Confirmed: The Village returns to our screens on 10th August, 9pm on BBC One!

As earlier announced on Twitter this morning here’s BBC confirming the day:

Confirmed for BBC One on 10 August at 9.00pm to 10.00pm

Ep 1/6

Sunday 10 August

1923. The Allinghams have had a good war and are now ensconced in a grander house, where Edmund is hosting a weekend party for the entertainment of his political sponsor, Lord Kilmartin.
The highlight of the weekend is a man hunt, with Bert Middleton as the quarry. He’s wagered Kilmartin £5 that he’ll win, saving up to leave the Village for a job in Sheffield.

John Middleton, now dairy farming, has been renting young Alf Rutter’s barn to house his 20 head of cattle and milking machine, but he’s in cash difficulties and Rutter refuses to wait for his rent.

The Allinghams lay on a boxing tournament on the cricket pitch for the entertainment of the villagers. Edmund takes the opportunity to make an election speech, but the Allinghams are surprised when Bill Gibby, the Labour candidate, follows him onto the podium to make an impassioned plea for the Left.

At the boxing ring men are challenged to win a pound if they survive a round with Ghana, a black boxer barred from competing professionally because of his colour. When the stakes increase to three pounds, Bert sees a chance to earn the barn rent and Kilmartin gets into the ring.

CAST: John Simm (John Middleton); Maxine Peake (Grace Middleton); Tom Varey (Bert Middleton); Chloe Rowley (Mary Middleton); David Ryall (Old Bert); Charlie Murphy (Martha Allingham); Juliet Stevenson (Clem Allingham); Augustus Prew (George Allingham); Emily Beecham (Caro Allingham); Rupert Evans (Edmund Allingham); Joe Armstrong (Stephen Bairstow); Matt Stokoe (Gerard Eyre); Phoebe Dyneover (Phoebe Rundle); Annabelle Apsion (Margaret); Ainsley Howard (Norma Hankin); Anthony Flanagan (Arnold Hankin); Andrew Gower (Gilbert Hankin); Chloe Harris (Agnes); Scott Handy (Robin Lane); Ben Batt (Alf Rutter); Julian Sands (Lord Kilmartin); Derek Riddell (Bill Gibby); Amelia Young (Polly); Jim Cartwright (Peter); John Elkington (Philip Rundle); Alex Robertson (Robert Read); Daniel Ezra (Ghana Jones); James Foster (Lenny Carr).


Manchester to have first statue of woman since Queen Victoria

Public to choose from famous Mancunians to mark women’s suffrage centenary, with Emmeline Pankhurst a favourite

Manchester is to get its first statue of a woman since Queen Victoria, following a unanimous vote from councillors who said they were appalled that the “widow of Windsor” is the city’s only female sculpture.

Of the city centre’s 16 existing statues, 15 depict men, including Abraham Lincoln and the Duke of Wellington.

The public will now choose who is commemorated from a shortlist of famous Mancunian women which could include British suffrage movement leader Emmeline Pankhurst, novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, birth control pioneer Marie Stopes or Ellen Wilkinson, the MP who organised the 1930s Jarrow march and who was the first female education minister in the post-war Labour government.

The proposal, passed at a meeting on Wednesday, should see the statue unveiled in March 2019 to mark 100 years of women’s suffrage.

Jennifer Ault, 23, a trainee social worker, said: “I would choose Maxine Peake because she’s a great, successful actress and she doesn’t seem to have lost her northern roots. They made lots of references to her originating from the north in her role as Martha in Silk.”

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Gallery Update: Silk 3×06 HD Captures

575 HD Captures from series 3, episode 6 of ‘Silk‘ are up in the gallery now. Here are some preview caps:

Believing in Sean McBride’s guilt Clive Reader withdraws from the case whilst in court Martha’s passionate, if biased, speeches lead to accusations of ‘performing’. Increasingly the evidence suggests that Sean was indeed the owner of the gun which killed Monk though, as the trial continues, Billy brings in Micky Joy to high-light police corruption and present Sean as a victim of a dishonest inspector. After the jury delivers its verdict Billy is exonerated of the sexual harassment charge as, much to his annoyance, his terminal illness is revealed and the chambers members vote on who should be their new head. Having withdrawn her application Martha is not present to join in the celebrations.

