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A new BBC1 drama follows a tumultuous 15 years through the eyes of one British family

Strap yourselves in and prepare to experience the next 15 years of history through the eyes of an ordinary British family, in an ambitious and captivating social drama from Russell T Davies.

Starting in 2019 before whizzing us forward to 2024, this week’s opener introduces the Lyons family, played by a star-studded cast including Anne Reid, Russell Tovey, Jessica Hynes and Rory Kinnear.

Political turmoil and new technology make the world a disturbing place, yet it’s their everyday lives that breathe meaning into this wry and chilling drama.

Oh, and watch out for Emma Thompson as a populist politician.

We’ll be seeing a lot more of her.

TV Times rating: *****

Years and Years

A starry cast includes Anne Reid, Russell Tovey and Jessica Hynes

TV Times goes on set of Years and Years

Creator Russell T Davies tells TV Times more about the six-part drama…

A tale of hope

‘It’s the story of one family set against the backdrop of a quickly changing world,’ explains Russell T Davies, 56, who famously revived Doctor Who for the BBC in 2005.

‘Society is getting hotter, faster and madder, 
but what’s interesting is that we see everything from their point of view.

‘There are sad moments and dark chapters, 
but it’s also full of hope and life. The point of the series is that 
life carries on no matter what happens, so it’s a family saga. 
It’s not a
political diatribe.’

Years and Years

Emma Thompson as politician Vivienne Rock

Future shock

The first episode opens in 2019, with the Lyons family celebrating a new arrival, before quickly skipping forward five years into an imagined future full of political turmoil, global tension and disturbing new technology.

Then a life-changing event brings together the four Lyons siblings, Stephen, Edith, Daniel and Rosie, reuniting 
them with their grandmother Muriel…

‘I think you’ll love 
these brothers and sisters, and their grandmother,’ says Russell. ‘You’ll hope for 
them, you’ll care for them, 
you’ll cry for them, and laugh 
with them. It’s a wonderful cast, 
so I hope it works!’