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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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The Night Watch – Introduction

Claire Foy and Anna Maxwell Martin star in The Night Watch

Paula Milne's ambitious adaptation of The Night Watch written by Sarah Waters is a poignant tale of liberation and loss, following the lives of four young Londoners throughout different stages of the Second World War. It is directed by Richard Laxton and stars Anna Maxwell Martin as Kay, Claire Foy as Helen, Jodie Whittaker as Viv and Harry Treadaway as Duncan.

The drama opens in 1947 as the country is trying to rebuild itself after the war; we find Kay mysteriously roaming the streets, haunted by some traumatic personal loss. Meanwhile, Helen and Viv run a marriage bureau, helping people rebuild their shattered lives by finding love. But their own complicated love lives are less easy to solve. Helen obsessively clings to her tumultuous and volatile relationship with Julia, while Viv is continuing an affair with a married man whom she seems unable to break free from. Viv's vulnerable young brother Duncan harbours a terrible secret, when a face from his past re-appears which threatens his fragile existence.

Moving back in time through the Forties into the maelstrom of the Blitz, the lives, loves and losses of these four central characters are unravelled. In order to build their future they must each make peace with their past.

This one-off, 90-minute drama was commissioned for BBC Two by Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama, and Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two. The executive producer for the BBC is Hilary Salmon and the producer is Annie Tricklebank.


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