As Lark Rise to Candleford moves along into its third season on VisionTV, it’s likely that more than a few viewers will have noticed some familiar faces among the program’s deep ensemble cast. From Downton Abbey to Last Tango in Halifax, the series is dotted with names from some of our favourite British dramas, and we taking a closer look at the versatile actors that we’ve grown to admire.
Lark Rise to Candleford airs weekdays at 5pm ET/2pm PT through October 24, 2014.
This week, we’re featuring a trio of talented actors, each of whom has made a mark in two of VisionTV’s most striking period dramas. Whether bringing the historical English countryside to life, or roaming the halls of The Paradise’s titular department store, each of them possesses a unique ability to make the past both relatable and vibrant.
Though her appearance on The Paradise’s first season lasted only one episode, as Lady Katherine Glendenning’s desperately sad friend Jocelyn, Olivia Hallinan made a scene-stealing impact. On Lark Rise to Candleford, she occupies the limelight as the ambitious young Laura Timmins, the series’ central character, bringing both charm and energy to both of its titular towns.
A far cry from the affluent, but grasping, lady she portrayed on The Paradise, Hallinan’s Laura is hardworking and clearheaded, and eager to forge her own way in the world under the tutelage of her cousin, Dorcas.
Perhaps just as recognizable is the irrepressible Ruby Bentall, who’s turn as the always moving (and often flustered) Pauline on The Paradise served as an appropriate accompaniment to her appearance as hapless housemaid Minnie Mude on Lark Rise.
Despite both characters’ penchants for unintentionally causing mayhem, their professional fumbles are more than made up for by their amusing manners – qualities (both good and bad) that Bentall embodies with ease.
Meanwhile, the cautious yet enterprising Mr. Dudley – a mainstay in The Paradise’s central cast – is a far cry from the character that actor Matthew McNulty (also of The Syndicate’s first season) portrayed on Lark Rise. While we may be more accustomed to seeing him in the role of a respected, if perhaps understated, businessman, his place in Candleford, temporary as it may be, is that of a tradesman. Unlike the matter-of-fact Dudley’s calming influence, Fisher Bloom’s recurring presence in the small town invariably causes conflict for Laura, a pattern that promises to continue into Season Three.
And while those three are easy enough to pick out, some of our most attentive viewers may have noticed the work (albeit off screen) of yet another actress with a near-constant presence on VisionTV. Those with a keen ear may be able to tell you that Lark Rise is narrated by none other than Sarah Lancashire – also known as The Paradise’s imperious Miss Audrey, and the high-strung Caroline on Last Tango in Halifax.
With plenty of other multifaceted actors populating the tiny hamlet and the market town at the heart of Lark Rise, viewers will be seeing more figures from VisionTV’s British dramas and comedies using their talents in new and unexpected roles. Stay tuned to find out which of your favourites have branched out, and to decide which of their many characters you’ve enjoyed the most.