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The Mill
The MillThe powerful Channel 4 period drama The Mill is a stark vision of how life is for the workers at a cotton mill during the Industrial Revolution; at a time when new laws are planned to make things a little easier for the poor in England and black slaves in the colonies...”

AN EXCEPTIONAL DRAMA AND CHANNEL 4's first factually-inspired period drama, The Mill is written by BAFTA award-winning John Fay (Clocking Off; Torchwood; Coronation Street) and tells the story of workers at a cotton mill whose lot is little better than being imprisoned.

Set in rural industrial England in the turbulent year of 1833, when cruelty, sexual harassment, poverty and hardship are endured by the female mill workers, The Mill is set in Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire.

“The Mill brings
characters realistically to
life while weaving a
credible and fascinating story
Using the genuine historical archive of Quarry Bank Mill, the series follows life at the mill owned by the Greg family. Ambitious son Robert Greg (Jamie Draven: Billy Elliot) appears to be firm but fair, but is misguided by his faith in the cold-hearted manager of the Apprentice House Mr Timperley (Kevin R McNally: Pirates Of The Caribbean; Downton Abbey) and his wife (Claire Rushbrook: Secrets And Lies; My Mad Fat Diary), who are supposed to be responsible for the care for the workers.

Apprentices make up a third of the workforce at Quarry Bank Mill; youngsters sold by local workhouses to the Gregs to labour unpaid until they reach their 21st birthday.

The work is hard and dangerous; the hours long and the workers are suppressed and ruled by fear. Into this environment comes talented engineer Daniel Bate (Matthew McNulty: Misfits), whom Robert believes will help him with his progressive plans for the mill.

Charlie Crout (Craig Parkinson) is the 'overlooker', a supervisor in charge of the floor, and Daniel takes an immediate dislike to him. Crout tries to take advantage of the innocent young girls and while he is otherwise distracted trying to molest one of them a young boy is injured by the machinery and becomes disabled.

Robert's kindly mother Hannah (Barbara Marten: Casualty; Waking The Dead) takes the boy under her wing, but she is upset when she is vilified while attending the Manchester Ladies Anti-Slavery Society because her husband Samuel Greg (Donald Sumpter: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo; Game of Thrones) owns a sugar plantation in the Caribbean.

Feisty Liverpudlian Esther Price (Kerrie Hayes: Black Mirror; Good Cop; Kicks), a character based on a real life mill worker, has a mind of her own and a strong sense of justice, so when fellow Liverpudlian Lucy Garner (Katherine Rose Morley) arrives having lost the younger sister she was unable to bring to the mill, the two girls run away together and strike out for Liverpool.

Esther, who is convinced she is older than her given age, wants to find the family she left behind and Lucy believes she will find her sister at the workhouse. But will they be able to stay free long enough to see their dreams fulfilled? Tragedy lies ahead, but there is a happier ending for one of them.

Another of the girls has become pregnant but refuses to name the father, whom her fellow workers believe might be Crout. Highlighting many issues and injustices of the times, The Mill brings characters realistically to life while weaving a credible and fascinating story.

As the Bill to help the plight of slaves and the Bill to reduce hours for English workers are being brought before Parliament, the political firebrand John Doherty (Aidan McArdle: The Duchess; Garrow's Law), a one-time friend of Daniel, leads protests that are forbidden to the mill workers, some of whom are ready to defy the order.

This must-see period piece is filmed in and around the National Trust Quarry Bank Mill and is a riveting, intelligent, remarkable and disturbing depiction of life in the 19th Century cotton mills.

Also featuring: Sacha Parkinson as Miriam (Coronation Street); Holly Lucas as Susannah Catterall; Connor Chapman as George Catterall; Grace Cohen as Molly Bradbury; Connor Dempsey as Tommy Priestley; Ciaran Griffiths as Matthew Boon; Vicky Binns as Martha; and William Travis as The Beak.

Director of Photography is David Luther; Written by BAFTA award-winning John Fay (Clocking Off; Torchwood; Coronation Street); Producer is Caroline Levy; and Directed by James Hawes.

* Channel 4's run of outstanding television continues with The Mill, set in Cheshire during the Industrial Revolution, screened on television this summer and released on DVD courtesy of Acorn Media on 19 August 2013. Running Time: 230 Minutes Approximately, including Special Feature of 30-Minute Behind-The-Scenes footage | Catalogue Number: AV3128 | RRP: 19.99.

"The Mill brings characters realistically to life while weaving a credible and fascinating story"
Maggie Woods