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Railway construction is thwarted when Mr. Buxton refuses to sell land that the railway must cross. Matty urges Mr. Buxton to test the railway's influence and drastically changes the future of Cranford. The ladies of Cranford are in a frenzy of excitement about the imminent visit of Lady Glenmire. Until, Mrs. Jamieson announces that none of them is of high-enough social standing to meet her.
Miss Matty's house is full of life and bustle with the addition of baby Tilly, daughter of her maid Martha. The new railway looms, five miles outside Cranford, to Captain Brown's great displeasure. Meanwhile, Harry Gregson is sent away to school, and set on a course that will test him severely. Tragedy strikes Cranford when two prominent local figures pass away.
Miss Pole invites the ladies of the town to a secret meeting to discuss Matty's crisis. Dr. Harrison, on the other hand, is shunned by the town - no patients will come to him now that the true about him is exposed. Mr. Carter is horrified to discover that Lady Ludlow has secretly mortgaged her estate to raise money for her son's villa in Italy.
Matty suffers a great disappointment and decides to confide in Mary about her lost love. Dr. Harrison visits the Rectory and formally asks the Reverend Hutton for permission to court Sophy. Everyone has high expectations for the upcoming May Day and Dr. Harrison looks forward to the first time he will be able to be with Sophy openly as a couple.
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- Premiered: November 18, 2007
- Rating: TV-14
- Premise: A five-part period adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel about life in an 1840s Cheshire village. (more)