hall many years ago. Manuel tries to win Betty over and when a drunken Manuel spends a chase night in Betty's caravan, Annabella's secret desire of being with Manuel seems dashed. She attempts to take her own life.
The Glass Virgin, Part 1
7. The Glass Virgin, Part 1
January 6, 1995
At the age of ten Annabella goes beyond the forbidden black door and sees her father cavorting with his mistress. Annabella faints and wakes to be told that she had a bad dream. By the time she is sixteen Annabella's future becomes the subject of a fierce argument between her parents. Edmund is enraged and reveals that she is the daughter of his mistress and not his wife. Her world in ruins, Annabella flees from Redford Hall.
The Gambling Man, Part 3
6. The Gambling Man, Part 3
March 12, 1995
When Janie turns up after two years Rory decides it is Charlotte he loves. But they do not have any time to go to the authorities as the Pittie Brothers have set the boat yard alight with Jimmy inside. Rory saves Jimmy but dies himself a few days later. His funeral is a big occasion as he is now a hero.
The Gambling Man, Part 2
5. The Gambling Man, Part 2
March 5, 1995
After marrying his fiancée, Janie, Rory moves into the boat yard along with brother Jimmy. However, they find out that it is Rory who is guilty not John George. Janie goes back to work to spite Rory but on a trip to France her boat is lost at sea. Rory does not grieve for long and falls for Charlotte who is now his boss, they marry and she becomes pregnant. What Rory does not know is that the Pittie brothers are out to destroy him.
The Gambling Man, Part 1
4. The Gambling Man, Part 1
February 26, 1995
Rory Connor has ambitions but realises he will not get there as a rent collector and sets out to gamble his way ahead. To get enough money for a big game Rory borrows it from the safe at work. After the game Rory is beaten and left for dead. When he regains consciousness days later he finds that John George has been arrested for theft from his employees and sent to prison leaving a pregnant girlfriend.
The Dwelling Place, Part 3
3. The Dwelling Place, Part 3
May 22, 1994
Isabella is not happy and tries to kill Cissie but Clive kills her first and Matthew helps him to make it look like an accident. Clive offers Cissie a house in the village to raise her son and he prepares to go back to sea. But Cissie realises that Richard is not happy and on the day she is supposed to move gives the child back to the Hall. Clive chases after her and asks her to take the house anyway and wait for his return from sea, she agrees.
The Dwelling Place, Part 2
2. The Dwelling Place, Part 2
May 15, 1994
On hearing of the family resemblance the Lord decides he must have the child. Lord Fischel wishes to buy his grandson off Cissie but she refuses until Bella is caught steeling and the only way to stop the court action is to give in to the Lord's demands. When Rose's father dies she and Matthew are left rich. Four years later Richard, Cissie's son, is returned to her when Clive returns to find out what his father has done.
The Dwelling Place, Part 1
1. The Dwelling Place, Part 1
May 8, 1994
A bare stone shelter is all that protects Cissie Brodie and her brothers and sisters from the workhouse after their parents die in a cholera epidemic. Cissie is raped and made pregnant by drunken aristocrat Clive Fische. She is helped by Matthew who is about to marry Rose. She is also befriended by Clive's father's servant, although she does not know who he is.
Where to Watch Catherine Cookson's The Wingless Bird
Catherine Cookson's The Wingless Bird is available for streaming on the Bfs Entertainment website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Catherine Cookson's The Wingless Bird on demand at Amazon Prime.
  • Premiere Date
    January 12, 1997