Rising star, Josh Bolt (Nowhere Boy, The Be All and End All), will lead a prestigious cast including; Elaine Cassidy (Harper’s Island, A Room with a View, Felicia’s Journey), Dean Andrews (Marchlands, Ashes to Ashes), Stephen Campbell Moore (Season of the Witch, Thorne, Ben Hur), Barbara Flynn (Miss Potter, Cracker, Cranford), and BAFTA nominated actress Shelia Hancock (New Tricks, Bedtime, Moving On), in ITV1’s new drama Just Henry.
Adapted by Michael Chaplin (creator of Grafters and Monarch of the Glen), from Michelle Magorian’s critically acclaimed novel, Just Henry tells an engaging story about one boy’s discovery that will alter his family life forever.
Set in post-Second World War Britain Henry is growing up in a fraught and unsettled household that includes his mother Maureen (Cassidy), stepfather, Uncle Bill, (Andrews) and his paternal grandmother (Hancock).
Henry is a troubled young man who suffers bad nightmares which everyone puts down to the aftermath of living through a war and the fact that he’s never really got over his father’s death or his mother’s remarriage.
In his last year of school and about to become an adult Henry’s grandmother has encouraged him to show a disinterest in his education because his father, Joseph Dodge (Campbell Moore), thought it was a waste of time.
When his father’s war medal for bravery gets posted through the door Henry wants to know more about the circumstances of his father’s death, something his mother has always preferred him not to know too much about.
At school, Henry keeps himself to himself but when he gets a new teacher, Mrs Beaumont (Flynn), who encourages his passion for film, he slowly starts to see the world differently. She wants him to show more compassion towards his classmate Paul Jeffries (Perry Millward – Monroe, Christopher and his Kind), a very talented writer and the son of a deserter who’s ostracised for that very reason. Together with Grace Ellis (Charlie May-Clark – South Riding), a new student who can’t read but has an exquisite singing voice, they are tasked with presenting a school project about cinema and are forced to spend time together. That is until Henry’s research leads him to believe that the man who killed his father was none other than Jeffries father!
Whilst visiting his father’s grave a man introduces himself to Henry as his dad – Dodge. Overwhelmed with happiness Henry doesn’t think to question the facts of his death. But things just don’t add up. If Dodge isn’t in that grave who is?
Grace has come to care too much for Henry to let his dad manipulate him and is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. With the help of Mrs Beaumont she seeks the help of the police but will it be too late for all involved?
Just Henry also stars John Henshaw (Red Riding, Looking for Eric, Confessions of a Diary Secretary), an ex-soldier and now the Commissionaire at the Plaza Cinema. Pooky Quesnel (Scott & Bailey, Five Days, Criminal Justice) plays Paul’s mother Mrs Jefferies.
Director of Drama Commissioning Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes, Controller of Drama Commissioning, have commissioned the 1 x 90 minute film, which is executive produced by Creative Director Kate Bartlett and Myar Craig-Brown – Drama ITV Studios
“Just Henry is a really heart-warming script which follows the journey of one boy’s discovery that will change his life, family and friends forever. It’s rich with detail from the post war era and has a very sympathetic and engaging young character at its heart. The film will be a wonderful treat for the Christmas schedule.” said Laura.