As the winter days shorten, I love nothing more than cosying down, log burner on and drinking hot chocolate while watching a film. Lazy movie days, as they’re known in our house, are in short supply with a lively toddler to entertain, but we make the most of nap times and are usually rewarded for our long country walks with the wee one retiring to his cot a little earlier, the fresh air working its magic.
I’m not a huge TV watcher as I tend to work most evenings but every so often, something will draw me away and lately, this has involved more historical genres, Poldark, Last Kingdom and last year’s Jamaica Inn were particular faves of mine, so the TV adaption of the world famous Catherine Cookson novels showing on Drama this Christmas are perfect.
On a dark and dreary December afternoon, log burner blazing and Christmas lights twinkling, I settled down to watch The Fifteen Streets on Drama, based around the plot of “poor man, falls in love with rich woman”, it’s set in 1900, in Northern England.
Poverty stricken, John O’Brien lives in the worker’s district and falls in love with Mary, daughter of wealthy parents and the teacher of his brainy younger sister Kathy. Their social differences aren’t the perfect match for a long happy relationship.
With a familiar cast consisting of Sean Bean, Owen Teale, (who I loved as Dai in Stella) Jane Horricks and Clare Holman, the forensic pathologist from Morse, to name a few, it took a little getting used to their strong Geordie accents. But I was soon swept away and transported back to the 1900’s, with a whisper of resemblance to the small terrace street where I spent my baby years ‘up north’.
It’s a gentle film, easy to watch and relax to. Where life was hard, family values were to be obeyed and large families were the norm. As mum to three boys, I found myself a little taken aback at how Mary Ellen O’Brien accepts the way her son demands meals of her and how her husband does very little else than sit in a chair, being rude to any house guests – Oh how times have changed!
There seems to be several plots happening at once, a pregnancy, a love story and the worry of no income, which all tie together in the end. It’s life with its challenges and culminates with a drama at the end. (I won’t spoil it for you.)
Drama are showing more Catherine Cookson TV adaptions over the Christmas period, the channel is available on Free View, so if you’re looking for a gentle TV escapism or already a fan of her books and have had enough of all the more traditional festive films, remember to save them in your TV planner, and if you’d like to read a different take on the film, Janmary.com has also been busy watch Fifteen Streets
This post is sponsored and in collaboration with Drama