Brief Encounters Episode 6 ~ ITV

The grand finale and an award winning performance from Penelope Wilton as Pauline, her talents have been showcased in a much better way than Downton Abbey was able to provide. On reflection, Mrs Crawley was too similar to other interfering ladies that Wilton has played throughout her career. Pauline has given a well loved actress a new lease of life and I think the nation stood still as with teary eyes, she told Brian (Peter Wight) that she had known a man before him and that she had a Son who had traced her. The catalyst for this outburst? Ovaltine! What a well chosen moment for the truth to come out.

It’s testament to the gritty and believable writing that such a showdown worked, and indeed that the rest of the finale was wrapped up in a way that leaves the way clear for a second series. There MUST be a second series, ITV has a gem of a production in this series.

A CPL production for ITV.Pictured: 

This image is the copyright of ITV and must only be used in relation to Brief Encounters.

The rest of the episode consisted of Steph (Sophie Rundle) pulling off a spectacular event which enable her talents to be noticed by a top dog for Ann Summers! A Unit Manager role is offered and in what is a neat culmination of the character’s efforts throughout the six episodes. That Nita (Angela Griffin) ‘chooses’ that moment to be giving birth backstage after a confrontation with Pauline relating to the accident which left Brian for dead, is genius! Plus, Dawn (Sharon Rooney) is bustling around trying to be the glue while hoping for an appearance from her husband who should be there modelling a willy warmer. When Russell (Will Merrick) does rock up he certainly doesn’t let his Mrs down.

The love triangle between Terry (Karl Davies), Steph and Johnny (Ben Bailey Smith) draws to a conclusion, too. Or it certainly reaches its peak for the sake of the end of the first series, it would be interesting to see what the future will bring.

I was happy with all of the decisions made by the writers for this episode, I’d be even happier with a second series and more than six episodes, please!

Photo credits: ITV


Brief Encounters Episode 3 ~ ITV

So, Brian’s (Peter Wight) time wasn’t up after all, following last week’s harrowing episode where the hapless Butcher was left for dead, complete with the flashy engagement ring that he couldn’t afford to buy for Pauline (Penelope Wilton) all those years ago. Although it seems that the secretive businessman couldn’t really afford the ring, now – and while he’s flashed his cash on this piece of bling, the meat supplier is no longer happy to bring the goods without money up front. What does this mean for Pauline and Brian? It means that Pauline resorts to selling naughty knickers and remote controlled vibrating dildos!

Dawn (Sharon Rooney) is distraught when she finds out that her young kid brother is not being looked after properly since her departure from the family home. She can’t help but feel that he’s her responsibility and is desperately seeking a solution.

Terry’s back in favour – for now!


After an afternoon fumble with PC Johnny (Ben Bailey Smith), Steph (Sophie Rundle) returns to her husband Terry (Karl Davies), although I suspect that many of us were shouting at the telly after this decision! Her mother is still harping on at her to take him back, and appears to have got her way, for now.

Poor Nita (Angela Griffin) is devastated to learn of her husband Kieran’s (Don Gilet) part in Brian’s misfortune, and I expect that will be further investigated next week. A blot on their relationship that they might never recover from, perhaps?

The writing from the pens of Messina and Rusling continues to impress me, they’re a tour de force and they’ve created, in my opinion, one of the best television dramas that ITV has seen for a long time. Kudos, ladies – this is nothing short of perfect.

Photo credits: ITV

Brief Encounters, Episode 1 ~ ITV

It’s about time ITV was shaken up a bit, and what a dream of a television show we have been given to do just that! Brief Encounters, written by Fay Rusling and Oriane Messina is set around a group of women who are being enticed into the world of Ann Summers! So, the likes of Penelope Wilton and Elsie Kelly (Noreen from ITV’s Benidorm) basically find themselves surrounded by marital aids!

It’s set I the early 80s and the first episode revolved around Steph, Nita and Pauline, played by Sophie Rundle, Angela Griffin and Penelope Wilton respectively. Steph feels as though she is contributing nothing to her household, or life, in fact, while her husband Terry (Karl Davies) is jobless and not paying her any attention.

Nita becomes friendly with Steph after they start chatting in the playground, and the ballsy mum of four convinces Steph to go and see what the Ann Summers demonstrator roles, entail. Steph’s current job is as a cleaner for Pauline, she’s stagnating while her career-focused husband is working all hours.

Penelope Wilton stars as Pauline in the series

So the scene is set for drama, friendship and hilarious consequences. Also along for the ride are Sharon Rooney who plays Dawn, a young hairdresser who is engaged to Russell, played by Will Merrick.

It’s a terrific first episode from the point of view of introducing characters and their relationships, setting up potential storylines for future episodes and the chemistry between the cast is perfect. As an ensemble, they make a formidable team, already. The main female roles seem to be forming a bond not dissimilar to that seen in Calendar Girls, Fat Friends and In The Club – all of which are successful, so this looks promising.

When Pauline caved in and allowed Steph to hold her first party at her house, it was everything I hoped it would be. The fact that the majority of the party were embracing the raciness, was a sheer delight in itself. I don’t think I’ll forget the look on Pauline’s Mother-In-Law’s face for a long time to come, Elsie Kelly is playing her as stupendously well as she plays Noreen in Benidorm.

I’m excited for next week’s instalment and what a rollercoaster of a cliff-hanger we were left with. Brilliant!


Photo Credits: ITV



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