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Berkeley Square

4.2 out of 5 stars 343 customer reviews

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(Dec 12, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

A classic coming-of-age tale on par with Anne of Avonlea and Little Women, Berkeley Square is worth watching over and over again. This 10-episode British miniseries will awe you with its erudite script, wonderfully believable characters, high-caliber production values, meticulous Edwardian details, and topnotch acting. In fact, you will join the growing multitudes who puzzle over why the BBC decided to stop after only 10 episodes.

In 1902 three young nannies find jobs in well-to-do London households and get to know each other. Naive farm girl Lydia finds an unfamiliar world both in city life and with the progressive-thinking family who employs her. Earnest, rule-abiding Matty is a hard-working East End girl who slowly learns to loosen up. And, after a tragic affair with the eldest son of a grand Yorkshire family, Hannah's life in London is full of chilling secrets and grave life-and-death decisions. --Tara Chace


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Victoria Smurfit, Clare Wilkie, Tabitha Wady, Hermione Norris, Emily Canfor-Dumas
  • Directors: Lesley Manning, Richard Signy
  • Writers: Deborah Cook, Suzanne van de Velde
  • Producers: Alison Davis, Christopher Moss
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Bfs Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 12, 2000
  • Run Time: 510 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (343 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W5P5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,572 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Berkeley Square" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 21, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a great series! I had never before seen it on television and, loving period pieces as I do, decided to make the purchase. It was worth every penny! My sister, who also loves period pieces, came over. Together, we hunkered down and proceeded to watch the entire series in one sitting, all eight and a half hours of it. We were positively riveted to the screen, so engrossing and well acted is the series.
The series centers around three young women, Mattie, Lydia, and Hannah, brought by fate to posh Berkley Square in turn of the twentieth century London. All three work in households where they are employed as nannies. All three meet and become fast friends.
Mattie is a an experienced nanny, who was brought up in the tough East End of London and, consequently, is firmly capable of holding her own. She works for a family that is on the unpleasant side with two children, a boy and a girl. The boy is a positive little beast, and the household is run by a crafty and cunning housekeeper. Mattie's benign and pleasant, baby faced countenance, however, belies a will of iron. She most certainly can take care of herself and hold her own with this motley crew.
Lydia, the fresh faced and naive country girl, works for a wonderful family, as assistant to a nanny who is like an old family retainer. She watches over the baby, the first child of her employer's second wife, who is an American with modern, egalitarian views. The only blight on her existence, is the grown, handsome son from her employer's first marriage.
Hannah has a more unusual history, as she is an unwed mother. She worked as a lady's maid for one of Yorkshire's first families. A love affair with her employer's handsome, only son leads to the birth of their illegitimate son.
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By A Customer on February 25, 2002
Format: DVD
Following in the tradition of such fantastic BBC mini-series brought to the U.S. via "Masterpiece Theatre" as "The Grand," "The Pallisers" and "Upstairs, Downstairs," "Berkeley Square" holds up well for lovers of Victorian/Edwardian-era costume dramas cum lavish soap operas.
"Berkeley Square" focuses on the very end of the Victorian era, and the begining of the Edwardian phase, taking place in 1902, when all of Britain was celebrating the coronation of a new king. Like "The Grand" (my personal favorite) or "Upstairs, Downstairs," "Berkeley Square" focuses on the difference in the classes, highlighting the lives of three nannies: Mattie, Hannah and Lydia, all of whom work in the stately homes on Berkeley (pronounced "Barkley" by the Brits) Square. It's also a fairly accurate depiction of a subject little discussed in most series--the fate of children in Victorian England. Watch "Berkeley Square" with a modern sensibility and you'll be shocked how the "privileged" class looks upon their children. (Something like children speaking when presented at an adult social event is enough to cause "extreme embarrassment" for their parents and the possible dismissal of a nanny and, like real upper class Victorians, these parents rarely see their offspring, generally leaving 100% of the child-rearing to servants.)
You first meet Mattie, the goodie-two-shoes of the group, as she starts her new job as nanny to the Sinjin family. Mrs. Sinjin is less than happy in her marriage and is carrying on a flirtation--that could so easily lead to more--with the dashing, and quite possibly diabolical, Captain Henry Morgan.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A wonderful 1902 period London Victorian drama. Activity surrounding three nannies in different posh families makes for dialogue and interaction between the classes. It's a shade like "Upstairs Downstairs" yet something unique too. Each of the 3 girls: Matty (Claire Wilkie-`Eastenders'),uneducated Lydia (Tabathia Wady-`Doctors' `Sense & Sensibility'), & Hannah (Victoria Smurfit-`Trial and Retribution' `Ballykissangel') have different backgrounds with Hannah perhaps being the most `colorful' having born a child through a relationship with a former Yorkshire upper. The girls become friends as well as soldiers tending the care of those rich youngsters. Of course the activity and lively constitution that the upper class families provide adds to the storyline, making its mark on the nannies hopes and dreams.

Britain seems to have a hold on top quality Victorian series. The fact it is a period story makes the series very re-watchable. The settings, costumes, and props are first rate, a standard for British made turn-of the century Victorian tales. This is simply one of those many produced that have and will continue to be sold and watched, like classic Victorian novels.

Also to be watched is part-nasty Nanny Collins (Rosemary Leach-many roles, I like "Titmus Regained' `A Room with a View')and full-nasty Nanny Simmons (Ruth Sheen-'Lorna Doone' 'Vanity Fair') who is the head nanny to the Hutchinson kids where Irish Hannah assists. Ned Jones (Jason O'Mara-`Life on Mars' "Monarch of the Glen' 2 great series) who is besotted by Matty (aka Sarge) and he sparkles back adding some interesting romance to their lives--and with footman Jones' violent past, tsk, tsk. Expect some intrigue and scandal along with the treks to the park and smiles. This is no "Mary Poppins" revival.
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