The Radio Times logo

The Casual Vacancy

  • Season 1
  • 3 episodes
  • Drama

Summary

Drama based on the novel by JK Rowling, set in a seemingly idyllic village where the locals go to war over an empty seat on the parish council. Michael Gambon stars.

Advertisement

Episode 1: The Casual Vacancy

Summary

Drama adapted from the novel by JK Rowling, set in an English village whose seemingly idyllic facade hides a community at war. At the parish council meeting, chairman Howard Mollison introduces his plans to turn the community centre into a health spa, but he reckons without local solicitor Barry Fairbrother, who makes an impassioned speech about the importance of the centre to the impoverished people of the nearby estate. However, an unexpected turn of events leaves an empty seat on the council - leading to the biggest battle Pagford has ever seen. Michael Gambon, Rory Kinnear, Keeley Hawes and Julia McKenzie star.

Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Don’t be fooled by the honeyed Cotswold stone houses of sun-dappled Pagford; bitterness flows in fetid undercurrents in a village divided by the prosperous, middle-class “haves”; the largely despised “have-nots” of the outlying, unlovely council estate and the self-centred, wealthy arrivistes in the big house.

Michael Gambon is grasping delicatessen owner and parish council chairman Howard Mollison, who’s keen to push through plans to turn Pagford’s much-used, but run-down community centre, a bequest from a benefactor, into a money-spinning spa.

There are dissenting voices. Solicitor Barry Fairbrother (Rory Kinnear) is outraged, throwing around accusations of “social engineering”. But a sudden death changes everything and there’s a “casual vacancy” on the council.

It’s a broad-brush, sometimes clichéd view of Britain and there are many characters with many stories. But by the end of the opening episode, they start to mesh.

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming provider below.

Streaming

Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
Howard MollisonMichael Gambon
Samantha MollisonKeeley Hawes
Barry FairbrotherRory Kinnear
Shirley MollisonJulia McKenzie
Arf PriceJoe Hurst
Paul PriceSonny Ashbourne Serkis
Simon PriceRichard Glover
Vikram JawandaSilas Carson
Mary FairbrotherEmily Bevan
Miles MollisonRufus Jones
CopperAlex Lowe
Terri WeedonKeeley Forsyth
Krystal WeedonAbigail Lawrie
ObboSam Redford
Sukhvinder JawandaRia Choony
Tess WallMonica Dolan
Parminder JawandaLolita Chakrabarti
BettyMenna Trussler
BillVass Anderson
Aubrey SweetloveJulian Wadham
Julia SweetloveEmilia Fox
Ruth PriceMarie Critchley
Young doctorSope Dirisu
Kaye BawdenMichele Austin
Gaia BawdenSimona Brown
Fats WallBrian Vernel
Colin WallSimon McBurney
Mr MeacherJacob Krichefski
MoHettie Baynes Russell
Robbie WeedonBryce Sanders
MaggieElizabeth Rider

Crew

rolename
DirectorJonny Campbell
ProducerRuth Kenley-Letts
WriterSarah Phelps

All episodes

  • Episode 1

    The Casual Vacancy

    Summary

    Drama adapted from the novel by JK Rowling, set in an English village whose seemingly idyllic facade hides a community at war. At the parish council meeting, chairman Howard Mollison introduces his plans to turn the community centre into a health spa, but he reckons without local solicitor Barry Fairbrother, who makes an impassioned speech about the importance of the centre to the impoverished people of the nearby estate. However, an unexpected turn of events leaves an empty seat on the council - leading to the biggest battle Pagford has ever seen. Michael Gambon, Rory Kinnear, Keeley Hawes and Julia McKenzie star.

    Review

    A star rating of 3 out of 5.

    Don’t be fooled by the honeyed Cotswold stone houses of sun-dappled Pagford; bitterness flows in fetid undercurrents in a village divided by the prosperous, middle-class “haves”; the largely despised “have-nots” of the outlying, unlovely council estate and the self-centred, wealthy arrivistes in the big house.

    Michael Gambon is grasping delicatessen owner and parish council chairman Howard Mollison, who’s keen to push through plans to turn Pagford’s much-used, but run-down community centre, a bequest from a benefactor, into a money-spinning spa.

    There are dissenting voices. Solicitor Barry Fairbrother (Rory Kinnear) is outraged, throwing around accusations of “social engineering”. But a sudden death changes everything and there’s a “casual vacancy” on the council.

    It’s a broad-brush, sometimes clichéd view of Britain and there are many characters with many stories. But by the end of the opening episode, they start to mesh.

    How to watch

    Next showing

    There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming provider below.

    Streaming

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    Howard MollisonMichael Gambon
    Samantha MollisonKeeley Hawes
    Barry FairbrotherRory Kinnear
    Shirley MollisonJulia McKenzie
    Arf PriceJoe Hurst
    Paul PriceSonny Ashbourne Serkis
    Simon PriceRichard Glover
    Vikram JawandaSilas Carson
    Mary FairbrotherEmily Bevan
    Miles MollisonRufus Jones
    CopperAlex Lowe
    Terri WeedonKeeley Forsyth
    Krystal WeedonAbigail Lawrie
    ObboSam Redford
    Sukhvinder JawandaRia Choony
    Tess WallMonica Dolan
    Parminder JawandaLolita Chakrabarti
    BettyMenna Trussler
    BillVass Anderson
    Aubrey SweetloveJulian Wadham
    Julia SweetloveEmilia Fox
    Ruth PriceMarie Critchley
    Young doctorSope Dirisu
    Kaye BawdenMichele Austin
    Gaia BawdenSimona Brown
    Fats WallBrian Vernel
    Colin WallSimon McBurney
    Mr MeacherJacob Krichefski
    MoHettie Baynes Russell
    Robbie WeedonBryce Sanders
    MaggieElizabeth Rider

    Crew

    rolename
    DirectorJonny Campbell
    ProducerRuth Kenley-Letts
    WriterSarah Phelps

News & features about The Casual Vacancy

Advertisement

RadioTimes.com is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…

FIND OUT MORE
Advertisement

Sponsored content