‘The Village’ Series 2 episode guide

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The Village returns to BBC One with a second series set in the 1920s.

BBC One’s plan to tell the story of the 20th century through the life of one Peak District village moves into the Jazz Age.

The shock of the new will turn the lives of our villagers inside out. Outsiders bring in music, dancing and new ways of thinking about love, sex and politics. Young Bert’s first love; Grace Middleton’s finding a voice; Edmund Allingham discovering power and falling in love with another man; the first black man in the village; love in the classroom – the life of the village leaves behind the trauma of The Great War and steps into the excitement of a brave new world. Marie Stopes, Einstein, the wireless, electricity, the vacuum cleaner, packets of crisps, the Charleston – how will a social revolution on this scale play out across Series 2?


Episode 1

Sunday 10 August 2014, 9pm

1923. The Allinghams have had a good war and are now ensconced in a grander house, where Edmund is hosting a weekend party for the entertainment of his political sponsor, Lord Kilmartin.

The highlight of the weekend is a man hunt, with Bert Middleton as the quarry. He’s wagered Kilmartin £5 that he’ll win; he’s saving up to leave the Village for a job in Sheffield..

John Middleton, now dairy farming, has been renting young Alf Rutter’s barn to house his twenty head of cattle and milking machine, but he’s in cash difficulties and Rutter refuses to wait for his rent.

The Allinghams lay on a boxing tournament on the cricket pitch for the entertainment of the villagers. Edmund takes the opportunity to make an election speech, but the Allinghams are surprised when Bill Gibby, the Labour candidate, follows him onto the podium to make an impassioned plea for the Left.

Bert seizes the moment to ask Edmund for his winnings, but is shocked when he is refused: Kilmartin tells him he cheated.

At the boxing ring, men are challenged to win a pound if they survive a round with Ghana, a black boxer barred from competing professionally because of his colour. When the stakes increase to three pounds, Bert sees a chance to earn the barn rent. Kilmartin then gets into the ring.

The Middletons give Ghana supper. He tells them that although he was allowed to fight for his country during the Great War, he is now barred from boxing professionally. Suddenly Grace knows what she must do. She storms down the hill to the Big House and confronts Edmund in front of his guests, asking for Bert’s winnings.

The Middletons’ refusal to give up has carried the day, for now.


Episode 2

Sunday 17 August 2014, 9pm

Bert still yearns for Martha, but a new love appears in his life in the shape of Phoebe, the Stationmaster’s daughter. She plucks up courage to send Bert a letter asking him to meet her and, although the letter goes astray, she and Bert begin a tentative relationship. She asks him to take her to the opening night of Hankin’s new dancehall on Saturday.

Grace is encouraged by Bill, the Labour candidate, to join the Cycling Club for a bike ride across the Peaks. She makes use of the fact that John is at chapel to escape the farm and join the ride. She returns, full of guilt and excitement, and when he asks her to come to a political meeting he is holding at the Institute she agrees, telling herself that it is Bill’s political rhetoric that attracts her.

John is aware that Grace is distracted and begins to suspect that she may be interested in Alf Rutter. He retreats further into the daily challenge of making the dairy business work without access to a barn and a milking machine.

Marie Stopes’ caravan arrives in the village, somewhat too late for Agnes who has discovered that she is pregnant with Bairstow’s child. Gilbert Hankin is put in charge of the factory by his father, who is working all hours to open his dancehall. When Gilbert sees that Agnes is unwell he moves her to a different part of the factory, with disastrous results.

Robin comes to Martha’s aid with an opportunity to escape from her stifling marriage to George Allingham and the repression of the Big House. He reinstates her as teacher at the local school, which throws her into Eyre’s company. Meanwhile, Clem begins to suspect the truth about Edmund’s sexuality, and encourages him to get married.

Hankin‘s dance hall opens. Gilbert has persuaded Agnes to accompany him. Phoebe sees that Bert is distracted but doesn’t understand why until Martha arrives.


Episode 3

Sunday 24 August 2014, 9pm

Grace is inspired by Bill Gibby to take an interest in life beyond the confines of the village.

John is finally making a success of their farm but starts to feel that Grace is growing away from him.


Episode 4

Sunday 31 August 2014, 9pm

Preparations are underway for a wedding of convenience at the Big House between Edmund and Harriet. Meanwhile, a love match takes place in the village as Gilbert and Agnes get married in the face of Norma’s fierce opposition.

The Middletons are finally doing well but Grace and John are drifting apart as her politicisation sits uneasily with John’s determined self-reliance. But he loves her and is determined to win her back. Meanwhile, Bert decides to leave the Village altogether and make his fortune elsewhere. And Martha and Eyre wonder at what kind of future they could have together.

When Bert and Phoebe are caught by a gamekeeper on Big House land, he marches them back to the reception hoping to shame them. To his surprise the villagers are outraged as courting couples have been sneaking off to the Hollow for many years.

Thus begins a chain of events which leads the Villagers to trespass on the day of the Allingham wedding in protest at the blocking of traditional paths. All of these stories come together as the protest begins. When the march is hijacked by Bill Gibby, it quickly escalates out of control – with disastrous consequences for John and many others in the village.


Episode 5

Sunday 7 September 2014, 9pm

The future of the Middleton farm hangs in the balance. John is in a coma after suffering a blow to his head at the Mass Trespass, while Grace is in the grip of conflicting emotions – she needs John to live, but she is very afraid that he will recover and remember what he saw at the Trespass.

With rumours spreading around the Village about Grace and Bill, Bert needs the truth from Grace.

Bairstow decides to deflect attention from the Allingham gamekeeper’s attack on John, as he and Edmund are fearful that it will have a negative impact on Edmund’s career.

Eyre’s impending trial for his part in the Mass Trespass makes Martha realise how much in love with him she is.


Episode 6

Sunday 14 September 2014, 9pm

John Middleton is still struggling to speak, while Bert grows more hurt and confused by rumours of his Mother’s betrayal with Bill Gibby.

Clem is exhausted by the scandal surrounding her three children and makes plans to settle things.

Bill Gibby returns to the village as the new Sheffield councillor. He puts forward plans for a reservoir to Edmund. Sheffield is desperate for clean water, but the dam will be built on top of the village.

Clem is buoyed by her victory over Martha, but her joy is short-lived when Caro declares she wants her son back – the child she had with Joe Middleton ten years ago. Edmund is concerned about what an illegitimate nephew might do to his reputation as Home Secretary.

Norma’s pregnancy does nothing to quell her gossiping – and Grace and Bill are the hot topic. Grace heads to the village and declares to the gathering crowds that despite everything she is here now to defend the village she loves from the planned reservoir.


Watch the Series 2 trailer…

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