*Lilies last screened in 2007*Set in the years just after the First World War, the new eight-part BBC1 drama Lilies pulls no punches in its story-telling. It's all about the point where hard-fought lives meet with ill-starred loves. The Lilies of the title are three young sisters Iris, May and Ruby; one makes corsets, another makes chocolates, and the other is a parlour maid. All three are about to experience passion for the first time - and the effect on their lives will be enormous. It's a drama that, while fictional, is rooted in the real Liverpool of the 1920s. Series author Heidi Thomas grew up in Garston, a dockland area in the south of Liverpool, and the series is inspired by stories told by her parents, grandparents uncles and aunts."My family were all terrific raconteurs, and I grew up hearing tales that could make you weep and rock with laughter. They evoked a hard world, but one that thrilled with energy,"says Heidi. The stories'raw material came from these sources. Heidi's father's mother was one four sisters who saved for years so that they could be buried in one grave (which makes its way into Lilies). As does her herbalist grandfather, the nightgown made into a wedding dress, and the vicious rooster that luked outside the backyard privy."There is not one single episode that doesn't contain something handed down in anecdote,"she says. But Lilies is a period drama with a contemporary edge, a feeling that"at any moment, the rug might be pulled out from under you". Heidi was keen that the series conveyed the joy and terror of coming of age in that era."In those days, every emotional action had consequences - a kiss had consequences, sex had consequences, being gay had consequences. It makes for great drama - but the female quest for happiness has been a constant throughout history."Iris, Ruby and May are universal girls in a very particular setting."


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