Leading the crew is Kev (Jamie Bamber, Battlestar Galactica), a good man injured and betrayed during the worst fire of his career. Standing by Kev’s side as he returns to work is his gutsy girlfriend Trish (Jodie Whittaker, Broadchurch) who is striving to hold on to love against the odds and his cocksure friend and fellow firefighter Mal (Rhashan Stone, Strike Back) whose loyalty is tested to the extreme.
At the heart of The Smoke is the White Watch family: Little Al (Gerard Kearns, Shameless), Ziggy (Pippa Bennett-Warner, Lewis), Rob (David Walmsley, In The Flesh), Billy the Mince (Dorian Lough, Trial & Retribution), and new boy Dennis (Taron Egerton, Lewis).
Thursday 20 February 2014, 9pm
At the heart of the series is Kev (Bamber), a seasoned firefighter and leader of the White Watch crew. He’s happy with his lot in life, with a rewarding job and a great girlfriend in Trish (Whittaker), until the most traumatic call-out of his career forces him to question everything.
Following a painful nine months of recovery, Kev returns to duty and rides the high of rescuing a young woman caught in a road accident, before being brought crashing back down by an incident at the same estate where he suffered his injuries. The quest to find out exactly what went wrong that night is all-consuming, leading to clashes with his colleagues, lying to those he holds dearest and an obsession with finding the culprit who left him to die.
The rest of the team have their problems, too, from Kev’s best mate and ladies’ man Mal (Stone) to hapless young dad Little Al (Gerard Kearns, Shameless). Not to mention Ziggy (Pippa Bennett-Warner, Southcliffe), the lone lady on the force, prankster Rob (David Walmsley, In the Flesh), Billy the Mince (Dorian Lough, Trial & Retribution) and mysterious new boy Dennis, aka Asbo (Taron Egerton, Lewis).
Thursday 27 February 2014, 9pm
Emotional wounds are reopened in the latest instalment of the gripping homegrown drama from the makers of The Tunnel and Broadchurch. After Kev bravely bares his scars to the rest of the White Watch crew, fate throws him and Mal a curveball when they witness a tragic incident on the tube. The pair’s reactions couldn’t be more different, shining a spotlight on Mal’s failings as a friend.
Relations are also icy between Kev and Trish and, still coming to terms with the extent of his injuries, the firefighter is convinced it’s only a matter of time before she leaves him. Having ladies’ man Mal as a housemate doesn’t help, either. Work gives Kev a release, though, albeit a highly dangerous one, none more so than when he and newbie Dennis are separated from the team during a callout.
At first it seems like a false alarm, but an explosive turn of events requires the men to improvise a daring rescue. While Kev and Dennis embark on a reckless night out, Mal and Trish turn to each other for solace, and, before the night is through, everyone is surprised by where they’ve ended up.
Thursday 6 March 2014, 9pm
It’s the morning after the night before and the firefighters are feeling light-headed, not least because they have to scale one of London’s tallest buildings to rescue a man from a romantic gesture gone wrong. Little Al steps up to prove he’s got what it takes, but in a flashback to his cage fight the previous day, it’s dubious whether he does.
Told by a local criminal to throw the result, Al is in way over his head, and matters are further complicated by the surprise appearance of the Watch to cheer him on. Outside the ring, a few pints too many lead a loose-lipped Mal to open up about his liaison with Trish, and Asbo struggles to keep an old friend at a safe distance.
Everything that Kev holds dear is put under threat and, with team morale beaten to a pulp, such a precarious rescue couldn’t have come at a worse time. Trust Lady Luck, then, to really stick the boot in when things take a stomach-lurching turn.
Thursday 13 March 2014, 9pm
Buckle up for an extraordinary day with the White Watch crew. The team climb to the top floor of a burning house to rescue a baby, only to find a morbidly obese bedbound woman in her 20s. While figuring out how to stage an evacuation, the woman realises she’s met Ziggy before, unwittingly revealing a secret the firefighter has fought to hide from her colleagues.
