Belfast Telegraph

Gail Walker: South Riding is no ordinary BBC drama

By Gail Walker

Yes, it may have been predictable. It may have had more plot signposts than the directions to the field on the Twelfth.

And the message may have been simple, urging ordinary folk to get educated.

But South Riding, which starred Anna Maxwell Martin and has just finished its Sunday night run, was what they mean when they talk about what the BBC does best.

I don't mean costume drama. I don't mean hammy acting. I don't mean spot the ex-soap star.

I don't mean celebrities mugging at the camera while doing their best turns ... yet again.

I do mean a good story by Winifred Holtby, a good adaptation by Andrew Davies, good acting (as if they meant it) and a pleasing if unconventional ending.

Yes, exactly the sort of drama that Himself grumbles about from the minute he hears its on - and then sits motionless in front of the television until the credits roll.

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