Video Update: Maxine Peake talks about the role of Martha Costello (series 1 clip & interview!)

Maxine Peake talks about her character, Martha Costello and the tension and competition that exists between Martha and Clive Reader.

The video was first released on 16 Feb 2011.

Gallery Update: Silk 3×03 HD Captures

320 HD Captures from series 3, episode 3 of ‘Silk‘ are up in the gallery now. Here are some preview caps:

Martha is engaged by euthanasia campaigner and solicitor Aisha Wiseman to defend Sarah Stephens, accused of helping her tetraplegic daughter Jo to die. Reader is prosecuting and brings in Sarah’s ex-husband Patrick and their fifteen year old son to show that Jo did not want to die as Sarah stated. Whilst two expert witnesses appear to endorse this and Sarah’s defensive attitude towards her family make her a less than cooperative client Martha realizes that she may be covering up for somebody else. Meanwhile Jake is poached by a rival firm and Billy tells Martha that, as Alan has now stepped down as chambers head, he is backing her as the successor. He also admits to her that he has cancer.

BBC One’s ‘The Village’ – Series 2 HD Trailer

Watch and enjoy the new HD trailer below… I’m so excited for this second series! :D

The second series of The Village sees life post the Great War through young Bert Midleton’s eyes.

Once again thanks Chuckie from his Rupert Evans Fan Website who kindly emailed me :)

Maxine Peake: We’ve had some ‘milking incidents’ on The Village

Maxine Peake experienced some trouble with her animal co-stars on the set of the new series of period drama The Village.

The actress, who plays poverty-stricken farmer’s wife Grace Middleton in the acclaimed BBC1 period drama, which returns next month, has told TV & Satellite Week that some of cows were less than co-operative during filming.

“Last series I was punched and had to go down in the mud and get cow poo in my mouth, which made me worry that I needed a tetanus and I became a bit of hypochondriac,” laughs Maxine, who was Bafta-nominated for her role.

“This time there have been a lot of milking incidents. I had to hold the cow while John Simm [who plays Grace's husband John] was milking it, but in reality it had already been milked, and it didn’t like its udders being touched, so as soon as John touched it, I ended up going down the hill with it. I managed to stay on my feet, but everyone was shouting, ‘Let go of the cow’!”

Even the younger bovine cast members have caused a stir on set this time around.

“We had a bit of a temperamental calf. It was only six days old, bless it, it didn’t quite know how to lie down so when it was tired it just threw itself to the floor as you were walking along, but it was very sweet,” says Maxine, who decided to name the calf after one of her political heroes.

“We called it Tony after Tony Benn because we filmed with it just after I had been to Tony Benn’s funeral, so it became the Tony Benn memorial calf!”

Thanks Rupert Evans Fan Website for the link!


Gallery Update: Silk 3×02 HD Captures

365 HD Captures from series 3, episode 5 of ‘Silk‘ are up in the gallery now. Here are some preview caps:

Martha defends footballer Jordan Sinclair, who has attacked fellow player Dean Trent on the pitch in front of thousands – with Clive Reader prosecuting. Just before going into court Martha learns that Sinclair has recently fallen foul of smug manager Ben Madden, who appears to have coached Trent into deliberately needling him. Martha also discovers that Sinclair is gay, giving Trent another excuse to torment him and she brings in a witness to prove Madden and Trent’s general bullying. New office manager Harriet Hammond continues to cross swords with the cancer-stricken Billy whilst chambers pupil Amy Lang has a tough time with her first case and Caroline uses subtle tactics to get the better of the opposition when she prosecutes in a rape trial. Alan makes contact with David in the secure unit.

