South Riding

Series 1 - Episode 1



Anna Maxwell Martin is electrifying as Sarah Burton, a clever, ambitious young woman who arrives in the bleak Yorkshire seaside town of Kiplington in 1934 as headmistress at the girls’ high school.

Sarah is the big, beating heart of Winifred Holtby’s magnificent, neglected feminist classic novel, winningly adapted here by Andrew Davies. She is a true maverick, who believes in the education of girls from all classes and of all abilities: “I want my school to be excellent… I want my girls to know they can do anything.” Her chief foe is proud, impecunious local landowner Robert Carne (David Morrissey). Of course, sparks fly.


Ambitious teacher Sarah Burton returns to her native Yorkshire to become headmistress of a struggling girls' school. However, her sweeping plans to change everything from the curriculum to the school buildings lead to her making an enemy of troubled local landowner Robert Carne - a situation that becomes more complicated when she takes an interest in helping his fragile young daughter Midge. Andrew Davies's adaptation of Winifred Holtby's novel about community life in rural Yorkshire during the 1930s, starring Anna Maxwell Martin and David Morrissey, with Douglas Henshall, Shaun Dooley and Penelope Wilton.

Cast & Crew

Sarah Burton Anna Maxwell Martin
Robert Carne David Morrissey
Mrs Beddows Penelope Wilton
Anthony Snaith Peter Firth
Joe Astell Douglas Henshall
Alfred Huggins John Henshaw
Midge Carne Katherine McGolpin
Muriel Carne Lydia Wilson
Young Robert Carne Daniel West
Mrs Huggins Penny Layden
Mrs Oldroyd Wendy Patterson
Bessy Warbuckle Janine Mellor
Lydia Holly Charlie May-Clark
Mrs Holly Jennifer Hennessey
Mr Holly Shaun Dooley
Gaius Drew Ian Bartholomew
Maud Martha Godber
Nancy Charlotte Thornton
Lord Port William Rodell
Hicks Renny Krupinski
Miss Sigglesthwaite Brid Brennan
Vera Rosie Muncer
Reg Aythorne John Paul Hurley
Director Diarmuid Lawrence
Producer Lisa Osborne
Writer Andrew Davies
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