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Wives and Daughters 

TV-PG | | Drama | TV Mini-Series (1999– )
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The daughter of a country doctor copes with an unwanted stepmother, an impetuous stepsister, burdensome secrets, the town gossips, and the tug on her own heartstrings for a man who thinks of her only as a friend.
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1  
1999  
8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Francesca Annis ...  Mrs. Gibson 4 episodes, 1999
Justine Waddell ...  Molly 4 episodes, 1999
Bill Paterson ...  Mr. Gibson 4 episodes, 1999
Keeley Hawes ...  Cynthia 4 episodes, 1999
Deborah Findlay ...  Miss Phoebe 4 episodes, 1999
Barbara Flynn ...  Miss Browning 4 episodes, 1999
Emily McKenzie Emily McKenzie ...  Maria / ... 4 episodes, 1999
Iain Glen ...  Mr. Preston 4 episodes, 1999
Tom Hollander ...  Osborne Hamley 4 episodes, 1999
Anthony Howell ...  Roger Hamley 4 episodes, 1999
Michael Gambon ...  Squire Hamley 4 episodes, 1999
Ian Carmichael ...  Lord Cumnor 3 episodes, 1999
Tonia Chauvet Tonia Chauvet ...  Aimee 3 episodes, 1999
Elizabeth Spriggs ...  Mrs. Goodenough 3 episodes, 1999
Barbara Leigh-Hunt ...  Lady Cumnor 3 episodes, 1999
Peter Copley ...  Robinson 3 episodes, 1999
Rosamund Pike ...  Lady Harriet 3 episodes, 1999
Shaughan Seymour Shaughan Seymour ...  Lord Hollingford 3 episodes, 1999
Fred Pearson ...  Sheepshanks / ... 3 episodes, 1999
Richard Coyle ...  Mr. Coxe 2 episodes, 1999
Jemima Rooper ...  Lizzie Goodenough 2 episodes, 1999
Georgie Glen ...  Miss Hornblower 2 episodes, 1999
Jacqueline Pilton Jacqueline Pilton ...  Mrs. Dawes 2 episodes, 1999
Tim Wallers ...  Mr. Henderson 2 episodes, 1999
Roddy Maude-Roxby Roddy Maude-Roxby ...  St. Hilaire 2 episodes, 1999
Dariel Pertwee ...  Lady Cuxhaven 2 episodes, 1999
Ben Illis Ben Illis ...  Mr. Wynne 2 episodes, 1999
Gordon Gostelow Gordon Gostelow ...  Williams 2 episodes, 1999
Penelope Wilton ...  Mrs. Hamley 2 episodes, 1999
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Storyline

For many years, young Molly Gibson had lived a blissful sheltered life with her widower father. However, her world is shaken with the introduction of new acquaintances and situations. Molly becomes friends with a landed gentry family, which includes two brothers with very different temperaments. Meanwhile, her father marries a widow with a daughter close in age to Molly. Eventually, Molly becomes a trusted confidante for her new friends and family; but the secrets become burdensome, as the gossip begins to circulate about Molly herself. Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

PBS [United States]

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French | Amharic

Release Date:

15 December 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wives and Daughters See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(4 parts)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The plum-colored caped coat and matching hat Barbara Leigh-Hunt (Lady Cumnor) wears to visit the Gibsons is the same costume Claire Skinner (Fanny Dashwood) wears to travel to Norland in Sense & Sensibility (2008). The hat is also worn in Byron (2003) by an extra at the London party where Byron meets Annabella Milbanke. See more »

Quotes

Lord Cumnor: I'm sorry I said anything about it now. I'll try to find a more agreeable piece of news.
[pause]
Lord Cumnor: Old Marjorie at the lodge is dead.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Show Offs: Forgotten Boots (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Over the Hills and Far Away
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
This series doesn't need another rave review, but…
31 March 2013 | by The_late_Buddy_RyanSee all my reviews

The BBC version of Elizabeth Gaskell's "Cranford" a few years back was mostly about Dame Judi and her spinster cronies and their unbecoming bonnets, but this wonderful series, based on Mrs. G's last novel, focuses on the younger generation: Roger Hamley, the old squire's younger son, seems like a perfect match for Molly Gibson, the doctor's daughter; he's a budding naturalist, she reads Lamarck and other serious works; they both enjoy looking at pondwater through the microscope.

The problem is that Molly's father has just remarried, which brings Cynthia, a vivacious, not-so-serious stepsister, into the picture; before he sets out on a lengthy expedition, Roger proposes to Cynthia. This leaves Molly with plenty of time to help the other characters sort things out—Cynthia's unfortunate entanglement with a caddish young striver (Iain Glen, currently seen on "Game of Thrones"), Roger's older brother's estrangement from their temperamental father (a perfect part for Michael Gambon; twenty years after Waterloo, the old squire's still hatin' on the French).

Master adapter Andrew Davies, assisted by a near-perfect cast, really gets us involved in such no-longer-burning questions as whether a young lady who's "lost her character" by talking with a young man in a secluded spot could get it back by swanning around town for an afternoon with a peer's daughter; Rosamund Pike is charming, and gets to wear the best costumes, as the latter (I wanted to call her the duchess ex machina, but I think she's just the daughter of an earl).

Francesca Annis is clearly enjoying herself in the role of Molly's stepmother, Hyacinth, a scheming, moralizing ex-governess; Dad seems to find her adorable, because she's not the boss of him and, despite the unflattering Mid-Victorian coiffure, she's still Francesca Annis. Though Mrs. Gaskell was a reformer and a progressive on the issues of her day—she clearly approves of Molly and Cynthia's ladylike revolt against the town's gossips and prigs—it's interesting that she weighs in on the current stay-at-home-mom debate by portraying Cynthia as a fractious adolescent who resents her mother for "abandoning" her to go to work as a governess.

Justine Waddell may be a bit too glamorous for the part of Molly, but that doesn't strike me as a dealbreaker; Keeley Hawes, who seems to have had a corner on out-of-control ingenue roles that year (see "The Last September"), is just right for Cynthia. Available on streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime.


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