Reviewed by David Savage
Starring: Kerrie Hayes, Matthew McNulty, Kevin McNally, Jamie Draven
Running Time: 200 minutes (approx.)
Release Date: 19 August 2013
The Mill is a Channel 4 period drama based on a true story set in Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire.
The year is 1833 and a third of the cotton mill’s workforce are apprentices – children below the age of 17 taken from workhouses and made to work at least 12 hours a day.
These apprentices are not allowed to leave the mill until they are adults and are until the control of the abusive apprentice manager, Mr Timperley, who rules with an iron rod without any care for their well-being.
With the industrial revolution at its height Ester Price, a feisty young apprentice, wants justice for herself and her fellow apprentices. With the arrival of Daniel Bate, an engineer hired by the mill boss Robert Greg to build better machinery for the mill, the spark has been lit and starts trouble between the workforce, who dream of a better future, and the mill owners who do not want change.
Overall, The Mill is a fascinating and enjoyable factual period drama. When I received it I was convinced I would not enjoy as I really do like this kind of drama but from the very first episode I was hooked. It is definitely compulsive viewing.
Children as young as 9 are sold by workhouses to mill and factory owners and forced into hard labour and fined for any indiscretion. The lives of these children is very harse and where they work up to 18 hours a day to receive food, board and taught how to read & write until the feisty Ester Price from Liverpool decides to take a stand for justice.
Kerrie Hayes as Ester Price is excellent and really makes the show enjoyable.
An excellent powerful drama about the harsh realities of big business using children to maximize their profits and the fight for justice and a better quality of life.
Highly recommended. Even if like me you are not a fan of period dramas this is an interesting and enjoyable drama that you won’t want to miss. I really enjoyed it.
Drama at its best!
The Mill is now available to buy on DVD from Acorn Media here.