This period drama was based on the best-selling novel by Catherine Cookson. Edward MacFell (Tom Bell) is a violent and tyrannical man who operates a large farm, but treats both his family and hired help with casual brutality. One day, Edward pushes someone too far and is killed. While his son Charlie (Lloyd Owen) witnessed the murder, he refuses to inform on the guilty party. But there is another witness, Ginger Slater (Antony Byrne), who sees this as a perfect opportunity to make a fortune through blackmail. Circumstances force Charlie to marry Victoria Chapman (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a woman with a scandalous reputation, even though he's in love with her sister Nellie (Maria Miles), but both affairs are put on hold when Charlie is sent off to war. The Cinder Path was originally produced as a miniseries for British television, though an edited feature-length version was released on home video in the U.S.