- 1 Episode 1
The series opens with the arrival of Gabriel Cochrane, played by Richard Harrington, and sees the return of Dawn French’s character, Caroline Arless, later in the run. Gabriel is the handsome and once-wealthy owner of a large iron foundry. But after the bankruptcy of his business and the death of his new wife, Gabriel finds himself both penniless and homeless. Moved by his plight, Dorcas offers him a job as a blacksmith, and a room above the forge. But both she and Gabriel know that the solution is only temporary. Gabriel is determined to regain his wealth and position and bring down the banker, Steerforth, who he believes acted illegally and unethically in repossessing his home and business. Over in Lark Rise, Emma is thrilled to receive a postal order from Robert, who is away working in Oxford. The hard-earned money will settle her many unpaid bills. She sends Edmund to Candleford to cash the postal order, and although it is a breach of procedure, Dorcas agrees to allow him to collect the money in place of Emma. That night, on his way home to Lark Rise, Edmund is robbed and arrives home to deliver the devastating news that all the money is gone. How will Emma manage with five mouths to feed and no money coming in? And when she discovers the truth behind the robbery, she is faced with an agonising dilemma. Pearl Pratt, meanwhile, is delighted to have her beloved sister Ruby back home. Her romance with the Pontefract undertaker is apparently over – Ruby dissolves into tears at the mere mention of his name, but will not say what has happened. While Ruby has been away, Daniel has settled in nicely at the Pratts, and Pearl is spoiling him rotten with steam puddings and starched collars. Ruby resents being usurped by Daniel, but Pearl is oblivious and lavishes all her attention on him.
Air Date: 2011-01-09
- 2 Episode 2
When Daniel announces that his newspaper is launching a poetry competition, it sends the inhabitants of Lark Rise and Candleford into a frenzy of creative excitement, as the series based on the novels by Flora Thompson, and adapted by Bill Gallagher, continues. Laura has high hopes of taking home the trophy and begins writing feverishly; Pearl indulges in plagiarism after her own efforts are found wanting; and even Margaret embarks upon an epic poem based on her husband’s postal rounds. Laura buys some second-hand poetry books for inspiration and discovers that they once belonged to Gabriel’s late wife. She is shocked to find a letter inside from Liza to her lover, expressing regret at having married Gabriel. When Laura shows Dorcas the letter, she is tormented about what to do with it. Meanwhile, Ruby, still put out by her sister’s fawning over Daniel, begins a malicious rumour that he and Laura have fixed the outcome of the poetry competition between them. Laura is furious with Ruby for questioning her and Daniel’s integrity, and even more annoyed that it has effectively ruled her out of winning the competition. Over in Lark Rise, Queenie is trying to come to terms with the march of progress. The beautiful lace that she has lovingly made and sold all her life is no longer in demand. And Twister, as usual, seems too preoccupied with his own gripes to notice Queenie’s unhappiness. She at least finds some comfort in sharing her craft with Ruby who, in turn, finds solace in the time spent with Queenie. It makes her reflect on her mischief-making with Daniel, and she determines to put things right. Dorcas is still sitting on the explosive revelations from Liza’s letter but when Gabriel tells her he has seen a mysterious man leaving flowers at her graveside, and is determined to find out who he is, Dorcas fears it will lead him into a violent confrontation. She decides that the kindest and safest way to proceed is to leave the letter for him to find, and discover the truth for himself… Later, the winner of the competition is announced and it takes everyone by surprise, even the winner…
Air Date: 2011-01-16
- 3 Episode 3
Thomas is delighted to be put in charge of organising the church bazaar, but his enthusiasm is dampened when the vicar falls ill and Reverend Marley, a free-thinking curate, is sent to take his place. The postman soon becomes convinced the new arrival is evil - and as rumours start to spread about Marley's relationship with the Timmins family, Alf decides to investigate the cleric's murky past. Meanwhile, Dorcas and Laura worry about Gabriel's reaction to his dead wife's letter.
Air Date: 2011-01-23
- 4 Episode 4
The Fair has come to town, and the locals are celebrating - Alf has been crowned King of the Fair, while Queenie has won a whole pig! The Lark Risers start fattening up the pig in preparation for a sumptuous pig feast, but Twister cannot resist the temptation of selling off-cuts of the animal to the people of Candleford. At the post office, Gabriel is proving to be a less than perfect house guest; can Dorcas adapt to having a man under her roof? And will Twister survive the wrath of Queenie when she discovers he has sold her pig from under her? .
Air Date: 2011-01-30
- 5 Episode 5
Daniel plans a cricket match, but has trouble putting the team together.
Air Date: 2011-02-06
- 6 Episode 6
Caroline returns to Lark Rise and Gabriel finally completes his invention. .
Air Date: 2011-02-13