Why Cranford’s Dr Harrison Will Be Your New Period Heartthrob

If you didn’t think you had space in your heart for another handsome Victorian hero, think again…

Dr Harrison Will Be Your New Period Heartthrob


It's always nice when your leading man actually has a worthwhile calling in life, rather than spending all his time looking gorgeous at parties (we're looking at you, Mr Darcy). Cranford's hero Frank Harrison is a newly qualified doctor, and practically bursting with energy and enthusiasm. Intelligence is always attractive, especially when it comes in the form of a dashing Victorian chap striding heroically to the rescue of his patients...


Dr Harrison may have all the lusts of a young red-blooded man, but he's also a man of honour, integrity and immaculate etiquette. On falling in love with Cranford's most eligible maiden, he doesn't arrogantly assert himself for her attention. He does things the right way, the old fashioned way, even asking her father for permission to court her. Chaps these days could learn a lot from the good doctor.

Sophy Hutton (Kimberley Nixon) and Dr Frank Harrison (Simon Woods).

Sophy Hutton (Kimberley Nixon) and Dr Frank Harrison (Simon Woods).


Don't go thinking Dr Harrison is a stickler for Victorian rules, though. While he courts his women the proper way, he's brashly modern in other respects, and the contrast is really rather alluring. Take the moment he dashes to the side of a Cranford resident who's suffered a painful compound fracture in his arm. A local doctor believes it has to be amputated, but Dr Harrison isn't having any of it, and dares to do a bit of cutting edge surgery to save the broken limb. By candlelight, no less. If he's showing off, it's working.


Simon Woods, who plays Dr Harrison, says of his character: "He doesn't read people well and gets himself into all sorts of terrible scrapes by not understanding what they're really thinking." Very true. He may be an exceedingly attractive specimen, but Dr Harrison really doesn't have any idea of the effect he has on the opposite sex, making him the opposite of arrogant. Even though any other man who makes the ladies swoon like he does would probably need immediate treatment for a massively expanded cranium.

The villain or the hero?


Some men of science are ALL science, driven by logic rather than their human passions. Dr Harrison is definitely not one of those types of men. He may have a keen medical mind, but when he's as much about the heart as the head. It's why we feel heartbroken when he finds himself shunned by the local community for something that's completely not his fault. And then there's the heartbreaking moment the woman he loves is suffering from serious fever, and circumstances mean he can't be at her bedside. The anguish of it is almost too much to bear, but makes us adore Dr Harrison all the more.


Well come on now, we couldn't very well ignore this particular trait, could we? The fact is that Dr Frank Harrison doesn't just set hearts a-flutter because of he's an intelligent, caring, respectable and altogether eligible bachelor. He also just happens to have the sleek cheekbones and glowingly faultless complexion any young Victorian lady could desire in a match. And let's also give special mention to those sapphire blue eyes, gazing out with romantic abandon during the most routine medical check-up. Is it any wonder the women of Cranford are so easily led astray by his bedside manner? Quite frankly, Frank Harrison is just what the doctor ordered...