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PBS-TV's "Masterpiece Theatre" starting Sunday, Jan. 14, at 9 p.m. 

"Bramwell" Returns

Jemma Redgrave returns for a five-week run as the feisty Dr. Eleanor Bramwell on PBS-TV's "Masterpiece Theatre" starting Sunday, Jan. 14, at 9 p.m. In "Bramwell," Redgrave plays a physician in 1890s London. The series focuses on both her personal and professional life, and this time, the plots bring her to the brink of the 20th century, with amazing prospects before her in the practice of medicine and in matters of the heart. As regular viewers know, the road is never smooth for Eleanor Bramwell as she doctors to the downtrodden at the Thrift Free Infirmary for the Deserving Poor. After six seasons of battling prejudice and indifference, Eleanor is now at the end of her rope. Her father's melancholy cousin, Mrs. Bruce (Jenny Agutter, "The Railway Children"), has taken over Eleanor's clinic in the East End. Her father, Dr. Robert Bramwell (David Calder), has run off with a brewery heiress. Her former fiancé, Dr. Finn O'Neill (Andrew Connolly), appears to be plotting to kill his new wife so he can get back together with Eleanor. A prospective spouse is consorting with prostitutes. And Eleanor's latest flame is going off to war in South Africa. The first three new episodes clock in at an hour apiece, but the final two run two hours each. In these, Eleanor volunteers to inspect recruits for the Boer War (and winds up with a lengthy line of naked men in front of her) and then inadvertently assigns a desperate child to a life of prostitution (and must scurry to undo her misdeed). As the season draws to a close, entering a convent begins to look like an attractive option. One can just imagine Eleanor organizing nuns for optimum efficiency and increased good works ... but don't bet on
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