BBC One Daytime commemorates the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War with a new five-part all-star period drama – Land Girls.
The stellar cast line-up includes Nathaniel Parker (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Bleak House), Christine Bottomley (Hope Springs, Massive, Early Doors), Sophie Ward (Holby City), Summer Strallen (Hollyoaks), Mark Benton (The Street), Danny Webb (Our Friends In The North), Jo Woodcock (Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, All The Small Things) and Becci Gemmell (Home Time).
The drama follows the lives and loves of four girls away from home, striving to do their bit for Britain in the Women’s Land Army (WLA) while trying to come to terms with the fact that their lives may never be the same again.
Created by Roland Moore, Land Girls follows the girls as they adapt to their new surroundings, and knuckle down to some hard work – and play.
Against the backdrop of war-weary Forties Britain, Land Girls is set on the Hoxley Estate, as the girls balance their working lives at the run-down Pasture Farm, and the opulent Hoxley Manor.
Nancy, Joyce, Bea and Annie have all joined the WLA for very different reasons, but they all have one common goal – to serve their country and help win the war.
The drama follows the women as they try to live out their lives in very challenging circumstances, with lots of laughter and tears along the way.
Liam Keelan, Controller, BBC Daytime, says: “Land Girls is a warm and vibrant drama celebrating the unsung heroes from the Second World War, and we’re delighted to have secured this talented cast to realise the story.
“This drama comes after the recent success of Moving On and Missing, and the continuing success of Doctors. Land Girls is produced by the same team that makes Doctors, and is BBC Daytime’s first commission of a period drama.”
The series will be stripped across one week as a one-off special event and Liam adds: “We hope to pay tribute, not only to the many lives that were lost in the Second World War, but also to the land girls who played such an important role on the home front. We hope it will be seen by as wide an audience as possible.”
Series creator Roland Moore says: “As with any historical fiction, there was a need to balance factual accuracy and respect for the subject matter with telling a good story.
“Although the girls’ dramatic journeys are fictitious, I read many first-hand accounts of land girls’ experiences to know that the stories are believable and ‘of the time’. It was really important to me and everyone else on the production that we respected the memory of those amazing women.”
He adds: “In addition to throwing an overdue spotlight on the land girls themselves, the series also sheds light on other less well-known aspects of the Home Front – the segregation of black and white American troops; the use of prisoners of war as farm labourers; the dispossessed people bombed out of their homes and drifting the country looking for food and work; the internment of Italian nationals; the treatment of conscientious objectors and the hunt for Nazi sympathisers.”