Motherland (TV series)
|Written by||Sharon Horgan|
|Directed by||Juliet May (8 episodes, 2017-2019) |
/Graham Linehan (1 episode)
|Starring||Anna Maxwell Martin|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of seasons||2 + 1 pilot|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Running time||26-28 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Delightful Industries|
|Original network||BBC Two|
|Picture format||16:9 1080i|
|Original release||6 September 2016 –|
A pilot episode, written by a team including Graham Linehan and Sharon Horgan, was first broadcast on BBC Two on 6 September 2016 as part of its "Sitcom Season". It stars Anna Maxwell Martin as Julia, a stressed working mother, trying to juggle the demands of her children and her job.
The BBC subsequently ordered a full series of six episodes, the first of which aired on 7 November 2017 to favourable reviews.
The second series was released in its entirety on BBC iPlayer on 7 October 2019.
- Anna Maxwell Martin as Julia, a working mother who realises that her organisational skills are nowhere near the level of the "Alpha Mums"
- Lucy Punch as Amanda, the superficially polite but acerbic leader of the "Alpha Mums"
- Diane Morgan as Liz, a chaotic and blunt-talking single mother who is unpopular with Amanda's clique
- Paul Ready as Kevin, a stay-at-home dad who unsuccessfully tries to ingratiate himself with Amanda's circle
- Tanya Moodie joined in series 2 as larger-than-life Meg
- Margaret Cabourn-Smith as Janet
- Oliver Chris as Paul, Julia's uninvolved husband
- Nick Nevern as Lee, Liz's ex
- Phillipa Dunne as Anne, one of Amanda's friends
- Ellie Haddington as Marion, Julia's mother, who is no longer prepared to provide a free child minding service
- Connie Wilkins as Ivy, Julia's 9 year old daughter
- Sonita Henry as Sunita
- Terry Mynott as Johnny, Amanda's husband
- Chetna Pandya as Mrs Lawson
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.K. viewers|
|0||"Pilot"||Graham Linehan||Graham Linehan, Sharon Horgan, Helen Linehan & Holly Walsh||6 September 2016||1.74|
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.K. viewers|
|1||"The Birthday Party"||Juliet May||Graham Linehan, Sharon Horgan, Helen Linehan & Holly Walsh||7 November 2017||3.2|
|Julia is an anxious middle-class mother who lives in suburban London. Despite being an events planner, she finds organising her life difficult. She raises her daughter and son with little help from her estranged husband. She is encouraged by her lazy, irresponsible friend Liz to throw a party for her daughter Ivy's ninth birthday at home in order to gain party invitations for her daughter, giving her free childcare in the future. Julia wants her mother to help organise the party, but she refuses to. Julia asks her estranged husband to help, but he is attending a football match. Julia assumes that the party will be a drop-off, so she is horrified when the mothers stay at her house for the party, making it crowded and meaning that there is insufficient food and drink for the large number of attendees. One of the children's mothers is Amanda, a narcissist who patronisingly insults Julia. Ivy is ill and stays in bed upstairs as the party takes place downstairs. Julia has hired the "Animal Man" as the entertainer: however, he arrives late, and the only animals he brings are cats – yet he expects a tip.|
|2||"Auction of Promises"||Juliet May||Graham Linehan, Sharon Horgan, Helen Linehan & Holly Walsh||14 November 2017||2.3|
|Julia meets a former colleague, Caroline, outside the gates of her children's primary school. She does not remember Julia. However, Julia is keen to impress her, so Julia becomes involved in a school fundraiser which Caroline is organising, despite Julia hating such things. Kevin becomes a "human cloakroom", wearing several coats simultaneously, causing him to become uncomfortably hot. Liz puts a great deal of alcohol in the punch.|
|3||"The Pool Party"||Juliet May||Graham Linehan, Sharon Horgan, Helen Linehan & Holly Walsh||22 November 2017||1.89|
Julia plans to be at work for a war photographer's book launch, but turns up late with wet hair due to having attended a children's pool party. One of the fathers at the party had once asked Amanda out and she rejected him. She thinks that he will want her now, but he has forgotten about her.A man to whom Liz is attracted accidentally leaves his wallet in a newsagents. She picks it up and arranges to meet him and return it to him, expecting he will want to date her. She is disappointed when, after she returns it to him, he instead rides off on his motorcycle.
|4||"The Cavalry"||Juliet May||Graham Linehan, Sharon Horgan, Helen Linehan & Holly Walsh||28 November 2017||1.61|
Paul is away on a stag do, so he sends his parents, Geoff and Elizabeth, to assist Julia. She does not want them, because their senility and deafness means that they are a burden rather than a help. Kevin tells Julia that he likes elderly people and will help her deal with them. Julia, her children, Geoff, Elizabeth and Kevin dine at a fish restaurant, where a misunderstanding leads Julia to pay for a large group's meals as well as their own. Elizabeth says that she and Geoff are moving back to London, which Julia is horrified by.Amanda is donating some of her clothes to a cancer charity; Liz buys one of her coats.
|5||"The After Party"||Juliet May||Graham Linehan, Sharon Horgan, Helen Linehan & Holly Walsh||5 December 2017||N/A|
Liz is angry with Lee – the father of her child – for cohabiting with Debbie-Louise, only 3 weeks after she believes he started his relationship with her. Liz is puzzled at how he and Debbie-Louise manage to keep his house so clean and tidy. Liz wants to meet her.Amanda tells Kevin that once a month, she has sex with a soldier, Bobby, who is based at Aldershot Garrison, because her husband Johnny enjoys watching her have sex with another man. An argument at a party between Liz, Julia, Anne and Amanda is ended abruptly by Kevin telling them that Amanda is having threesomes with a soldier.
|6||"The Caretaker"||Juliet May||Graham Linehan, Sharon Horgan, Helen Linehan & Holly Walsh||12 December 2017||N/A|
|Julia hires Lyndsey (Sarah Kendall), a well-organised Australian nanny, apparently solving her child care problems. Unfortunately, she doesn't like her. Meanwhile, Amanda is keeping a low profile following Kevin's revelation.|
Series two was commissioned on 8 March 2018 to air later that year, although filming did not commence until early in 2019, giving a release of later in that year. In a Guardian interview with actress Anna Maxwell Martin, published on 26 August 2018, it was stated that a third series had also been commissioned.
- Martinson, Jane (6 October 2016). "BBC's Motherland to return as full series". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
- "Sitcom Season: Motherland". BBC Media Centre. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
- "Motherland". BBC. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
- Stevens, Christopher (8 November 2017). "Amid the rage and despair, being a parent is a laughing matter..." Mail Online. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
- Wilson, Benji (7 November 2017). "Motherland reaches similar comedy heights to Fawlty Towers". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
- "Motherland BBC comedy – series 2 interview with Sharon Horgan". Virgin Media. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
- "Weekly top 30 programmes - BARB". www.barb.co.uk.
- Dowell, Ben. "BBC orders a full series of middle-class mum sitcom Motherland". Radio Times. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
- "Motherland – Listings". Next Episode. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
- Heawood, Sophie (26 August 2018). "Anna Maxwell Martin: 'I've been bullied by other women in the industry – in fact more so than I have by men'". the Guardian.