Last year Peter Bowker’s gentle drama about a family coming to terms with their young son being diagnosed with Autism proved an instant hit with critics and audiences alike. The A Word, which starred young actor Max Vento as Joe, a six year old who felt comfortable in a world filled with music and struggled to communicate with those on the outside of his family displayed autism in a way not often tackled on screen.
Now the BBC have confirmed that the second series, comprised of six episodes will air on Tuesday 7th November at 9.00pm.
Two years on, each member of the family has reinvented themselves in a way that is convincing to nobody but themselves. This series turns up the heat on them all, so that façades are stripped away and we get to the heart of what they really feel, and fear. As ever, it is Joe who inadvertently acts as the catalyst that exposes those hidden fault lines.
At seven years old, Joe has developed a few more social skills and a bit more language, and he understands the world a bit better. But with that understanding comes the realisation that he is not the same as other kids – and with that, the notion that his way of seeing the world is causing anxiety to his peers, his family and his school. When the day comes that he first uses the A word – and makes it clear he sees it as a big negative – he sets Paul, Alison and the rest of the family on a trajectory that will throw up difficult questions for them all and change their lives . . .
Questions about honesty, identity. About guilt and responsibility. About happiness and love.
And about what we choose to hide, and what happens when we dare to communicate the truth about ourselves. While Joe and his immediate family undoubtedly remain The A Word’s focal point, this series will expand its range of stories.
We’ll follow Maurice as he is catapulted back into Louise’s life, and enjoy Eddie and Nicola as the divorced odd couple who can’t quite shake each other off while raising the child who is the fruit of one of their many failed reconciliations. More vitally, the series will look at a broader spectrum of difference – through the returning character of Ralph and the introduction of 16 yearIold Mark, who has autism. Here we find two young men who are further along in their lives than Joe – facing the challenges he may one day have to face – but whose journeys are, at heart, the same as everyone else: to navigate through the shit that life throws at them, and find a place in the world.
The A Word II joins new and familiar characters at the point their lives lurch in unexpected
directions. It sets the beautiful, dreamy corner of North West England against the North
West’s vibrant capital. And all to a trademark soundtrack of British indie and punk classics.
The A Word stars Max Vento, Morven Christie, Lee Ingleby, Molly Wright, Christopher Eccleston, Greg McHugh, Vinette Robinson and Pooky Quesnell
The A Word, returns to BBC One on Tuesday 7th November at 9pm.