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Years and Years is a British television drama series which began broadcasting on BBC One in the United Kingdom on 14 May 2019[1][2] and will premiere on HBO in the United States on 24 June 2019. The series was created and written by Russell T Davies,[1] and stars Emma Thompson as Vivienne Rook, an outspoken celebrity turned political figure whose controversial opinions divide the nation,[3] alongside Rory Kinnear, T'Nia Miller, Russell Tovey, Jessica Hynes, