Homefront

Thursday, 25 October 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

The homecoming, the bunting’s up, the flags are out and the troops are back in town. Major Pete Bartham (Greg Wise) leads his men home and Claire (Claire Skinner) beams with pride.

It’s a bittersweet day for the Raveley’s as only one of their two sons has survived the tour. For Joe (Warren Brown) there is no welcoming party and he returns home alone only to find that Louise (Nicola Stephenson) has changed the locks. Undeterred, Joe kicks the door down and Louise points out that thanks to his cheating ways they now have to vacate the family home. Joe and Louise reach an agreement – Joe will tell the army they are happily married and Louise and the girls can stay put. For the sake of the girls, Joe and Louise play happy families. Joe challenges the kids to a game of wii to find that his friend Carl (Daniel Francis) has his own wii avatar. It seems that ‘Uncle Carl’ has been spending a lot of time at the Mancetta’s. Joe seeks Carl out and makes sure he knows not to go any where near his wife and kids ever again.

Tom (Chris Reilly) visits Tasha (Antonia Thomas), he’s not surprised she wasn’t at the homecoming. She tells him that Matt’s belongings have been returned and hands him the friendship bracelet that Tom once gave to Matt. On a chain around her neck she wears Matt’s damaged wedding ring. As Tom moves in for a closer look they kiss.

Paula (Clare Higgins) can’t understand why Tasha’s not been around to see them. Waiting outside Alfie’s nursery she is caught spying on her grandson by Tasha. For once Tasha makes amends. Paula returns to the Cookhouse only to find a visitor in a suit measuring up. Howard (George Costigan) breaks the news that they are skint and an offer from a coffee house chain is too good to miss. Paula will not sell out and sell up. However, the bank won’t bail them out so Paula goes cap in hand to the Officers Mess. Hoping for a contract she invites Mess Manager, Colour Sergeant Simon Spader (Tomas Aldersley) to dinner at the Cookhouse.

Louise is furious to discover that Carl has taken a beating. If Joe won’t leave, she will; She’ll go to her mum’s and take the girls with her. Later that day when Louise goes to collect Grace and Hannah from school she discovers that Joe has already taken them. She turns to Claire (Claire Skinner) for help, as the police don’t want to know. Claire asks Louise to think hard about where Joe could’ve taken the girls, a special place? Then Joe rings and tells her that they are at the cottage in the country that he’d talked of buying. En route Louise calls the Military Police, she’s read about men taking their kids when a marriage breaks down with disastrous consequences and Louise isn’t taking any chances.

Grace and Hannah think they’re playing a game with their dad and that this is the best adventure ever. But before too long they start getting scared and whining, wondering when mummy’s going to take them home to bed.

Louise finds Joe at the cottage but the girls are nowhere to be found. Claire finds a drowsy Hannah but there is no sign of Grace. Joe is beside himself, just as he sets off to find Grace the Military Police arrive and restrain him. Thankfully Grace wanders out from the woods and Louise holds both girls tightly, shocked to the core at what might have been.

Thursday, 18 October 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Platoon Sergeant Tom Raveley (Chris Reilly) is flown back from Afghanistan to give evidence at his brother’s inquest. His CO Pete (Greg Wise) suggests he stick to his original statement, to change it now would be a disaster for both men. On Tom’s instruction, Howard (George Costigan) suggests he and Paula (Clare Higgins) get away for the day rather than listen to a Coroner list of the unpleasant details of Matt’s death. Paula won’t hear of it, she believes that questions will be answered and they’ll finally get closure.

Claire (Claire Skinner) senses that this is no ordinary inquest and offers to take the day off and support Pete. He assures her that despite the rumours running round camp he has it all in hand but he’s secretly worried.

At work Claire can’t stop thinking about Pete, and the pettiness of a colleague, Melanie (Rebecca Charles) is the final straw. She hands in her notice and heads for the court. Pete takes to the stand and is factual and precise – Matt was a hero, who lost his own life saving that of a child. The Coroner commends Pete’s relentless attempts to save Matt’s life whilst endangering his own. Claire swoons over her hero husband but all Paula can see is a man with blood on his hands. The family’s Legal representative, John Maloney (Renny Krupinski), questions Pete over Matt’s state of mind and refers to the letter Matt sent Tasha (Antonia Thomas). Howard can’t believe Paula has stooped so low.

On the stand, Tom can’t deny that Matt was homesick and thought his wife might be playing away. Tasha storms out just before Tom goes on to echo Pete’s words, that Matt was a hero, a warrior. Matt died because that’s war. The Coroner gives a verdict of Unlawful Killing and Pete is visibly relieved. Outside the court a representative of ‘Parents for Peace’, Faisal (Nasser Memarzia), gives the press his thoughts on this senseless war. Howard blasts him for his lack of respect and Faisal is left shaken. Paula seeks him out and discovers that he’s no militant, just a grieving father, who also lost his soldier son. Paula finds comfort in their growing friendship. Pete warns Howard to watch who his wife is mixing with.

A naive Millie (Rosie Day) thinks her and Rob (Michael Socha) can pick up where they left off, but he’s ignoring her calls and treats her like a stranger when he visits the Cookhouse with his mates. Millie is left heartbroken.

Julie (Carla Henry) takes Louise for a night on the town. She flirts with Carl (Daniel Francis) and decides it’s time to get back on that horse! She takes Carl home and he recognises the babysitter whose dad is in Joe’s unit. Sensing this is a set up for Joe’s benefit Carl refuses to be a revenge shag. He goes, leaving Louise hanging but relishing the challenge.

Tasha visits Howard with a birthday gift from Alfie and a scan picture. Howard sobs at the sight of Matt’s unborn child, the best birthday gift ever. She asks what Paula brought him and it’s clear that Howard’s birthday has slipped her mind. Faisal drops Paula home and Howard feels emotionally betrayed. He knows that’s she’s cheated in the past but they stayed together for the sake of the kids and the army life; this time the cards are on the table, is Paula in this marriage for keeps or not?

Thursday, 11 October 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Claire (Claire Skinner) is storming through her month’s trial at work. She’s juggling plates and winning, well, apart from the overflowing bin, sink, wash-basket and the arbitrating between her son Sam and warring stepdaughter Millie.

Tasha (Antonia Thomas) is also back at work but when client Julie mentions her husband Tasha dashes out. Salon Manager, Dan (Philip Broadbent) tells her that grief is bad for business and she tells him to stick his job. Cheryl (Lorraine Ashbourne) encourages Tasha to think about setting up her own business with Matt’s insurance payout; they could do it together. Cheryl can’t help but gloat to Paula (Clare Higgins) and touts the idea of a move to Spain, which is news to Tasha. The thought of losing Alfie breaks Paula’s heart.

Claire, Louise (Nicola Stephenson), Tasha and Cheryl swap stories on a girls’ night out. Claire is proud of her new job, but still has to tell Pete (Greg Wise). Cheryl let’s slip about Tasha’s pregnancy and Louise gushes about Joe’s (Warren Brown) turnaround and the promise of an army free future. Julie (Carla Henry) can’t bear to see her friend being made a fool of so tells her straight – the affair is still on. Louise doesn’t want to believe her but the damage is done and the night is brought to an abrupt end. Claire drives Louise home only to find stepdaughter, Millie (Rosie Day), who was meant to be babysitting, in a state of undress with boyfriend Rob (Michael Socha). Claire is livid. Millie begs her not to tell her father. Claire agrees as long as she ends the relationship immediately. During a call home Louise questions Joe about the affair, his silence speaks volumes and she calls time on their marriage.

Pete (Greg Wise) returns from Afghanistan on his R&R and Claire barely manages a kiss before he is dragged away by his CO. Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Spalden (Christopher Bowen) warns Pete about Matt Raveley’s inquest and how older brother, Tom (Chris Reilly) is planning to change his witness statement, which could have disastrous consequences for the army and Pete in particular. Pete vows to smooth things over. Glad to be back in the bosom of his family Pete is shocked to discover that Claire has a job and will be working through his R&R; he asks if there
are any other surprises he should know about. Millie keeps her head down.

Paula, desperately trying to hold on to Matt, commissions a portrait as a surprise for Howard. He’s alone when the portrait arrives and sobs his heart out. Paula returns to see the painting taking pride of place on the living room wall. She hates it, it isn’t her son and won’t bring him back. Meanwhile, Matt’s widow, Tasha receives a letter confirming the inquest date. She rushes in to tell her mum only to find her between the sheets with her ex from Spain, Glen (David Hounslow). Tasha knows that she can never compete with the men in Cheryl’s life. Cheryl leaves for Spain and Tasha is left sad and alone.

At the Barthams’ Millie can do no wrong now daddy’s home and Sam (Ceallach Spellman) can’t bear playing second fiddle any longer, he slips away unnoticed. As Claire gets ready for a dinner party at the Mess, she finds a strip of contraceptive pills in Millie’s room and it’s clear she’s not cooled off the relationship as promised. Claire is torn but plays the dutiful and beautiful Officer’s fiancée at the Mess dinner until she is served by Rob (Michael Socha). Far from being a schoolboy he’s a man, a soldier and it dawns on Rob that he’s been sleeping with the Major’s daughter! Claire feigns a migraine and Pete escorts her home. Pete overhears Millie and Claire rowing and discovers that his baby girl has been taken advantage of. Claire later discovers that Sam is missing; she was too wrapped up in Pete’s daughter to notice that her own son had gone and a question mark is left hanging over their future together.

Thursday, 4 October 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Claire Skinner (Outnumbered, Doctor Who), Clare Higgins (Parade’s Ends, The Syndicate, The Golden Compass), Nicola Stephenson (The Chase, Clocking Off, Brookside) and Antonia Thomas (Misfits, The Deep) will portray the remarkable wives and one mother of soldiers serving in war torn Afghanistan in ITV Studios new six part drama series Homefront.

International and award-winning director Terry McDonough (Breaking Bad, No Ordinary Family, The Street) and former Coronation Street producer Kim Crowther bring to life this compelling and emotional drama.

