Kingdom - Sunday 13 January

Kingdom
Sunday 13 January 2008 9:20pm – 10:20pm on ITV1.

There’s still no word from Peter Kingdom’s missing brother Simon, so Peter is happily taking on the role of surrogate father. Simon’s son Daniel and the baby’s mother, Honor (Kelly Campbell), have moved in and Peter (Stephen Fry) has to learn about nappy changing and feeding times.

The local Women’s Institute calls for Peter’s help in their bid to save the local lighthouse from closure. Their petition to the Trinity House Lighthouse Authority has been met with a resounding no.

Peter contacts Trinity House, but they are immovable. Sidney Snell (Tony Slattery), however, nose deep in local law, finds a possible solution – the WI can form a lighthouse authority themselves and buy the lighthouse back for the community.

The WI goes for the plan straight away and a secret ballot is taken. However, when two negative votes are discovered the WI suspect their newest members, the tricksy Beatrice (Hermione Norris) and her sidekick Gloria (Celia Imrie).

But it appears the objectors are actually The Tucker sisters (Helen Blatch & Annette Badland), two charming old ladies who have also sought Peter’s help in stopping the vandalism of a coastal path fence. They deny any involvement in trying to sabotage the rescue plan for the lighthouse and Peter is stumped.

Peter learns from his Aunt Auriel (Phyllida Law) that the Tucker sisters’ Uncle Tom used to run the lighthouse, and that he had a shady local reputation. The sisters suffered childhood abuse at the hands of their uncle and they want to get rid of the lighthouse as a symbol of that trauma.

Peter manages to persuade the Tucker sisters to support the WI’s good intentions and the lighthouse is saved.

Sidney Snell and pub landlord Ted (Thomas Fisher) are practising for their annual horn dance, but there is an accident during their rehearsal at the local community hall and Ted’s buttock is stabbed by a rogue antler.

Ted wants to claim damages and Snell knows exactly who to ask. Under pressure from all sides Peter leaves Snell to prepare his own case on the matter. But Snell takes it too far, and ends up instigating proceedings to sue a two-year-old from the playgroup for spilling their orange juice. Peter is horrified and has to intervene before the good name of Kingdom and Kingdom is tainted forever.

Lyle (Karl Davies) and Peter get caught up in a burger war between two brothers when they stop in a lay-by for a snack.

There are two burger vans on opposite sides of the road, but they are both deserted. Then they catch sight of two men fighting in the adjacent field. They pull the punch-up apart. Gordon Smith (Steve Marsh) accuses his brother Jeff (Dan Wright) of taking his business, and engages Lyle to fight his case. Eventually, with Peter’s powers of persuasion, the brothers decide to talk about it and work together instead of going through with any expensive legal action.

Meanwhile Honor is developing a soft spot for Lyle, of which he is totally unaware. Honor gives Lyle a spontaneous piano lesson at the Kingdom piano and kisses him. Lyle is totally taken aback and responds by hiding in his room.

Beatrice seems to be becoming increasingly volatile, and she takes great offence at her brother’s suspicion that she is guilty of voting against the lighthouse at the WI. Beatrice also has a drawer full of pregnancy tests. In spite of a blue line every time, she seems convinced that the tests are wrong. With no one to confide in, and evidently in complete denial, she’s treading a mysterious and fine line. When will she crack?

The christening of Daniel is a great success and Beatrice and Peter are both proud godparents.

Later that evening, as they return home and put their beloved Daniel to bed, a strange smell wafts in from the sitting room. Beatrice walks in to find Simon (Dominic Mafham) standing there, smoking a cigarette, as if he had never been away.

The series, created by Simon Wheeler, and written by Alan Whiting (Wire in the Blood, Down to Earth, The Scarlet Pimpernel) Jeff Povey (EastEnders, Blue Murder, Wire in the Blood) and Guy Burt (Wire in the Blood, Diamond Geezer, Ghostboat) is filmed on location in Norfolk.

Laura Mackie, ITV’s Director of Drama, says: “Kingdom really struck a chord with viewers, and was one of our best performing dramas of 2007. We are thrilled that Stephen Fry and the rest of the cast returned for a new series.”

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