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The Mill

Sun Aug 4, 8-9pm, C4

Series one, episode two
Craig Parkinson really needs to stop playing bullying, duplicitous sleazebags if he doesn’t want to get a reputation. His Charlie Crout gets his just deserts tonight as this gritty historical drama continues. But will he take anyone with him? The full hypocrisy of the mill-owning Gregg family is revealed tonight as Hannah allows her heart to bleed all over an anti-slavery meeting. Elsewhere, Esther prepares to take more risks as she struggles against her bondage.

So far, ‘The Mill’ has been thoroughly effective both as polemic and period drama. The trappings of the era are beautifully evoked and that doesn’t make for easy viewing; the relentless misery of working life at Quarry Bank – the noise, the squalor, the cotton fibre billowing in the air and the cheapness of human life – is a far cry from the many more rose-tinted Sunday night offerings we could mention.