The Village begins this Sunday [31 March] on BBC One on at 9pm. Check out the episode info and extensive picture gallery below…
Present day: the series opens on old Bert Middleton, the second oldest man in Britain, being interviewed by a director. A film is being made about Bert and his village. He takes us back to the long hot summer of 1914…
Bert is 12 years old and his days are filled with school, his friends, working in the fields with his father and secret swimming lessons with his older brother Joe, whom he adores. Joe is 19 and handsome. He works for the Allingham family at the big house.
The Middleton family is poor: the farm has been in the family for five generations, but life is a struggle for the boys’ parents, John and Grace. John has turned to drink, and is killing himself trying to get the harvest in on his own – work that should be done by a whole team, but John is not a popular man in the village. Bert is the only help John has on the farm, and he tries to take Bert out of school. But Bert’s teacher and mentor, Gerard Eyre, refuses to let him: a boy needs an education.
The first ever bus to stop in the village arrives. Everyone in the village gathers to see it – and off the bus steps the beautiful, headstrong Martha Lane. Young Bert Middleton’s world will never be the same again…
George Allingham is also smitten by her, but Martha really only has eyes for Bert’s older brother, Joe.
Young Bert suffers at the hands of his father John and school teacher Ingham.
Grace Middleton discovers she is pregnant again and with her oldest son Joe due to head off to war, how will the family survive?
World War I has begun. When the talk turns to conscription, the villagers know they must prepare themselves for tough times ahead.
Just click on the images to enlarge
© BBC/Company Pictures/Brian Sweeney