BBC (ended 2002)


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Sparkhouse Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
13 votes
  • Romance modeled on Wuthering Heights - but quite different. The acting is superb.

    Sparkhouse is a modern romance based on Wuthering Heights. I was initially put off by this, but found that -- aside from the landscape, the almost mystical bond between the two leading characters, and a haunting atmosphere -- this story is different.

    Carol, a troubled young woman with disreputable parents, and Andrew, the spoiled son of an upper class couple, grow up close together, meeting secretly on the moors. Circumstances, his parents -- and his own desire for a better life -- separate them, but they meet again as adults.

    Sparkhouse was well acted. Both leads were totally believable. The standout actor was Richard Armitage, exceptional as John, a shy, inarticulate farm hand. Although it was one of his earliest roles, and he is not the lead, he dominates every scene he is in. If you like romance or great acting, definitely see this.
  • It wasn't quite what I was expecting.

    I love most BBC productions, there have only been a couple of nightmare ones done, so I was expecting the norm from this - but it was so different!

    The main reason I bought the DVD was to see Richard Armitage in it, far from his cool character of John Thornton in North & South, he is a nervous man who is madly in love with Carol - who doesn't really know he's around.

    In a modern twist on the novel "Wuthering Heights" we see the rich Andrew being kept away from the wayward Carol who is hiding a secret - even from her love. When he finds out he can't face it and a vicious circle begins of love and hate which culminates in a fitting ending (I thought so anyway).

    While I loved the sensitive character of Andrew at the beginning, he soon reminded me of a selfish brat (just my opinion) and I couldn't help but really feel sorry for Carol and the life which she had had.

    Well worth a watch if you want something to sink your teeth into.
  • More than just a re-telling of "Wuthering Heights," this intriguing story should be considered on its own merits.

    “Sparkhouse” is the name of a struggling Yorkshire sheep farm run by the troubled Boulton family. On the ridge above resides the prosperous and seemingly happy Lawton family. Not wanting their only child Andrew to marry Carol, (remarkably portrayed by Sarah Smart) the petite and intense Boulton daughter, the Lawtons reveal a secret about Carol’s past to Andrew (played by Joseph McFadden). Andrew chooses to leave Carol behind and go to university, where he meets and marries someone else. Carol also spends years away from the farm in an effort to be free of her abusive father. Eventually Andrew, his wife and baby return home, and Carol also returns as her father is dying. Carol turns to the steady former farmhand, John Standring (brilliantly played by Richard Armitage) to help her turn Sparkhouse around. Whether two people who share a psychic bond are better suited than two people who share the same goals is left open for discussion at the story’s end.
    The script and acting are exceptional and the glorious Yorkshire scenery is lovely, but the music is so completely awful—distractingly awful—it actually lowers my rating for the whole production.