THE MILL (Channel 4) – Review

By on 14 August, 2013

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If there is one thing that Channel 4 are good at, it is creating brilliant dramas. With a fantastic catalogue of previous drama’s such as ‘Shameless‘, ‘Misfits‘, ‘This is England‘ and ‘Black Mirror‘ to name a few, Channel 4 had their work cut out  

The Mill‘ is a historical 4-part drama series, based on real lives and tells the story of young apprentices from the 19th century taking their lives into their own hands. Following the real-life characters, who had previously worked at Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire, England, ‘The Mill‘ follows the struggle of the workers and unpaid apprentices as they slave away for their 12 hour shifts for 6 days a week, from the ages of 9 until 21.

At the resurgence of the Industrial Revolution, Mill founder Samuel Greg is living the high life and taking advantage of the manufacturing industry boom, however the tables slowly begin to turn as the workers soon realize that they should not have to work in such hazardous and poor conditions. The scope of the working conditions is highlighted when one of the workers is seriously injured when trying to clean underneath one of the machines. The main storyline of the drama is based on real-life apprentice Esther Price on her journey as she stands up to the Mill owner. Along the way the audience follow various characters that Esther meets including Mathew Boon and Miriam Catterall.

In comparison to BBC1’s attempt of re-creating ordinary lives 100 years ago in drama, ‘The Village‘, ‘The Mill‘ exceeds by far. Not only is it a much more interesting concept to re-create and follow, but the characters have greater back-stories and you can really sense their emotions, as they go through their struggles of their everyday working lives.

Although I find it very fascinating and enthralling to watch, I still feel as if there is a twist waiting to happen, however whether that comes to fruition or not we will have to wait and see!


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