Fresh gossip from Ziggy’s revelation doesn’t take the heat off Mal, though. He attempts to make peace with Kev, only to end up on the receiving end of some important home truths during a soul-searching night with Trish. Asbo’s mum, meanwhile, urges Kev to look out for the rookie, unaware that he’s wandered off the straight and narrow on a heavy night out with Gog.
From one lost youngster to another, Kev gains more insight into Ziggy’s life, which, in turn, pushes him to make a bold decision about his future with Trish and friendship with Mal. Trish, however, has shocking news to share.
Thursday 20 March 2014, 9pm
Dennis’s reckless behaviour during a training exercise brings the animosity between himself and Mal to boiling point. Kev refuses to listen to Mal’s pleas that Dennis is a toxic presence on the team, confirming that their friendship is beyond repair. There is only one solution: either Kev goes, or Mal does.
The anniversary of the Churchill Estate fire is just a week away, too, so Kev is understandably distracted. Trish tries to support him, but, with past mistakes jeopardising a new job opportunity, maybe she’s not the best person to speak to. Frustrations come to a head when the White Watch is called to a dilapidated building to track down a little girl.
Unlikely pairing Mal and Asbo venture into the sewers and, thanks to a lack of radio communication, the crew have no idea what’s going on, until a huge gas explosion leaves them fearing the worst. It’s a race against the clock as the Watch try to save their trapped colleagues, though, perhaps the greatest threat to the firemen is the danger they represent to each other.
Thursday 27 March 2014, 9pm
The weather is hot, the crew are restless, but this unusually slow day ends up being not so quiet after all. With Little Al’s son running riot around the station, a hen party roaming the corridors, and Mal announcing his transfer, this week’s shift provides a welcome distraction from the elephant in the room: the one-year anniversary of the Churchill Estate fire.
Asbo’s nerves are fried and he’s desperately paranoid that Gog and his motley crew are after him. It’s the arrival of an old acquaintance fresh out of prison, however, who threatens to ruin the new life he’s built for himself. The youngster has struggled to keep his secret, and with this surprise reunion coinciding with such a significant date, will he crack and reveal all?
The day has a more profound effect on Kev, hitting home that he’s still no closer to achieving justice, until, that is, new information sets in motion a chain of events that could lead him to the truth. As for the rest of the Watch, Rob’s health problems put his future with the fire service in question, and Billy musters the courage to act on a crush he’s nursed for over 20 years.
Thursday 3 April 2014, 9pm
When a flammable tanker overturns on one of London’s busiest roads, Kev faces a race against the clock to prevent a potentially devastating explosion, a nightmare scenario that becomes that much more so when the firefighter discovers Trish is stuck in the middle of the catastrophe with her estranged daughter Grace.
Conditions rapidly deteriorate and, forced to improvise, Kev fears he’s fighting a losing battle, especially when the tanker starts to leak. As the flames ignite and deadly smoke fills the tunnel, the crew work tirelessly against the increasingly likely possibility that not everyone is going to get out alive.
Each member of the team has to stand up and be counted, including Dennis, who is desperate to make amends with Kev, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure his mentor’s safety. Trish, meanwhile, bravely sets out on her own to find Grace after an attempt to evacuate the tunnel goes horribly wrong.
Thursday 10 April 2014, 9pm
After staring death in the face at the Blackwall Tunnel explosion, every member of the White Watch is reassessing their lives.
Old wounds begin to heal when Kev makes amends with Mal, before vowing to start afresh with the woman he loves. No-one knows if Trish has survived the blaze or not, but that isn’t going to stop Kev from trying to find her and win her back…
Later, at the firehouse, Billy throws a party to distract the crew from recent events and wish Mal well in his job, however, one person is missing: Kev. The noble firefighter has joined Rosa at the Churchill Estate for a remembrance ceremony dedicated to her dead daughter, though Gog does his best to ruin the gesture, triggering a response from Kev he may live to regret.
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