Sarah Lancashire in Rose and Maloney

Sarah Lancashire

I became a dedicated Sarah Lancashire devotee as I watched Last Tango in Halifax. Being an American who rarely gets to see British TV unless it’s broadcast on PBS, I had never heard of her before.

It’s surprisingly difficult to learn anything about British actors in America. Europeans don’t have much interest in filling out information for and places like Wikipedia are sketchy at best. When I saw that Sarah Lancashire was in a series called Rose and Maloney, I looked for it on Netflix and Amazon Prime but couldn’t find it. A couple of days ago, I discovered that YouTube runs full episodes of the series via All3Media and other kind souls who’ve shared. (See the update below.)

Sarah Lancashire as Rose Linden in season 1
Sarah Lancashire as Rose Linden in season 1

The series, which premiered in 2002, is uneven: storylines get mysteriously dropped, the characters change in inexplicable ways. It feels like they tried the first two episodes (which amount to season 1), got some positive response, and did a bit of a makeover in season 2 and 3 to try to keep things going. Rose in particular gets a bit of a redo – new hair, a different look with jeans and checkered shirts rolled up to the elbows, and slightly less drunkenness and fewer diabetic meltdowns.

Sarah Lancashine and Phil Davis and Rose and Maloney
Sarah Lancashine and Phil Davis and Rose and Maloney

Sarah Lancashire is devastatingly real as Rose in every episode.Rose and Maloney (Phil Davis plays Maloney) work for a fictional agency called CJRA, which reviews cases to make sure that justice was served. Sarah Lancashire as Rose Linden is a hard-drinking, smoking, cursing, rule-breaking investigator with relentless doggedness when it comes to finding truth and justice. She’s diabetic, messy, brilliant, and unafraid. Even though the series itself is inconsistent, Sarah Lancashire is devastatingly real as Rose in every episode.

Phil Davis is the perfect suit-and-tie establishment foil to her excess.Maloney’s a straight and narrow kind of guy who can’t believe some of the stunts Rose pulls, but who admires her skills in finding the truth about the cases they review. Phil Davis is the perfect suit-and-tie establishment foil to her excess.

Rose changes a lot in season 2 and 3. Her appearance changes, the boyfriend in prison somehow vanishes from her mind. Her boss changes from a man she shags on his desk late at night to a woman she drives crazy with her rebelliousness. The woman playing her mother changes. Nevertheless, Rose still is the same basic person with her snarky attitude and her determination to find the truth about her cases.

There are some delightful guest stars, Anthony Stewart Head and Eamonn Walker being two examples.

I’m never exactly sure what on-screen chemistry is other than good acting, but whatever it is, these two have it.Anne Reid joins the cast as Rose’s mother in a couple of episodes. Seeing Anne Reid and Sarah Lancashire as mother and daughter in Rose and Maloney makes it obvious why they were cast together again in Last Tango in Halifax. Their chemistry, honed to razor sharpness in Last Tango in Halifax, is perfectly complementary. I’m never exactly sure what on-screen chemistry is other than good acting, but whatever it is, these two have it. Maybe they vibrate at the same frequency.


As of February 2021, all three seasons of the series are now available on Prime Video.

33 thoughts on “Sarah Lancashire in Rose and Maloney”

  1. Pingback: Reflections on Season 1 of Last Tango in Halifax : Old Ain't Dead

  2. I love “Rose & Maloney” – have it on my hard drive. Great series.

    There was a substantive change btw the 2-part pilot episodes, (done in 2002) & 1st series (done in 2004) as noted, and I think there was about a year and a half between the first two series. For one, actress Sarah Lancashire had her third son in btw the first two seasons (March 2003). However, there was more consistency btw the series 1 (2004) & 2 (2005); same group of characters, boss, mother. And they did tame down on some of Rose’s drinking binges.

    I love that dynamic btw Sarah and Anne Reid – they’ve worked together on three series now; the other being “Upstairs Downstairs”, but not as relatives. Sarah had mentioned in an interview this year during the BAFTAs that Anne has known her since she was 10 years old as Sarah’s father was a Coronation Street writer when Anne was on Corrie, so not surprising that they click well onscreen.

    1. I LOVE Rose and Maloney and am so disappointed that most episodes are no longer on YouTube. Series 3, episodes 1 & 2 are the only ones available to watch now. I wish I had downloaded the epodes that were available on YouTube. I stumbled on to this series after discovering and loving Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley on my local PBS station last March when the covid-19 pandemic necissitated stay at home orders for a couple of months. Do you have any idea where I might be able to purchase DVDs of Rose and Maloney?

