The Mill Series 1 Episode 1 (Channel 4) Review

The short-lived nature of Channel 4’s misery-porn drama, Run left a sorrowful hole in the schedules, and now they’ve filled it with The Mill, a show that shouldn’t fool you with its 8pm time-slot. In the UK, hard-hitting or gritty dramas are rarely shown before 9pm, so the fact that The Mill is on so early led me to believe that this would be a family-friendly depiction of 19th Century mills and the child labour that encompassed.

But this isn’t Oliver Twist – it’s a dark take on what life might have been like for a child or adolescent ‘rescued’ from the workhouse but set to work inhumane hours under awful conditions at the mill. Add to that a handsy overseer and you’ve got a pretty wretched existence, mixing issues of feminism and abuse of power into the already heavy bowl of social issues. Some of the characters are based on real people, with situations sticking pretty close to reality, so that adds a layer of authenticity to things that only helps the show.



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