Co-stars: Charlotte Riley, Burn Gorman, Andrew Lincoln, Kevin R. McNally
The Earnshaw children expect gifts from their father when he returns to Wuthering Heights after a trip, but are instead greeted with the arrival of Heathcliff, a young Gypsy boy who has come to live with them. Quiet and mysterious, Heathcliff is befriended by Cathy Earnshaw, and the two become inseparable. In adulthood, their bond deepens to love, but a forced absence opens Cathy to the affections of a different suitor — Edgar Linton. Given the choice between a life of comfort and a profound love, Cathy’s actions have repercussions for multiple generations in this haunting story of turbulent passion and revenge. Tom Hardy (Oliver Twist) stars as Heathcliff, with newcomer Charlotte Riley as Cathy.
Episode 1 Synopsis (SPOILERS):
At Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff is tormented by his memory of Cathy — his deceased lover and eternal soul mate.
It is 1848, eighteen years after Cathy’s death. Heathcliff exacts a nefarious plan of revenge on Edgar Linton, Cathy’s husband and Heathcliff’s neighbor. Heathcliff’s son, Linton, has recently arrived at Wuthering Heights after the death of his mother — Edgar’s sister Isabella. Heathcliff entraps Cathy and Edgar’s daughter, Catherine, at Wuthering Heights where she discovers Linton and learns that Heathcliff plans to force them into marriage.
It is 1815, and Mr. Earnshaw returns from Liverpool with an orphan, Heathcliff. Hindley, Earnshaw’s son, resents Heathcliff and is sent away to boarding school. Hindley’s sister, Cathy, befriends Heathcliff and forges a close bond with the quiet and mysterious boy.
Ten years later, Mr. Earnshaw dies and Hindley returns to inherit Wuthering Heights. Hindley ensures that Heathcliff’s life of freedom ends and that he is treated like a servant. Cathy and Heathcliff’s connection has now blossomed into romantic love. Heathcliff’s plans to run away with Cathy come to an abrupt end when Cathy spends five weeks at the Linton’s home and returns transformed into a sophisticated young woman.
Nelly, the loyal maidservant at Wuthering Heights, observes Cathy as she becomes increasingly torn between her love for Heathcliff and Edgar Linton’s admiration. Meanwhile, Hindley’s wife, Frances, dies during childbirth and Hindley’s demise begins.
Edgar proposes to Cathy and she must choose a life of comfort and wealth as Mrs. Linton or succumb to her love for Heathcliff. Believing that Cathy has already betrayed him in her heart, Heathcliff leaves town while Cathy tells Nelly that nothing can ever separate them.
After three years of waiting for Heathcliff, Cathy marries Edgar. At the wedding, Cathy learns that Heathcliff has returned. When Heathcliff arrives unannounced the next day, Edgar is wary of the timely coincidence. Heathcliff’s flirtation with Isabella upsets Cathy. With his newfound wealth, Heathcliff seeks revenge on Hindley by encouraging his gambling habits.
Heathcliff realizes that Cathy has slept with Edgar and reacts with outrage. Cathy feels an overwhelming sense of betrayal. Heathcliff torments Cathy when he arrives looking for Isabella.
Episode 2 Synopsis (MORE SPOILERS):
Heathcliff’s appetite for revenge grows and Hindley is coerced into selling more land to Heathcliff. Heathcliff’s courtship of Isabella leads to a furious argument with Cathy. Edgar’s attempt to force Heathcliff to leave is met by Cathy’s hostility and Heathcliff’s vicious retaliation. Only Cathy’s words can persuade Heathcliff to desist. Edgar tells Cathy that if she wishes to remain friends with Heathcliff, she must also leave. Cathy reveals that she is pregnant with Edgar’s child.
Isabella informs Heathcliff of Cathy’s pregnancy and they leave together to marry, although Heathcliff knows that he can never be free from his love for Cathy. When they return to Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff learns that Cathy has become gravely ill. Cathy and Heathcliff are reunited one night amidst a raging storm.
Heathcliff comes violently close to killing Hindley, and as a result, Isabella leaves Heathcliff. Isabella tells Edgar that she is pregnant with Heathcliff’s child, but Edgar refuses to help. Heathcliff persuades Nelly to let him see Cathy and holds her dying body in his arms until Edgar arrives. As Cathy breathes her last breath, Heathcliff waits in the garden. Cathy’s baby daughter, Catherine, lives.
Eighteen years pass and Edgar is dying. Heathcliff has forced Catherine to marry his son, Linton. Linton has been sick for months and dies only weeks after their marriage. Catherine lives at Wuthering Heights with Nelly and Hareton, Hindley’s son. Heathcliff continues to be tormented by his memory of Cathy. Catherine grows fond of Hareton and when Heathcliff’s life comes to a sudden end, there seems to be some hope of happiness for Catherine and Hareton’s future together.