Monday, May 2, 2011

Review: Lark Rise to Candleford - Series 4

Since I first saw Lark Rise to Candleford, I fell in love with it! It was good, fairly clean family fun. Though Series 1 is still my favorite season, I continued to enjoy Lark Rise to Candleford and was glad that a fourth season was coming. However, I was sadden by the fact that Season 4 was going to be the last season and that it was only going to be six episodes (Nooooo!). Although I thought the third season wasn't the best, I still want Lark Rise to Candleford to go on...

Note: There are going to be spoilers from previous seasons in this review. If you haven't seen Lark Rise to Candleford, you might want to take a look at the previous seasons. First -- Second -- Third
Box Art

When Gabriel Cochrane (Richard Harrington) loses his wife, home, and factory in the same year, he goes to Candleford to find justice for the wrong that he claims the bank did against him. When postmistress Dorcas Lane (Julia Sawalha) gives him a job at the forge, the two form a friendship.

The only major cast change from Series 3 to Series 4 is Robert Timmins (Brenden Coyle) -- he did not appear in Series 4, though he is mentioned often. In the show, we find out that he is working in Oxford and sending money home to his family while Emma takes care of the house and children; in real life, Brenden Coyle started acting in new series Downton Abbey and left Lark Rise to Candleford. But back to the show. As much as Robert was getting annoying (he always seemed to be arguing with someone at any opportunity), his presence was missed in Series 4.

Ruby Pratt briefly left Candleford in Series 3... and she came back in the first episode of Series 4. During the first couple of episodes, it seemed that any character development that they made for her vanished. She became very bitter since her romance from Series 3 broke apart. She does revert back to her more developed character in Episode 3, but for the first two episodes, it seemed like she hadn't changed from Series 1 (or even went backwards from Series 1).

Laura continued to get on my nerves. She just seemes to act more and more like a know-it-all. Back in Series 1, she seemed to be more innocent and naive which worked for her, but during the middle of Series 2, she wasn't naive anymore, but instead was a know-it-all.

In the last episode, Alf's mother, Caroline (Dawn French), comes back. I guess since she was gone for so long, I didn't really miss her too much. We all got used to the idea that she was in prison a lot, so when she came back, it was like "Okay, she's back. Whatever."

Gabriel Cochrane (Richard Harrington)
The addition of Gabriel Cochrane wasn't too bad. There's a lot of conflict between him and Dorcas, some of which would be something a married couple might fight over, Spoiler so it was kind of obvious that they would end up together. End of Spoiler Dorcas seemed to be trying to impress him in later episodes (like trying to buy more feminine clothing), which didn't really seem to match Dorcas's character from previous seasons.

The scenery continues to be excellent! You do get to see a little more of the fields than you did in previous seasons, but overall the scenery didn't change very much.


Minnie and Dorcas at a Church festival
Still lovely! Pretty much the same type of clothing as in previous seasons: late Victorian. Everyone's style still remained the same: Dorcas was professional looking, Ruby and Pearl wore the same thing as each other and had current fashions, Laura still dressed fairly young. Minnie is seen in other dresses other than her maid's outfit, but we started to see her in other dresses last season.

Overall: 4/5
Most of the episodes were good: the exception was the third episode (it wasn't good at all). The rest were okay. I'm still sad that it ended, but at the same time, any other seasons aren't going to be like what the first (or even second) season was. Overall, I really liked the series, and I would still recommend it to anyone.

Queenie and Alf
Spoiler The last episode made a really good attempt at tying everything up at the end. Margaret is finally going to have a baby, Dorcas and Gabriel fall in love with each other and (we can assume) might be engaged or very soon will be, Caroline Arless is determined to change her ways, Queenie forsees change in the future, and Minnie and Alf are engaged. My only question is what happens between Laura and Daniel: there was a little bit of a cliffhanger there. Last we see of them, Daniel tells Laura that he cannot publish her article because it's not her and that she needs to write about her surroundings like she always does. I was kind of hoping that they would get engaged or something. Oh well! End of Spoiler

Lark Rise to Candleford - Series 4 is available on DVD. It has six, one hour long episodes.


  1. Thank you so much for this review. I have come across this series a number of times but I have always debated against buying it. After reading your lovely review, I will definitely have to check it out now- obviously starting at series 1 :)

  2. Still haven't seen this....soon. :) Will you post an update on the Hero Tournament voting?

  3. Charity U,
    Sometime soon: either today or tomorrow.

  4. You complained "Last we see of them, Daniel tells Laura that he cannot publish her article because it's not her and that she needs to write about her surroundings like she always does. I was kind of hoping that they would get engaged or something"
    What you did not realize is that the books this series is based on were written by the Laura character - she based the stories on her actual life and that comment from Daniel was what pushed her into becoming a fiction writer rather than a newspaper journalist, and she did get married. Look at the BBC website on this series and you will find out about the author.

  5. Anonymous,
    I know that the author Flora Thompson did eventually get married, but it would have been nice in the series to see Laura get married. I guess I was disappointed that they kind of left it a cliffhanger between Laura and Daniel and it would have been nice to see what happens between them.
    I haven't read the books, but from what I've heard the series is very different from the books. Have you read the books? Is the series very different from the books?

  6. I have read quite a bit of the books, but didn't like them as much as the TV series, which I really enjoyed.

  7. did Alfred and Minnie get married or what?

  8. Dorcas Lane is more of a know-it-all than everyone else on the show combined. I cannot stand that pursed-lip, omnipotent look she assumes when telling everyone else what they should or shouldn't do. She's so annoying I keep hoping someone will tell her to "butt out" and stop trying to run the lives of everyone with whom she comes in contact.

  9. Honestly...I did not like this series much. It was a decent watch but nothing compared to 'Downton Abbey' and 'Mr Selfridge'. Oh and indeed, Laura's was a very irritating character.


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