TV preview: Homes Fires

Francesca Annis as Joyce Cameron.
Francesca Annis as Joyce Cameron.
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The Home Fires will again be burning as ITV’s popular drama returns for a second series.

It’s now 1940 and Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey, Outnumbered) and Francesca Annis (The Little House, Cranford) are reunited as the village of Great Paxford is caught up in the nightmare of the Battle of Britain. Two weeks after the defeat at Dunkirk, the German army is advancing through France and Britain is bracing itself for invasion.

Throughout the series the residents at the heart of this rural Cheshire community face their own personal challenges and conflicts as reputations are tarnished, loved ones lost, and shocking secrets are discovered.

However it’s the war years and the women, under the auspices of the Great Paxford Women’s Institute, unite and discover inner resources that will change their lives forever, while helping maintain the nation’s fabric in its darkest hour. “I think that Home Fires’ strength is that, although we’re set in 1940, there’s nothing that you can’t respond to,” says Bond, whose first TV gig was a 1983 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. “There’s nothing that you don’t understand or that isn’t somewhere in your life.”

Home Fires, ITV, Sunday, 9pm