Keeley Hawes stars in this enchanting adaptation of Thomas Hardy's pastoral romance set in the mid-19th century. Under The Greenwood Tree was the first of Hardy's great Wessex novels. Part love story, part comedy, the tale evokes the richness of village life tinged with melancholy for a rural world that Hardy saw fast disappearing.
Amongst the surrounding farms and woodlands of the idyllic village of Mellstock, Dorset, a bond grows between local boy Dick Dewy (James Murray) and a new arrival, the beautiful schoolteacher Fancy Day (Hawes).
The Reverend Maybold (Ben Miles) creates a furor among the village's musicians with his decision to abolish the church's stringed instruments Quire (choir) and replace it with a new mechanical organ. But Miss Day causes an upheaval of a more romantic nature, as she steals the hearts of three very different men -- the wealthy but older Farmer Shiner (Steve Pemberton), the penniless young labourer and musician Dick Dewy, and the Reverend Maybold himself.
Through a maze of intrigue and passion across four seasons, Fancy is torn; she must make a decision of either head or heart. Will true love win out or will the social traditions of Victorian England determine Fancy's future?
Meanwhile, the men's choir is restless and in open revolt about the new organ, spurred by their choirmaster, Reuben Dewy (Tony Haygarth), who is Dick's father.
• Masterpiece Theatre - Under The Greenwood Tree