Brief Encounters Episode 5 ~ ITV

Monday night brought us the penultimate episode of Brief Encounters, and it was all kicking off in more ways than one!

Johnny (Ben Bailey Smith) is left disappointed by his mother Pauline’s rejection of him, she as good as admits to being his birth mum, but is not able to offer any sort of relationship with him. Penelope Wilton is playing a fantastic part in this brilliant series, Pauline is one of my favourite characters and Wilton is digging deeper and deeper as an actress, every week. Johnny also faces rejection from Steph (Sophie Rundle), yet again, despite the revelation that Terry (Karl Davies) has possibly fathered a child during his affair. Setting up a great potential storyline to carry over into another series!

Dawn’s (Sharon Rooney) wedding day looks set to have a dark cloud hanging over it when her father rips her wedding dress, a dress which belonged to her late mother. There’s a touching moment when Brian (Peter Wight) offers to walk Dawn down the aisle after she declares that he and Pauline are like her family, now. Even more poignant given that Pauline is denying all knowledge of her natural son. Testament to clever writing, there!

Dawn and Russell (Will Merrick) have a perfect wedding ceremony, a good knees up at their reception and avoid a punch up with Dawn’s father when he turns up to claim his son back.

Sophie Rundle as troubled Steph


There looks to be a recurrence of Steph and Johnny’s affair as she has approached him for help with finding Nita’s (Angela Griffin) son. Steph is angry with Terry for admitting to his vengeance on her potential rape perpetrator in the previous week’s episode. Coupled with the fact that it looks likely that his affair cannot be left behind them, where they will end up at the close of the series remains a mystery.

Consistently, this show has succeeded in maintaining several cocurrent storylines and each one has kept my interest. A second series is needed please, ITV!!!

Photo credits: ITV

Brief Encounters Episode 4 ~ ITV

It’s fair to say that this episode centred mainly around Dawn (Sharon Rooney) and her bewildered fiancé Russell (Will Merrick) as the poor lad is trying to fathom how best to let his betrothed down gently.

Yes, Dawn is certainly getting carried away and flashing her cash on the big white wedding she has her heart set on, and Russell is tired of being dragged along in her wake. A conversation with Brian (Peter Wight) results in a cancelled engagement. However, Dawn’s ensuing conversation with the ailing Butcher goes some way towards helping the love birds reunite. Thankfully, say I, as they do seem to be made for one another!

A CPL production for ITV.Pictured: 

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

However, as always, in this supremely cleverly written programme, there is more than one drama occurring. Pauline’s (Penelope Wilton) world is spinning on its axis when PC Daniels (Ben Bailey Smith) drops the bombshell that he is indeed, her son. Much as she tries to deny this to his face, it is evident from her behaviour that he is telling the truth. So next week will be interesting!

Steph (Sophie Rundle) comes a cropper as she breaks her own golden rule and visits the house of a caretaker who claims to have a wife who would be cheered up by a party. Disaster is avoided, but her husband Terry (Karl Davies) leaves the culprit in no doubt of his feelings towards the attack on his wife. This plot development seems to go some way towards reconciliation for the troubled couple, but I don’t expect their road to be an easy one, and maybe we’ll be left in limbo as to who Steph will choose. Given the writers’ penchant for a cliff hanger, Steph might continue to be torn between her marriage plight and PC Daniels.

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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