Christopher Eccleston returns as Maurice in the second series of BBC One drama The A Word.
The A Word series 2 picks up two years after the end of the first series. Joe, the little boy at the centre of the story, who was diagnosed with autism in series 1, is now 7-years-old and starting to notice that he’s different from the other kids at school.
When we last saw them, it was clear that Joe’s mostly infuriating/sometimes sympathetic family needed to change in order to deal with their little boy and his autism. Well, the results are mixed at best. Two years on we see a family with a whole new way of communicating with each other when it comes to Joe’s autism, however, whether they are getting it right remains to be seen.
Without giving anything significant away, we can reveal that all of our favourite characters are back, even if their circumstances have changed. There are some brand new characters who all add wonderfully to the narrative of The A Word. Peter Bowker’s script for the first episode is a thing of great loveliness. There are the completely affecting scenes surrounding Joe’s autism and his recognition that something is wrong without him having the ability to properly articulate his worries. But what Bowker has given here is a script that is also really, really funny.
Former Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston as granddad Maurice has some seriously laugh-out-loud dialogue, and even son Paul (Lee Ingleby)has some hilarious moments as a dad dealing with his teenage daughter’s boyfriend.
As usual, some of the best value-for-money turns in The A Word come from Joe’s aunty and uncle, Eddie and Nicola. Eddie and Nicola have split up (damn you, Peter Bowker!) and Eddie has a new life in Manchester, but he can’t help being drawn back to the drama in the Lake District.
Episode 1 of this new series does a brilliant job of setting the scene for the remainder of the series. Peter Bowker has kept the things we loved from series 1 – great kids, brilliant in-laws and a fantastic supporting cast – while giving us hope that some of the things that drove us mad in series 1 (mum Alison’s overbearing bull-in-a-china-shop tiger mother) have had the harsh edges smoothed off. Or have they? We will have to see, but based on this opening episode, The A Word seems to have found its groove. A bit like Joe’s playlist.
You can watch The A Word series 2, episode 1 on BBC One on Tuesday 7 November 2017 at 9pm.
Written by Peter Bowker, Director Sue Tully, Producer Jenny Frayn