A word about Home Fires

Welcome to Great Paxford......under attack, by war and ITV suits!

Welcome to Great Paxford……under attack, by war and misguided ITV suits!

There’s a great TV drama, in only its second season in the UK, that’s become a favorite of mine. (Season one – or as they say in the UK, series one – played in the US last fall on PBS.)

It’s called Home Fires, and it’s based on the book Jambusters. Like the late and lamented Downton Abbey, it’s a period piece, but instead of post-Victorian England, we’re in that same spot at the cusp of World War II.

It’s a great story, with multiple characters, all deftly drawn and played wonderfully.  It’s become a favorite of mine, despite a long gap between episodes ( two seasons of six episodes).

Despite solid ratings and a dedicated fanbase, ITV (the producing network in the UK) decided to end the series.

This blog sat shiva, so to speak, and blogged the ending of two long running shows we all loved, as my readers will remember.

But this is so different. This show is just hitting its stride, a lovely story, a bit of a slow burn story. It had relatively healthy ratings, if not blockbuster ones, and was winning its time slot. It appears to be a case of a few suits ignoring what the audience wants.

It’s also a show that’s primarily about women, and women over 35 at that, and shows with women seem to have a target on their backs this season.

Two US shows – Castle and Sleepy Hollow – axed their female leads.  The whole Bury Tropes Not Us campaign shows how often female characters, especially LGBT female characters, are killed on our shows.

(Updated to add: LadyPartsTV has a great piece on this, especially re: the new Shonda Rhimes show. Click if you like, but be warned there are spoilers for The Catch: https://ladypartstv.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/lgbt-fans-deserve-better/) 

I’m not sure why this particular show is being shuttered. It may be, sadly, the unrelenting push for youth programming. It may be that the fans that love this show is a mature one, and we the audience have not (thus far) made the big splashes on Twitter, Facebook and social media that outlets like ITV use to measure success.

Home Fires is a unique band of actors and roles, all wonderfully character based. I haven’t been invested in a show like this in years, and I’m part of a campaign to hopefully convince someone to make more of it – whether it’s ITV or another company remains to be seen.

It’s a long shot, but if you’ve seen the show, these women bond together in the face of astonishing odds to make things happen. Their belief brings life, literally, to places where others thought were riddled with death.

It’s a beautiful narrative, and I’ll lift my pen and tap my keyboard as much as I can, as long as I can, to try and help the cause.

The petition to save Home Fires can be signed at: http://chn.ge/1TB1mdf

Follow @homefiresitv and @savehomefires on Twitter for updates. 

Note: The show is carried here on PBS. Unfortunately, PBS has restricted the ability of viewers to post comments or dialogue about a program or show on their pages, but if anyone has suggestions on how to get in contact with them, please let me know. 

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