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4.5 out of 5 stars75
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 15 November 2008
Berkeley Square tells the story of 3 Nannies who becomes friends as they meet up in the park, walking the infants that they care for. Irish girl Hannah (Victoria Smurfit) is the mother of an illegitimate child and she has to keep the existence of her son secret in order to maintain her job. Thankfully, an understanding landlady is prepared to care for him.

Matty (Clare Wilkie) works in a household where a young man wanted for murder is being hidden by his Mother, who is the housekeeper. The lady of the house (Hermione Norris) is a discontented creature who is having an affair with a caddish officer. Meanwhile, her children barely know her or her weak willed husband.

Country girl Lydia is given the chance to escape rural life - and the care of her 11 younger siblings - when she becomes the Nursery Maid to Lord and Lady Lamson-Scribener. Initially the resident Nanny (the excellent Rosemary Leach) is unwilling to have her in the nursery but as Lydia's kindness and good nature are displayed day to day, Nanny Collins comes to care for her. But will she be able to save niave Lydia from the intentions of the spoilt older son of the house, Lord Hugh?

The interwoven lives of the 'upstairs' families and the 'downstairs' nursery staff are skillfully told in 12 excellent episodes. There are plot twists galore (infanticide, adultery, murder, baby-farms, epidemics etc)as well as gorgeous scenes of a bygone age. The Coronation of the new King in 1902 provides entertainment for the staff and the details of dress, language and Edwardian London life are a joy to watch.

It is sad then that no further series were made. Leaving the viewers shocked at the dramas in the final episodes, we are left to wonder if happy endings are going to find our 3 young ladies? Like the equally excellent 'Lilies', Berkeley Square got only one series. A great pity - it should have had considerably more!
77 comments|198 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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 woman, Mattie, Lydia, and Hannah, brought by fate to posh Berkeley 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 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 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 had worked as a lady's maid for one of Yorkshire's first families. A love affair with her employer's handsome, only son, however, led to the birth of their illegitimate son. When her child's father unexpectedly died, she and her child were forced to flee Yorkshire. She ended up in London, where a chance meeting with Lydia found her accepting employment in a household in Berkeley Square, working with the nanny from hell.
The series revolves around their experiences and that of the families for whom they work. Over time, the threads of their lives are woven in such a way that they make for an intriguing tapestry of events. Very well acted, with engaging performances by all, and first rate production values, this is a series well worth having in one's collection and is recommended to all who love a well made, period piece.
Do not buy part one without also buying part two, unless you are the sort of person who prefers to buy one shoe rather than two.
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on 4 April 2009
I settled down to watch this lovely series - and relaxed into it, immediately.

Of course, I watched it years ago when it was on telly, but nothing spoiled my re-visit of the lives of these 3 girls, their friendship, histories, and different dramas.

Lydia was back then, and is still, my favourite. She came to London like a lamb among the wolf pack (the other two being much more street-wise) and her good nature and friendliness brought her through her trials. Her straightforward attitude to people and life also spanned the class-system and "touched" (among others) her well-to-do employers and their aged Nanny, benefitting the whole family, including the dasterdly (emotionally starved) "lech" of an elder son, who would have benefitted from a more caring father, if Series Two had ever been made!

The future of the other two nannies was left in some doubt when the first series came to an end, and it's a pity the story wasn't so rounded off for them. But Lydia - with a friendship developing with the likeable butler of her employers home - had "promise" to look forward to. One happy ending, at least.

A very worthy get-away-from-it-all buy.
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on 30 August 2008
I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Berkeley Square some 10 years after first seeing in on TV. The cast is strong- with each of the nannies showing great acting and having good story lines- the costumes are wonderful and it is easy to watch- without it being soft. There are times where you will need a hanky watching this..won't say more... but great value for money and something to watch over and over again.
0Comment|37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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 woman, Mattie, Lydia, and Hannah, brought by fate to posh Berkeley 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 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 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 had worked as a lady's maid for one of Yorkshire's first families. A love affair with her employer's handsome, only son, however, led to the birth of their illegitimate son. When her child's father unexpectedly died, she and her child were forced to flee Yorkshire. She ended up in London, where a chance meeting with Lydia found her accepting employment in a household in Berkeley Square, working with the nanny from hell.
The series revolves around their experiences and that of the families for whom they work. Over time, the threads of their lives are woven in such a way that they make for an intriguing tapestry of events. Very well acted, with engaging performances by all, and first rate production values, this is a series well worth having in one's collection and is recommended to all who love a well made, period drama.
0Comment|16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 November 2011
I really expected to like this but it just didn't work for us. The production seemed so creeky and the script formulaic. The acting was also unconvincing and had that British twee quality which made it hard to take things seriously. Sadly, we gave up half way through disc one, so maybe missed the good parts, but a later exploration of disc two convinced me to give the whole thing a miss. Instead, I would recommend Lilies which this is often compared to, for me that had a freshness that this just didn't have. The Dvd quality on our set was also appalling making it look like it was made in the 70s.
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on 18 September 2013
The storyline is interesting although a bit weak here and there. It is evident that they were planning a second series, then all of a sudden there wasn't to be any and so they had to end this first and only season in a rather unsatisfying way leaving lots of things undealt with. And why no subtitles? With background music, poor Lydia's thick dialect/accent and some of the others mumbling, it was sometimes very hard for me to hear all the lines. No subtitles = very difficult for those of us who are a little hard of hearing! All in all, I liked the story well enough. With subtitles I would have given it another star!
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on 11 February 2010
Great-a good few hours of escapism and seemed true to it's period in history. Value for money too, as this was an entire series.
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on 24 June 2010
Good to see again this series from the late 90s on the lives of three governesses from very different backgrounds - believable storylines for each and very well realised life in wealthy households.
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on 23 May 2008
I originally watched this series when it was shown on TV some years ago now. I remember it as being highly enjoyable with well developed characters and a strong story line. All in all a great series which I highly recommend. I am looking forward to buying this so that I can watch and enjoy again.
0Comment|15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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