WINNER / Best Daytime Programme / Broadcast Awards
Doing their bit for the war
Set in England during the Second World War, Land Girls is a five-part drama that captures the sacrifices and experiences of four young women in the Women's Land Army. Sharing hardships and working alongside captured POWs, Annie, Bea, Joyce and Nancy toil in the fields to grow food for the war effort.
Commissioned by the BBC to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the start of World War II, Land Girls is a tribute to all the women who answered their country's call for service to do their bit on the home front, while their men were overseas, fighting the enemy.
Episodes: Childhood's End / Secrets / Codes of Honour / Trekkers / Destinies
Land Girls, a popular series from the BBC, follows four members of the Women's Land Army--women who worked on British farms during World War II for the war effort. Nancy (Summer Strallen), Joyce (Becci Gemmell), Bea (Jo Woodcock), and Annie (Christine Bottomley, The Street) find their lives turned upside down by their experiences--including pregnancy, adultery, losing a husband, suspicion of collaboration, racial strife, class schisms, and more--at Pasture Farm. Rattling off the story elements like that makes Land Girls sound by-the-numbers, but that's far from the case--though the subplots may seem familiar to any war-on-the-home-front tale, the treatment is intelligent, compassionate, and wonderfully acted. The central and supporting characters are skillfully drawn and vivid, while the script never gets mired in sentiment--for any moment that may feel a little pat, there's another that's bittersweet and rich with the contradictions of life. Particularly strong performances include Danny Webb (Alien 3) as a Home Guard sergeant whose patriotism sours into paranoia, Nathaniel Parker as the gracious but weak-willed lord of the farm manor, and Susan Cookson as a matron forced to betray the girls' privacy. All in all, a warm, compelling drama. --Bret Fetzer