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Series one, episode three
Will Esther and Lucy’s dash for freedom be successful? If this were Dickens, possibly; if your average rose-tinted Sunday night costume drama, definitely, but in the relentlessly grim, dark and disturbingly historically accurate world of Quarry Bank, anything’s possible, and it almost certainly won’t be good – particularly with young Robert Greg in a particularly black mood following his mother’s outburst at last week’s anti-slavery meeting and the growing support for political organiser John Doherty.
That, and the looming Abolition Bill and Factory Act readings in parliament, are key narrative drives in tonight’s otherwise rather lacklustre episode, but with so many unresolved threads, it feels like it’s all building to a suitably dramatic climax in next week’s finale. And the deeply unpleasant Timperleys finally get a well-deserved comeuppance.