Three Families: Hannah (AMY JAMES KELLY)

Three Families: everyone needs to add this new BBC One drama to their must-watch list

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BBC One’s Three Families – from the producers of Three Girls – promises to be an important watch.

Updated on 30 April: When Three Girls first aired on BBC One back in 2017, it quickly became the TV show everyone was talking about.

Quietly powerful and hugely affecting, the three-part drama was based on the true stories of sexual abuse and child grooming in Rochdale, England between the years 2008 and 2012. And, despite its harrowing subject matter, it proved hugely popular with critics and audiences alike. Even now, in fact, it boasts a whopping 100% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes,

With all that in mind, then, you can no doubt understand why we were so excited to learn that the producers of Three Girls have a new BBC series in the works. Especially as it’s set to tackle a similarly important subject.

Watch the trailer for yourself below:

Here’s what you need to know about Three Families.

What is Three Families about?

As reported on 9 April: According to the BBC’s press release for Three Families, the series will explore the real life ramifications of the Abortion Act of 1967, which permitted abortion in the UK but did not extend to Northern Ireland.

Three Families, set in 2013-19, tells the true stories of three women and their families before the recent change to legislation in Northern Ireland as many voices fight to be heard,” it continues.

The press release goes on to note that the series will explore the “emotive issues” and those whose “lives have been profoundly affected.”

Three Families: Theresa (SINEAD KEENAN)
Sinéad Keenan stars as Theresa in Three Families.

Names and details have been changed, of course, to ensure the anonymity of the show’s contributors.

Who stars in Three Families?

The cast of Three Families boasts some serious star power, with Sinéad Keenan (Little Boy Blue), Lola Petticrew (Bloodlands), Amy James-Kelly (Gentleman Jack) and Genevieve O’Reilly (The Dry) leading the show.

The further cast includes Colin Morgan (Humans), Owen McDonnell (Killing Eve), Prasanna Puwanarajah (Defending The Guilty) and Kerri Quinn (Coronation Street).

What are people saying about Three Families?

Gwyneth Hughes, the writer of Three Families, says: “I knew the law was different, but I had no idea what that really meant until I went to Northern Ireland and met some of the families involved.

“I’ve been deeply touched by their experiences and feel honoured to be asked to share their stories. I think the contributors will all be moved, as I am, by the extraordinary truthfulness and emotional depth that these wonderful actors bring to their stories.”

Three Families: Orla (LOLA PETTICREW)
Lola Petticrew stars as Orla in Three Families.

Executive producer Susan Hogg adds: “Growing up in Northern Ireland I was always aware of the heated debate surrounding the issue of abortion and this is a story I’ve wanted to tell for many years.

Three Families goes behind the headlines to tell the true stories of women and girls and their loved ones who have been deeply affected by the law and some of those who worked to change it.”

When will Three Families be available to watch in the UK?

Filming took place on the two-part drama in Northern Ireland last year, so it seems likely that Three Families will come to BBC One sometime in late 2021.

We will bring you more details as and when they become available.

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Images: BBC

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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