Clifton Manor: Episode 1: Victoria Spencer

Episode 1, Season 1 ‘Clifton Manor’ Series

In 1912’s Yorkshire, large mansions and sizeable staff are the norm among the wealthy. Clifton Manor is no exception. Episode 1 of the 6 Episode series introduces us to all the major players & a bit about their role in the Manor.

Anna Holden has taken a job at the Manor working in the kitchen. A step down from her previous job, Anna had no choice to accept any available offer due to a yet-to-be-determined issue. Lady Clifton, the matriarch, has many secrets. Day-to-day operations of the household are lightly overseen by her as she heavily relies on senior staff to keep the wheels turning. Her children are more involved in household matters than their mother & seldom seen father.

George ‘does the books’. At the time Anna joins the ranks, George is beginning to question the ledgers and wondering about differing amounts recorded in the family finances. Feeling a change needs to be made, he rolls up his sleeves and digs deep into dark corners. Elizabeth is the baby of the family. Despite her title & net worth, Elizabeth would rather spend her days visiting the staff. Often overlooked, Elizabeth is the one tender-heart in a sea of selfish ones. Jane, their sister, should be worried about her upcoming wedding. Though a matter of convenience, it is an important affair. However, she seems preoccupied with matters from her past.

While we get to know the family & prominent staff members, we get peaks into the façade the family shows the world & the dysfunctional behind the scenes. As with any series, we are left with questions to explore & initial opinions on the fictional world we’re in. Why is one padlocked door forbidden to all staff members? What’s up with the family money? How many skeletons are in the closets of the Manor? Episode 2 will certainly reveal more details.

Set-up by installments like any other series, ‘Clifton Manor’ reads like a nifty soap opera. Romance & mystery around every corner, back-stabbing, betrayals – you name it. I happened upon the series by chance while searching for a new series. While there wasn’t a major ‘wow’ factor, I thought it was well-done and enjoyed it. There’s enough in this first episode to make me want to tune in to the same channel again.

I am especially fond of Elizabeth. Every family needs a person who cares for everyone more than themselves. We have to keep in mind that the time period relies heavily on Class Status and prejudice abounds. Regardless, ‘Episode 1’ is definitely worth the time and with colder weather on its way, it’ll be a good way to spend your time. I give it 4 stars.