It’s said that the Second World War was the Women’s Institute’s finest hour and ITV’s new drama Home Fires will illustrate just how hard the ladies who stayed behind worked to keep the nation running.
Samantha Bond and Francesca Annis lead the cast of the new six-part drama, based on Jambusters: The Story of the Women’s Institute in the Second World War by Julie Summers.
Home Fires follows the exploits of a group of inspirational women in a rural Cheshire community. They may be far from the front and the fighting, but the shadow of the Second World War has cast a dark cloud over their lives.
With their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers experiencing bloodshed on the battlefields, the women have quite the task ahead of them if they are to keep their world from falling apart. That’s when the power of the Great Paxford Women’s Institute comes into play.
Bossy Frances (Bond) and snobbish Joyce (Annis) are warring for control on the home front, while each and every member of the WI has her own struggle to face. From vicar’s wife Sarah’s attempts to find her faith to dependable Pat’s psychological battle with her bullish husband, Bob, and the Brindsley family’s fears about their son going to war, there’s no end of threats to the life they know and love.
And it’s while working together that they realise just how powerful they can be, as they help maintain the nation’s fabric in its darkest hour, and discover inner resources that will change their lives forever.
Created and written by The Eichmann Show scribe Simon Block, the series boasts an impressive ensemble cast including Ruth Gemmell (Utopia), Mark Bonnar (Line of Duty), Claire Rushbrook (Collision), Mark Bazeley (The Suspicions of Mr Whicher), Frances Grey (The Widower) and Ed Stoppard (Cilla).
“We’re really delighted to have commissioned Home Fires,” said Steve November, ITV’s Director of Drama.
“Great writing from Simon has given Julie Summers’ wonderful book a fictional life. The women are real and engaging and have fantastic spirit and attitude. With World War II on the horizon, multiple strands of plot interweave to create a period drama full of jeopardy and intrigue, but also great humanity and modernity.”