In new BBC1 drama Come Home, we see what happens to a family when a mother suddenly abandons her husband and three children. How do they cope with the rejection? And can she really leave the past behind?
It’s a three-parter and an “emotional mystery”, with the first episode focused on grief-stricken dad Greg and the second on troubled mother Marie. That’s not to mention their three kids, caught in the middle of it all.
Come Home will air on Tuesdays at 9pm on BBC1. Here are the characters you need to meet – and where you’ve seen the actors before…
Christopher Eccleston – Greg
Who is Greg? Belfast man and father-of-three Greg thought everything in his life was absolutely fine until nine months ago. Then his wife left him. Now he is struggling to work through his grief and anger, not quite able to understand why Marie abandoned her husband and three children to live in a terraced house up the road by herself. Greg is also trying to move on, dipping his toes into the world of internet dating.
Where have I seen him before? Christopher Eccleston is, of course, the Ninth Doctor: he starred in the first series of the rebooted Doctor Who back in 2005. His CV also includes Our Friends in the North, Hillsborough, and more recently Safe House and The A Word. He’s currently treading the boards in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Macbeth.
Paula Malcomson – Marie
Who is Marie? Nine months ago, Marie made a momentous decision: she packed a suitcase and moved out of the family home, leaving behind her husband Greg and their three children. It’s not a decision she can fully articulate; Marie seems to have reached a breaking point where she just wasn’t able to cope any more. But what happens now?
Where have I seen Paula Malcolmson before? Paula Malcomson played Abby in the TV series Ray Donovan, and Roz Demichelis in Broken. We have previously seen her play a fragile mother – she was Katniss’ mum in The Hunger Games.
Kerri Quinn – Brenna
Who is Brenna? We first meet Brenna as the sandwich delivery driver who turns up at Greg’s garage. She is bold and sometimes brash. But Brenna is married to an abusive and dangerous man, with whom she has a young son – a situation we’ll see play out in Come Home.
Where have I seen Kerri Quinn before? Kerri Quinn played Mrs Bowyer in The Frankenstein Chronicles. She is more commonly seen on stage, in productions including Educating Rita, Here Comes the Night, and The Weir.
Anthony Boyle – Liam
Who is Liam? Liam is Greg and Marie’s oldest son. When all the drama with his mum kicked off, it had a huge impact on his schoolwork and exams – and now he’s working in his father’s garage. Liam has a lot of anger bubbling inside him.
Where have I seen Anthony Boyle before? Anthony Boyle was a huge hit as Scorpius Malfoy in The Cursed Child, and deservedly won an Olivier Award for his performance. On TV he has appeared in Derry Girls and Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams, and can be seen in the BBC’s new TV adaptation of Ordeal by Innocence.
Lola Petticrew – Laura
Who is Laura? Laura is the 14-year-old daughter of Greg and Marie. Conscientious and diligent, she is trying to keep everything together and maintain a relationship with both her parents.
Where have I seen Lola Petticrew before? Lola Petticrew recently played Carla in ITV’s Next of Kin.
Darcey McNeeley – Molly
Who is Molly? Molly is the youngest child in the family. She was born many years after her big brother and sister, and was a surprise – at least to Marie, who wasn’t ready for motherhood again. Molly has been left insecure and stressed by losing her mother.
Where have I seen Darcey McNeeley before? This is Darcey’s first on-screen role.
Bríd Brennan – Marie’s Mum
Who is Niamh Kenning? Marie and her mother clearly have a difficult relationship. Mrs Kenning is a straight talker who doesn’t seem to have much respect for Marie and the choices she’s made.
Where have I seen Brid Brennan before? The Northern Irish actress won a Tony Award for her role in Dancing at Lughnasa and later starred in the film version alongside Meryl Streep and Michael Gambon. Best known for her stage work, she has also appeared on TV in Doctor Who and The Escape Artist.
Susan Ateh – Lucy
Who is Lucy? Marie’s new colleague. Lucy is childless, and is under the impression that Marie is, too.
Where have I seen Susan Ateh before? Susan Ateh starred as Bernie in the soap spin-off Kat and Alfie: Redwater.
This article was originally published in March 2018