Powerful historical drama series, based on the lives of real people, telling the story of young 19th-century apprentices taking their lives into their own hands for the first time.
The first series introduces the life of the apprentices and the daily routines they faced at Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire.
Lawyer Wakem takes the mill on the river Floss away from Edward Tulliver (whose ancestors have owned it for 300 years) and becomes the worst enemy of Tulliver's family. When Edward's daughter, Maggie, grows up, she falls in love with Wakem's son Philip. However, her brother Tom (true to the memory of their father) forbids her to meet him again. When she visits her cousin Lucy Deane, Lucy's fiance, Stephen Guest, falls in love with Maggie at first sight, further complicating matters.