Episode two:

Louise (Nicola Stephenson) is reeling from the photograph of her husband Joe in a compromising position with a trashy squadette. He’s back home for two weeks R&R and it’s time to face the music. Joe (Warren Brown) can’t believe Louise has fallen for this, he points out that the picture is photo-shopped; a sick joke from the lads at Camp Bastion. Louise desperately wants to believe him.

Claire (Claire Skinner) is on her way to a job interview when Paula (Clare Higgins) doorsteps her for more information about Matt’s death. Claire manages to wriggle out of the grilling. She reports back to Pete (Greg Wise) who warns her to keep her mouth shut. Just as she’s about to tell him about the job interview he cuts the conversation short.

Tasha (Antonia Thomas), struggling to accept that Matt is gone, welcomes the arrival of her mother, Cheryl (Lorraine Ashbourne), from Spain. Paula is mortified; the idea of another grandma winning Alfie’s affection kills her. At a charity day held by the Battalion in Matt’s memory Paula is proud as punch to show off her grandson, but Tasha fumes when she finds Alfie being paraded around dressed as a mini soldier. Howard (George Costigan) intervenes and raises the question of when Tasha might actually tell Alfie that his daddy’s not coming home. Tasha confides in her mother that she is not coping, she’s pregnant with Matt’s baby and is scared witless of going through it alone. Cheryl’s heart goes out to her daughter and she promises to stick around and help her through it.

Joe charms Louise into bed and the sex is better than ever. They arrive late at the charity day but it’s no secret what they have been up to. Joe panics when he sees Louise chatting to the woman in the photo, Nicki (Luisa Bradshaw-White). He warns Nicki that she’s playing a dangerous game and reminds her that the affair stays on tour and when he’s home he’s strictly off limits.

Claire breezes through the interview with Leysham Kitchen Co but the mood changes when she informs them that she’s going to be an army wife; needless to say she doesn’t get the job. At the BBQ she spots the woman from the interview and asks where she went wrong. The answer is simple; Army wives just don’t stick around. Claire heads back to the Kitchen Co and stages a good-humoured sit in. This is one service wife that’s going nowhere, and as a result, the MD Chris (Joe Simpson) agrees to give her a trial.
Joe throws himself into family life but just can’t resist the temptation of Nicki and agrees to meet her at the gym. Seeing he’s left his trainers, Louise dashes after him and catches him like a rabbit in the headlights talking to Nicki. The tattoo matches the one in the photo, her top is on inside out and Louise’s worst fears are confirmed. As Joe returns to Afghanistan with Nicki, Louise must decide whether theirs is a marriage worth fighting for.

Thursday, 27 September 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Claire Skinner (Outnumbered, Doctor Who), Clare Higgins (Parade’s Ends, The Syndicate, The Golden Compass), Nicola Stephenson (The Chase, Clocking Off, Brookside) and Antonia Thomas (Misfits, The Deep) will portray the remarkable wives and one mother of soldiers serving in war torn Afghanistan in ITV Studios new six part drama series Homefront.

International and award-winning director Terry McDonough (Breaking Bad, No Ordinary Family, The Street) and former Coronation Street producer Kim Crowther bring to life this compelling and emotional drama.
Episode one:

Tasha Raveley’s (Antonia Thomas) world comes crashing down when her husband, Matt, is killed in action in Afghanistan. His parents, Paula (Clare Higgins) and Howard (George Costigan) are with her to hear the tragic and ever dreaded news.

Mother-in-law Paula, a veteran army wife goes into autopilot vowing to give her son a military send off to remember but Tasha struggles to accept her newfound status. Too young to be a widow, a single mum and alone; the only thing worth living for is beloved son Alfie.

Officer’s wife-to-be Claire (Claire Skinner) is new to this world and all its formalities. Her fiancé, Major Pete Bartham’s (Greg Wise) senior rank immediately propels her to the top of the army wives chain of command, which brings with it a degree of responsibility. Claire does the right thing by offering her condolences, and a lasagne, to grief stricken Tasha and is ever present at Pete’s side at the funeral. Matt’s mother, Paula is moved by Pete’s eulogy; She thanks him for his kind words but Tom (Chris Reilly) is less than impressed. Paula scolds him but Howard tells her to give the kid a break, he’s just buried his baby brother.

Back home Pete admits that Matt wasn’t a great soldier but he simply told the family what they wanted to hear. Before Pete returns to Afghanistan, he and Claire set a date for the wedding and the countdown begins.

Ultra confident Louise (Nicola Stephenson) keeps the home-fires burning thanks to weekly Skype sex sessions beamed live to a tent in Afghanistan. Louise could have her pick of any man in Leysham but she has everything she wants in Joe (Warren Brown). Her marriage is rock solid, isn’t it? An anonymous grainy picture message of her husband semi-naked with another woman in Camp Bastion suggests otherwise…

As the news of Matt’s death sinks in Paula starts to ask questions about how and why he died and believes that the answers lie much closer to home. She opens a letter from Matt addressed to Tasha. In the letter, Matt pours his heart out about a row he and Tasha had. Paula sees that Matt’s mind wasn’t on the job. In her grief she lashes out and blames shell-shocked Tasha. As far as Paula’s concerned Tasha as good as killed her son.

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