Gallery Update: Silk 3×05 HD Captures

470 HD Captures from series 3, episode 5 of ‘Silk‘ are up in the gallery now. Here are some preview caps:

Martha visits old flame Sean McBride in prison. He is charged with shooting dead gangster Jimmy Monk after Monk’s family demanded protection money to allow him to open a night club in their territory. Despite an obvious bias she represents him with Caroline prosecuting though she comes close to exposing her position and needs Reader to support her. Billy visits corrupt solicitor Micky joy in custody after which Martha takes him to one side. Harriet is happy to back Amy in her sexual harassment case against him but Martha urges him to admit that his prostate cancer negates any sex drive. He does not want to reveal the fact however.

Juliet Stevenson on The Village: ‘You get a sense of women evolving quite quickly’

It’s the end of the First World War as John Simm and Maxine Peake reprise their roles in the second series of The Village

It was bleak and muddy – but gripping drama. By general agreement, BBC1’s The Village was a difficult watch last year as it told a fictionalised story of Britain in the First World War through the residents of a Derbyshire community.

Starring John Simm and Maxine Peake as farmer John Middleton and his wife, Grace, the drama covered the grim reality of their hand-to-mouth existence and the loss of their son, Joe, shot for desertion. The Village’s resident aristocrats, headed by Juliet Stevenson as Lady Allingham, fared little better. Her disfigured husband killed himself and their troubled daughter, Caro, gave birth to an illegitimate son by Joe Middleton.

“There was something very beautiful about looking at that war without rose-tinted spectacles, and at the people who suffered those appalling losses,” says Juliet. “But the writer and producers got the message that people found it a bit too bleak at times and have responded with a lot more lightness and positivity this time around.”

So series two of The Village roars into the 1920s, with its promise of change as the motor car arrives along with jazz, family planning charity Marie Stopes, vacuum cleaners, radical politics and a reassessment of the class system.

“There is that feeling that we lost a whole generation in the trenches, so let’s just live – and to hell with responsibility,” Juliet says. “You get a sense of women evolving quite quickly after the liberation they experienced while working during the war.”

The Middletons are on the up, says John Simm, as his character John moves into dairy farming. “An unexpected talent for business surfaces, and perhaps because of this, there is a subtle but significant shift in John’s attitude to politics as time goes on,” he says.

But Grace hankers for more freedom. She experiences a political awakening with the arrival of Labour councillor Bill Gibby (Derek Riddell), which gives her a chance to fulfil her promise to Joe to make the world a better place.

“Grace hears Bill Gibby speak and gets quite impassioned,” says Maxine Peake. “Grace has never come into contact with a man like him – passionate, political, self-educated. She is swept off her feet. She feels she has found a kindred spirit.”

Politics help Grace to find her voice, but her burgeoning empowerment causes ructions in the marriage.

“John’s stubbornness, ignorance and single-minded work ethic, coupled with Grace becoming more and more interested in politics and having her head turned – by literature, poetry, and ultimately romantic temptation – are things John doesn’t see until it’s too late,” says John Simm.

The Allingham family has moved to a grander house and the political career of Lady Clem’s son, Edmund (Rupert Evans), is in the ascendant. At the end of series one, Juliet’s character, Clem, found the war and tragedy were great levellers, but now she has returned to her old-fashioned views and continues to meddle in her children’s lives.

“I can’t judge a character I play, and she’s doing it for her own reasons, her own version of trying to protect the family’s reputation and groom the next generation to take over,” says Juliet.

This involves finding a suitable wife for Edmund, which he’ll need as a politician – despite being gay. Cupid’s arrow also finds Clem when she meets Lord Kilmartin, Edmund’s political sponsor, played by A Room With A View’s Julian Sands.

The second series’ more hopeful tone spilled over to the actors, not least because the weather cooperated during filming in the Derbyshire village of Hayfield, where the pub became a hub for actors and crew. So it’s a lighter, brighter place we’ll return to for another slice of life in rural Britain.

Writer Peter Moffat and the BBC hope to cover the entire 20th Century in subsequent series, so it appears that our adventures with the residents of The Village have only just begun.

The Village, coming soon, BBC1


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