Berkeley Square (TV series)

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Berkeley Square
Genre Costume drama
Created by Suzanne van de Velde
Written by Deborah Cook
Lilie Ferrari
Suzanne van de Velde
Directed by Martin Hutchings
Richard Holthouse
Lesley Manning
Richard Signy
Starring Clare Wilkie
Victoria Smurfit
Tabitha Wady
Composer(s) John Altman
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 10
Production
Producer(s) Alison Davis
Editor(s) Chris Swanton
Cinematography Rory Taylor
Broadcast
Original channel BBC One
Original run 10 May 1998 – 19 July 1998

Berkeley Square is a 1998 British dramatic television series that was originally broadcast by BBC One. Set in 1902, it focuses on three young women who are employed as nannies by wealthy families living on exclusive Berkeley Square in the West End of London.

It was filmed on location in Chavenage House in Tetbury, Gloucester, Priddy in Somerset, Stanway House in Stanway, Gloucestershire, and Bristol.

Episodes[edit]

Episode 1: Pretty Maids All in a Row

Originally broadcast 10 May 1998

Lydia Weston, a farm girl from a large family in Devon, is hired by Lord George and Lady Constance Lamson-Scribener after her local vicar asks for their help to find a suitable position. Lady Lamson-Scribener, an American and the Earl's second wife, is concerned about aging Nanny Collins's abilities and hires Lydia to assist her, particularly after learning that she helped her mother raise 11 children.

Hannah Randall is a young Irishwoman who comes to London from Yorkshire with her illegitimate son, Billy, after the child's father, son of aristocrat Lord Harmsworth, dies in an accident. The locals, outraged by her loose behaviour, had forced Hannah to leave. In London, she finds lodgings in the Limehouse home of Mrs. Bronowski, who offers to watch Billy while Hannah searches for employment. She meets Lydia, who advises her of an available position as a nursemaid with the family of Elspeth and Nathaniel Hutchinson. When she is hired, Mrs. Bronowski suggests Billy stay with her for sixpence per week.

Matty Wickham, head nanny in the home of Arnold and Victoria St. John, clashes with Pringle, the nursery maid, and housekeeper Mrs. McClusky and Cook.

Episode 2: Hide And Seek

Originally broadcast 17 May 1998

Hannah becomes acquainted with her young charges, Bertie and baby Charlie. Nanny Simmons clearly has no affection for the children in her care, proves hostile and constantly finds fault with the younger woman.

The Countess is pleased with Lydia and insists she and baby Ivo go to the park without Nanny Collins when she realizes the older woman has a cold. Nanny Collins isn't pleased, but Lydia wins her over with the gift of an embroidered needle case.

Matty is blamed for all the problems in the St. Johns' home. When she meets Lydia and Hannah in the park, she is surprised to learn Hannah is unhappy with her position at the Hutchinson house.

Episode 3: Ladybird, Ladybird

Originally broadcast 24 May 1998

Hannah narrowly stops her son's grandmother from kidnapping him. She offered Hannah £500 to allow her to adopt him but Hannah refused, remembering what William had told her about his childhood. Lady Harmonsworth blames Hannah for her son's death.

Lydia saves the day when she helps prepare a meal for people celebrating the coronation of King Edward VII, and Nanny Collins is upset by the accolades Lydia receives.

Matty finds herself strongly attracted to newly hired footman, Ned Jones, unaware he is Mrs. McClusky's son and is wanted by the police for killing a man in a fight. Elspeth and Nathaniel Hutchinson depart London so he can assume an overseas post.

Episode 4: All on a Summer's Day

Originally broadcast 31 May 1998

Isabel Hutchinson and her Great-Aunt Effie arrive at the Hutchinson home to oversee their children's care during Elspeth and Nathaniel's absence.

The nannies, accompanied by Ned and Matty's brother Jack, take the children on a picnic in the country. Victoria St. John prepares to entertain her lover, Captain Mason, while the house is empty, but her sister's unexpected arrival disrupts her plans.

Episode 5: A Pocket Full of Posies

Originally broadcast 7 June 1998

Hannah worries about her baby's safety when a typhoid fever epidemic breaks out in the East End of London. Lydia's crush on the Earl's son, Hugh, creates more friction between her and Nanny Collins. Hugh drunkenly attempts to take advantage of Lydia and threatens her when she resists his advances.

Matty and Ned are slowly getting to know one another and finally take a walk in the park together.

Episode 6: When the Bough Breaks

Originally broadcast 14 June 1998

Hannah finds baby Charlie dead in his crib. After Nanny Simmons attacks Bertie, Hannah sends her down to tell the family that the baby has died but she disappears. Bertie, not wanting Hannah to leave, suggests swapping Charlie for Billy. Hannah, stunned at first, agrees and leaves Bertie with Matty while she goes to collect Billy. Mrs. Bronowski assures her she will properly dispose of the infant's body and buries him in the small yard behind her house.

Hugh is attacked by Matty's brother in revenge for his behaviour to Lydia. Matty discovers Ned is wanted for murder and that "baby Charlie" is actually Hannah's illegitimate son.

Episode 7: Gone a'Hunting

Originally broadcast 20 June 1998

While Matty and Lydia accompany their employers to a weekend shoot at the Earl's Devon estate, Hannah accompanies Isabel to a luncheon, where Isabel shamelessly flirts with Captain Mason. Young Tom St. John is troubled by being forced to take part in the shoot, and the stress leads him to accidentally shoot his father.

Ned meets a woman in a pub and takes her home, but doesn't go to bed with her when his feelings for Matty surface.

Episode 8: Who Killed Cock Robin?

Originally broadcast 28 June 1998

After Hannah explains the circumstances of Billy's birth and why she brought him into the Hutchinson home following Charlie's death, Matty apologises for judging her and promises to stand by her. Hugh threatens Lydia's family with eviction from their land, and she asks Nanny Collins for help.

Charlie's body is found by workers laying new pipes in the neighbourhood, and Mrs. Bronowski is arrested for his murder.

Matty continues to fight her growing feelings for Ned but eventually admits to them.

Episode 9: Wednesday's Child

Originally broadcast 5 July 1998

Ned joins the army to escape being arrested by the police, and Matty enlists her brother's help to clear Ned's name. Captain Mason proposes marriage to Isabel, much to her delight and the distress of Victoria St. John when she hears the news.

Mrs Bronowski is charged with murder despite Hannah's efforts to clear her name.

Episode 10: I, Said the Sparrow

Originally broadcast 19 July 1998

Great-Aunt Effie's efforts to keep Captain Mason away from Isabel are thwarted when he threatens to sue for breach of promise if she refuses to allow them to wed. Mrs. Bronowski is convicted of murder and sentenced to death, a fate she resignedly accepts. Jack clears Ned's name, but his regiment is departing for Somaliland and he must bid a tearful Matty goodbye.

Cast[edit]

The Lamson-Scribener household
  • Tabitha Wady ..... Lydia Weston
  • Rosemary Leach ..... Nanny Collins
  • Rupert Frazer ..... Lord George Lamson-Scribener
  • Briony Glassco ..... Lady Constance Lamson-Scribener
  • Nicholas Irons ..... Lord Hugh Lamson-Scribener
  • Peter Forbes ..... Fowler
The Hutchinson household
The St. John household
And
  • Etela Pardo ..... Mrs. Bronowski
  • William Scott-Masson ..... Captain Mason
  • Stuart Laing ..... Jack Wickham

DVD[edit]

The DVD of this series is available now, distributed by Acorn Media UK.

External links[edit]