      1. Brenda Wattenbarger

        Just watched all 3 series on my Roku, on the Roku channel 8/26/21. I loved it, was looking to see if there were more, darn it, there isnt!

  3. There’s actually a great deal of Brit.TV in youtube & some on Hulu- I search for it because I’ve lived there as a kid & briefly as an adult & am stuck on ’em…great stuff.
    Re: Sara & Anne- they’ve been acting together since Sara was an adolescent I believe…am pretty sure that Anne is her godmother..Sarah father ( I think) was on a TV show w/Anne .. interesting trivia…love last Tango

  4. Donna L. Bridges

    Sarah’s father was a writer, not an actor. He wrote for Corrie for some years & wrote for several comedies.

  5. I check regularly on Amazon & to see if Rose & Maloney has been released on DVD. Re: imdb and Wiki – could be we Brits are a little scared of getting things wrong! Aren’t I lucky coming from the area Happy Valley was filmed.

    1. Based on the level of interest in Rose and Maloney here, I’d say that a DVD release would be very popular! Did you see anything interesting during the filming of Happy Valley?

  6. You really should watch some of the stuff on youtube by Sarah Lancashire. She is one talented individual. If you want to get a flavour of that here’s what I’d watch. Seeing Red. Clocking off. Sons and Lovers. Gentlemen’s Relish. All the small things (only ep.1 available) See her belting out Nobody from Betty Blue Eyes (THEATRE). She’s also been in Wuthering Heights. Oliver Twist Appearances in Dr Who, Inspector George Gently and other things not available on youtube.

    1. I have watched every one of these shows/movies and have seen clips of Betty Blue Eyes and interviews with SL about Betty Blue Eyes. I wish Cameron McIntosh had filmed it while it was on stage. Also watched Where The Heart Is, Cry, Angel Cake, .Dad’s Army, and Yesterday. I can’t wait to see Julia on HBO Max when it is released. SL was in Boston this past fall filming the pilot and will be back in the Spring to continue filming, an 8 episode series.

  7. Just finished watching Last Tango and loved the characters especially Sara. Hope there is a way to see Season 2 without waiting so long

  8. I discovered LTiH on Tumblr after someone posted a GIF of Caroline rubbing Kate’s leg. I tried and failed to find complete episodes online. I was about to cancel my Netflix subscription until Last Tango in Halifax came up as a suggestion after I finished watching “Grace and Frankie.”

    I don’t know how I missed LTiH on PBS until only Series 3 was available On Demand, but I was happy to watch the previous 12 episodes. I am absolutely obsessed with this program, Caroline and Kate, Sarah Lancashire and Nina Sosanya.

    I eagerly await Series 4 and look forward to discussing it with fellow devotees.

  9. Sadly, the very last episode of Rose and Maloney (series 3, episode 3) has been deleted from Youtube. I was thrilled to discover it on Dailymotion (which is kind of like France’s Youtube) But…the sound quality is awful, with an echo all the way through and the episode ends abruptly in mid air, not long before what should be the real end. I can’t find any sign of a second part, so I guess it’s just a bad recording. And now I’ll never know if she got Marcus!

    1. It’s been such a long time since I watched, I don’t remember who Marcus is. If he was a bad guy she was after, she got him, that would be guaranteed.

      Thanks for the tip that the videos on YouTube are starting to disappear.

    2. Brenda Wattenbarger

      She/they got him. She taped a recording of him confessing to having the property burned where 7 people died.

  10. Almost finished watching this series. Love it! It seems to me that this had to be one of the earliest complex detective series, it really holds up well. Sarah Lancashire and Philip Davis are a hoot together!

    Want to give you a heads up on a good summer series–Brain Dead. Not female centric, but well-balanced as far as the plot. Kind of a West Wing comic sci fi series if you can imagine it. You can only stream it on Amazon Prime, though. Hate to see streaming moving more into locked up paid subscription territory. Zoe

    1. I love the contemporary work Sarah Lancashire has done.

      I’ve been watching Brain Dead on network TV. I love it, too, especially the woman who says she isn’t really a politician and has that outsider’s comment on everything.

  11. Pingback: So Many Great Foreign Films and TV in English - Old Ain't Dead

  12. christopher a swaby

    i agree with your assessment of Ms. Lancashire – when she is on screen, she demands your full attention. and she has only gotten better with time – Last Tango and Happy Valley are standout performances. i found this series to be uneven and at times ridiculous.

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