Spotlight: 5 Reasons You'll Love Home Fires
Home Fires is a drama inspired by the true story of the Women's Institute (WI), a community organization that enabled women all over England to come together and rise above the challenges of World War II. Before the series premiere, here are 5 reasons that we think you'll give Home Fires a "hip, hip, hooray!"
1. It's a MASTERPIECE alumni reunion!
Headlined by MASTERPIECE favorites Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey’s Aunt Rosamund) and
Francesca Annis (Reckless, Cranford), the Home Fires cast also features plenty of MASTERPIECE alumni! Look
for Clare Calbraith (flirtatious maid Jane in Season 2 of Downton Abbey), Claire Rushbrook (Pip’s
hot-tempered older sister in Great
Expectations, and secretary-gone-rogue Karen in Collision), and Ed Stoppard (political playboy Sir Hallam Holland
in 2010’s Upstairs, Downstairs),
2. It's based on inspiring true events.
Set at the onset of WWII, Home Fires is inspired by the real organization The Women’s
Institute (WI), a women’s social club that is still alive and well. The series
is largely based on Julie Summers book Jambusters,
which details the WI’s contribution to wartime food production, education, and
social issues. With their husbands and sons taken by the War, women across
England were suddenly faced with new responsibilities–-the WI helped these
women connect with each other, learn new skills, and rise above these
3. It packs a girl-powerful punch.
star Samantha Bond was thrilled to be part of a story that not only features a
predominately female cast, but also relies on the talent of middle-aged
got a phone call from my agent saying they were going to make a series about
the Women’s Institute based on a book called Jambusters, there was a bit of my heart that fell. I’ve been very vocal about the lack of parts for middle aged ladies
and then I thought, ‘They’re going to have us make jam.’ Then I read the first
two scripts and I was absolutely captivated…there’s far more to the WI in this
period than just jam making.”
4. It features fabulous hair, makeup, and costumes from the 1940s.
Though World War II was a time of rations and
sacrifices, there are still plenty of swoon-worthy fashion moments in Home
Fires. Star Francesca Annis was especially struck by the original, period
clothing used for the series. “It’s
incredible how beautiful the clothes were. Imaginative and different in detail
that we don’t have now. A lot of people actually made their own clothes…So you
have much more of a sense of individuality and you see that in a lot of the
costumes. It’s also amazing to think how long they have lasted.”
5. It's an emotional journey into the "finest hour."
Home Fires not
only draws the viewer into the sacrifices of wartime, but also the personal
struggles faced at home. While many wartime dramas focus on urban life, Home Fires’ village setting means that
viewers get a unique perspective: the close-knit intimacy of country life.
Actress Samantha Bond was struck by the visible impact of
World War II on these country villages, still visible today. “We filmed at a church in one of the
Cheshire villages. One side had stained glass windows and the other side had
plain glass - because a bomb fell on it. When people think of
bombing during the Second World War they tend to concentrate on big cities. But
these small villages could also find themselves in the firing line.”