Watch North and South (UK)
- 1 Season
The BBC mini-series North and South follows Margaret Hale, played by Daniela Denby-Ashe, the daughter of a clergyman. She has lived her entire life in the countryside of southern England when her father suddenly decides to leave his profession and move his family to the industrial town of Milton in the north. Her father becomes a private tutor and one of his first pupils is John Thornton, played by Richard Armitage. Thornton is the owner of the local mill and Margaret takes an instant dislike to him after seeing his harsh management style and his handling of the employees which occasionally appears brutal. As their class differences cause a clash of personality between Margaret and Thornton, the local workers of the mill begin to grow discontent and plan to strike, while Thornton struggles with money issues and a family that depends on him. Margaret herself struggles with family troubles, between a mother who is rapidly growing ill and a brother who is wanted for mutiny. As Thornton attempts to deal with the workers, Margaret begins to see him in a new light as she grows to understand more fully the difficulty of his situation. As the strike at the mill begins, the strike leader Higgins, struggles to prevent it from growing violent, convinced it is the only way the workers can win. Things turn violent however when, faced with bankruptcy, Thornton is forced to bring in Irish workers. Margaret is left torn between her deepening sympathy and respect for both the workers and Thornton. The show focuses strongly on its portrayal of the working class during that time and the class differences between the two main characters. It also illustrates the role class played during that era, as Thornton struggles to become educated in an attempt to fit into the class his wealth has raised him to.