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The Catherine Cookson Anthology [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Catherine Cookson's A Dinner of Herbs
Based on author Dame Catherine Cookson's best-selling thriller, this six-part drama takes place over 40 years of the later half of the 19th century. When Roddy Greenbank's (Jonathan Kerrigan) father is unexpectedly killed, Kate Makerpeace (Billie Whitelaw), a friend of the deceased, agrees to take in several of the surviving children. Though the relationships between the children are strong, the bonds are put to the test as they become aware of several painful secrets from the past. Seemingly destined for tragedy, the fates of the artistic Roddy and his revenge-obsessed brother Hal (Tom Goodman-Hill) converge in a consequence that could easily spill over into the next generation. ~ Tracie Cooper, Rovi

Catherine Cookson's The Secret
Based on a novel by Catherine Cookson, this period drama concerns Freddie Musgrave (Colin Buchanan), who, as a young man, fell in with a band of criminals and made a career as a smuggler. With the help of Maggie Hewitt (Clare Higgins), a respectable businesswoman who fell in love with him, Freddie was able to leave his life of crime behind him and has become a trusted employee of Maggie's firm. However, a face from Freddie's past -- and a cache of rare gems -- could destroy the new life Freddie has spent nearly two decades building. Produced for British television, The Secret also features Hannah Yelland, Stephen Moyer, and Marlene Sidaway. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Catherine Cookson's The Girl
A beautiful young girl raised by her philandering father and resentful stepmother following the death of her real mother must fight for her life when her stepmother turns against her in director David Wheatley's adaptation of author Catherine Cookson's popular novel. To Ann Thornton, Hannah Boyle isn't as much an innocent little girl as she is a radiant, lingering symbol of her husband's shameful infidelity. Though the other members of the Thornton household welcome young Hannah with open arms, embittered Ann simply can't let go of the past. When a family tragedy affords Ann the opportunity to embrace her bitterness and seek vengeance against her young charge, Hannah is forced to use every resource available to her to maintain her dignity, her freedom, and the love of her life. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Catherine Cookson's The Cinder Path
This period drama was based on the best-selling novel by Catherine Cookson. Edward MacFell (Tom Bell) is a violent and tyrannical man who operates a large farm, but treats both his family and hired help with casual brutality. One day, Edward pushes someone too far and is killed. While his son Charlie (Lloyd Owen) witnessed the murder, he refuses to inform on the guilty party. But there is another witness, Ginger Slater (Antony Byrne), who sees this as a perfect opportunity to make a fortune through blackmail. Circumstances force Charlie to marry Victoria Chapman (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a woman with a scandalous reputation, even though he's in love with her sister Nellie (Maria Miles), but both affairs are put on hold when Charlie is sent off to war. The Cinder Path was originally produced as a miniseries for British television, though an edited feature-length version was released on home video in the U.S. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Catherine Cookson's Tilly Trotter
Still another British TV-miniseries adaptation of a Catherine Cookson novel, Tilly Trotter was technically based on a trilogy of Cookson books. The titular heroine, played by Carli Norris, was a 19th century Northern lass accused of being a witch. Tilly was rescued from the wrath of the mob by local mine owner Mark Sopwith (Simon Shepherd), with whom she eventually fell in love. The first of the four 60-minute installments of Tilly Trotter was shown over Yorkshire Television on January 8, 1999. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Catherine Cookson's The Tide of Life
Another of British television's many Catherine Cookson adaptations, The Tide of Life starred Gillian Kearney as typically Cookson-esque heroine Emily Kennedy. Living in Tyneside in the early 20th century, poor Emily is knocked about by fate and victimized by any number of nasty people -- until, of course, the Right Man comes along. In this instance, the man in question was Larry Birch, played by Ray Stevenson. Also known as Catherine Cookson's The Tide of Life, this three-part, three-hour miniseries originally aired in 1996. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Catherine Cookson's Colour Blind
Newcastle girl Bridget McQueen (Niamh Cusack) shocks her family when she introduces her new husband, who is black, in this miniseries adaptation of the Catherine Cookson novel. ~ TV Guide, Rovi

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