North & South is a British television drama serial, produced by the BBC and originally broadcast in four episodes on BBC One in November and December 2004. It follows the story of Margaret Hale, a young woman from southern England who has to move to the North after her father decides to leave the clergy. The family struggles to adjust itself to the industrial town's customs, especially after meeting the Thorntons, a proud family of cotton mill owners who seem to despise their social inferiors. The story explores the issues of class and gender, as Margaret's sympathy for the town mill workers conflicts with her growing attraction to John Thornton. The serial is based on the 1855 Victorian novel North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. It was adapted for television by Sandy Welch and directed by Brian Percival.