All-Star Cast: The cast list for this show is a veritable "Who's Who" of the best of the British acting world, including banner names like Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, Michael Gambon, Celia Imrie, Imelda Staunton, and Tom Hiddleston, and is rounded out by a host of beloved British character actors, including Jim Carter, Emma Fielding, Francesca Annis, Jodie Whittaker, Alistair Petrie, Julia Sawalha, Greg Wise, Michelle Dockery, and Lesley Sharp.
Bechdel Test: Passes with flying colours — and in the first five minutes, as the first episode opens with Miss Matty and her sister Deborah discussing their impending houseguest Miss Mary Smith while frantically making beds and removing dust covers. In fact, the primary focus of the programme is on the women of Cranford and their relationships with each other. It's interesting to note that it also passes the inversed test.note Lots of works that pass the Bechdel Test fail because focusing on women, they might lack compelling male characters, or its men only ever talk about women.Cranford has several well-defined male characters whose presence is not defined strictly by their relationship to ladies. For instance, Drs. Harrison and Morgan discuss medical procedures, or Mr Carter and Harry Gregson talk about school and education.
Husband and wife Jim Carter (Captain Brown) and Imelda Staunton (Octavia Pole), with their daughter Bessie Carter (Margaret Gidman).
Mother and daughter Judi Dench (Miss Matty Jenkyns) and Finty Williams (Mrs Clara Smith). Interestingly, Williams plays the mother of Miss Mary Smith, who lives with Dench's Miss Matty and becomes a surrogate daughter to her... don't think about it too hard.
Ships That Pass in the Night: The pairing of Sir Charles Maulver/Erminia Whyte sprang into existence based upon a single scene of them dancing together at the end of Return to Cranford.