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Berkeley Square

Berkeley SquareA well-presented period drama of
  manners, intrigue, romance and social
  differences; the hugely successful
  Berkeley Square mini-series was
  originally broadcast by the BBC in
  1998 and now makes its DVD debut

IT IS 1902 AND MATHILDA WICKHAM (Clare Wilkie: David Copperfield, Eastenders, Filth And Wisdom) arrives in Berkeley Square in Edwardian London to take up her position as nanny to young Thomas (Laurence Owen) and Harriet (Emily Canfor-Dumas)
the children of the troubled Victoria (Hermione Norris: Spooks, Wire In The Blood, Cold Feet) and Arnold St John (Sean Murray: Robin Hood, Calendar Girls, Hamlet). Victoria is attracted to Captain Mason (William Scott-Masson) and has plans for an assignation.

Lydia Weston (Tabitha Wady: Sense And Sensibility, Bonkers, Crust), a country farm girl, comes up from Devon to join the household of Earl and Countess Lamson-Scribener to assist the elderly Nanny Collins (Rosemary Leach). Lydia meets the hapless Hannah Randall (Victoria Smurfit: About A Boy, Cold Feet, The Alan Clark Diaries) after she has had an accident with a horse and rider in the park, and tells Hannah of a job at number 5, Berkeley Square, with Elspeth (Phyllida Hancock) and Nathaniel Hutchinson (Mark Saban).

Having been the lover of Lord William of the Harmonsworth Estate (Peter Prentice), Hannah had borne him a child. After his death in a riding accident, his parents had cast her aside and — with the help of the butler, Mr Hackford (Sean Baker) — she travels to London, where she finds lodgings with a Mrs Bronowski (Etela Pardo: Crime And Punishment, The Last Detective, The Saint), who offers to help her look after the child.

A rich and compelling tale of Edwardian lives, loves, perils and passions, Berkeley Square tells the story of the three young nannies from vastly different backgrounds who work in the Square's magnificent houses. It explores the characters above and below stairs and looks at their jealousies and fears, and their struggles to maintain their positions in life.

Matty finds herself at odds with the domineering housekeeper Mrs McClusky (Kate Williams: Randall And Hopkirk Deceased, Time After Time, Alias Smith And Jones) and the tight-fisted cook (Maggie McCarthy: Hogfather, The History Boys, Rome) — who are both hiding a secret — and Matty is drawn to the new footman, Edward Jones (Jason O'Mara).

Written by Deborah Cook, Amanda Coe, Simon Ashdown and Lilie Ferrari, Berkeley Square features a fantastic cast of British talent. Berkeley Square also features: Briony Glassco as Lady Constance Lamson-Scribener; Rupert Frazer as Lord George Lamson-Scribener; Nicholas Irons as Lord Hugh Lamson-Scribener; Ruth Sheen as Nanny Simmons and Sian Radinger as Lavinia Heaton. The music is by John Altman.

Created by Suzanne van de Velde and Deborah Cook, Berkeley Square delightfully reflects on life on both sides of the green baize door and looks at the precarious positions of those in service. Brilliantly evocative.

BBC's Berkeley Square is available now (release date 9 June, 2008) courtesy of Acorn Media, presented as a stunning three-disc set containing all ten episodes of the well-loved drama.

Catalogue No: AV9127 | Running Time: 490 minutes on three discs | RRP: 24.99 | Certificate: PG | DVD Extras include Cast Filmographies and a Picture Gallery.

"Berkeley Square delightfully reflects on life on both sides of the green baize door and looks at the precarious positions of those in service. Brilliantly evocative" — MotorBar