The second season of The Cedar Tree will be released on DVD later this year.

The Cedar Tree was a twice-weekly afternoon drama produced by ATV and aired in the late 1970s.

It was created by Alfred Shaughnessy who had helmed LWT’s hugely popular Upstairs, Downstairs.

The Cedar Tree was set “between the wars” in the late 1930s as the prospect another war hung over Europe. It revolved around the Bourne Family who lived at Larkfield Manor; although considered well off by others the Bourne’s financial situation was like many others at the time.

The drama starred Susan Engel, Phillip Latham, Jennifer Lonsdale, Sally Osborne and Susan Skipper. Despite being a daytime drama – and therefore cursed by a low budget – the show is well considered with excellent sets and acting although there’s very little outdoor sequences and the Cedar tree, after which the drama gets it name, is only featured via animation during the title sequences.

However, The Cedar Tree manages to overcome its limitations with compelling stories, which invoke social situations of the time but are also familiar with contemporary soap operas – such as forbidden love affairs.

Network DVD has, so far, released the first season across three volumes. In September the complete second season will be released. The third season, which saw the drama re-worked as a 13-part hour-long prime-time series (much like General Hospital was), is expected to follow.

Fans of Upstairs, Downstairs (both old and new), Cranford, Lark Rise to Candleford and Downton Abbey will find much to like about The Cedar Tree. All three volumes of the first season are still available to buy – and bought directly from the Network DVD website they cost less than £18 each (as of 16th July).

The Cedar Tree, Complete Second Series – 16th September. Pre-order now at www.networkonair.com

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