Created and written by John Fay (Brookside, The Mill, Torchwood) we see the continuation of the Quarry Bank Mill re-enactment. We have jumped 5 years to the period of 1838-1842, where the Tolpuddle Martyrs have been found guilty, extradited to Australia and freed. but the Poor Law Amendment of 1834 is starting to show as farm workers from the south begin to appear in the industrial capitals of the UK.
Enter the Howlett’s, John Howlett (Mark Frost, Blue Juice) and his wife Rebecca, (Laura Main, Call the Midwife) along with their young handsome ward Will Whittaker. Also their children, Jack (Joshua Isherwood) and Timothy, (Ewan Phillips) and Wills blind but talented grandfather Abe, (Dave Hill, The Full Monty).
This spurs rumours that the factory-workers wages will start to fall and factory genius Daniel (Matthew McNulty, Little Ashes) and his now suffering wife Susannah (Holly Lucas, Little Deaths) is forced to spend more time at workers sufferance meetings trying to rally workers to stand together against the land and factory owners to get a fair wage for a fair days work.
Whilst in the Greg household a new garden worker has turned up from the colonies, Peter (Sope Dirisu, Utopia), brought to the mill to follow Hannah Greg (Barbara Marten, Vera) on a tour to talk about the abolition of slavery in the colonies.
Esther Price, (Kerrie Hayes, Black Mirror) continues in her apprenticeship but she is fast approaching her leaving age and the Mill has a new Greg son in charge, William (Andrew-Lee Potts, Primeval), as his brother Robert, (Jamie Draven, Billy Elliot) is now a member of Parliament. But William is only interested in productivity whilst blaming the low wages on the Corn Laws. Whilst Esther is only interested on the young apprentice cobbler Will who promises to make a pair of shoes for the feisty young factory worker.
With threats of strikes and counter claims by the management that losses are inevitable, Daniel knows that Mr Greg has ideas of expansion as the new Overseer John Howlett moves on the orders of the management and his own advancement plans, even if it endangers his under-age children in the workplace.
This is an acting class in full swing and as there is much more history out there to explore lets hope there is a third series so we can see the delights of Miss Hayes once again as she leads these episodes through thick and thin times.