A couple of characters have left the series since Series 1: Zillah died at the end of Series 1; Sir Timothy and Lady Adelaide left for London; and Caroline Arless leaves at the end of the Christmas episode. This, of course, leaves characters to be replaced.
Dorcas hires a new maid to replace Zillah named Minnie. Minnie came to the post office after running away from her abusive stepfather and now works for Dorcas. Of course, Minnie has no experience with being a maid, and is quite incompetent at first, but she does improve (while still making mistakes occasionally). At the beginning of Series 2, she can be a little annoying, but from the middle to the end of Series 2, she does become endearing. I still miss Zillah, but Minnie is okay.
Sir Timothy and Lady Adelaide leave for London at the end of Series 1. When they leave, James Dowland comes into Candleford. At first, Mr. Dowland is arrogant, but eventually he becomes more tolerable, and you might even have hope for him and Dorcas. However, his past does come back to haunt him, leading to a very interesting episode.
|Emma Timmins (Claudie Blakely), Dorcas Lane (Julia Sawalha),|
and Queenie Turrill (Linda Bassett) at The Golden Lion.
I have noticed that since the Christmas episode, Ruby Pratt's character has developed more. In the first series, she was almost exactly like Pearl: snobbish, rude to Lark Rise folks, cold, etc. But in Series 2, she starts to differ from her sister. She might still be a little snobbish, but it's to a much lesser extent. Her and Minnie actually develop a friendship later in the series. Pearl still remains a little cold, but there is even an episode where she develops a little more. However, both women, just like they did for Lady Adelaide, try to flatter Mr. Dowland because he is a single, wealthy businessman. Of course, they still hold his Lark Rise origins against him.
|Laura (Olivia Hallinan) on her Christmas delivery route.|
The episode plots start to bring in other storyline. Laura is still the main character, but you start to notice that there are more episodes that don't always focus on Laura. For example, one focuses on Dorcas challenging Mr. Dowland for a church council position; another focuses on Mr. Dowland's past. So, there is more going on in the story line than whatever Laura is doing: because of that, you only hear adult Laura narrate at the beginning and end of each episode.
A small downside to this new series: there seems to be a small increase in double entrendres throughout the episodes. They are not blatant, but they are there. They are something that are not really that essential to the main plot line. There are only a few, but there are more in Series 2 than in Series 1.
Some of the episodes tend to contain more scandal than in Series 1: for example, Mr. Dowland's past. They are not graphic, but they are either mentioned or implied. Not too big of a deal, but just a heads up.
As it was before, the scenery is still beautiful and remains pretty much the same as Series 1. There are no more scenes in or around the manor house (since Sir Timothy and Lady Adelaide left), but there are plenty of scenes inside of The Golden Lion. The Golden Lion is a very nice hotel that is owned by Mr. Dowland. It is very nicely decorated and spacious. It's even nice enough for Ruby and Pearl Pratt to eat lunch there.
The post office exterior gets a make over (thanks to Mr. Dowland's remarks to Dorcas). It does look nice. They painted the walls and fixed up the sign and facade. The inside pretty much remains the same.
|Dorcas (Julia Sawalha), Ruby and Pearl Pratt|
examining The Golden Lion.
Laura's dresses (and hairstyle) also changed. In Series 1, her dresses were "turtle" necked (not sure if historically they were called that), and her hair pulled neatly back into a bun. Now, due to Fisher's comments, she occasionally dons a lower neckline (not too low, but lower than her usual), and her hair is loose. It seems a little odd for Laura to be so easily swayed by a boy to change her appearance compared with Series 1.
The rest of the cast pretty much has the same type of clothing: Dorcas still looks professional, but with a couple of new outfits; Lark Rise women still wear their poorer clothes; and Miss Ellison, being the daughter of the parson, still wears very modest clothing.
Lark Rise to Candleford is probably my new favorite TV show. Series 1, I think, will always be my favorite series in Lark Rise to Candleford, but I still like Series 2. The episodes are still very interesting and entertaining, and the acting is very well done. It ends with a great transition into Series 3 (which I might review at a later time; I'm in the middle of watching it). It's really great to watch on a relaxing evening.
Lark Rise to Candleford - Series 2 has twelve episodes on four disks. The Christmas episode is 75 minutes long, while the other episodes are about an hour long. It is currently available on DVD.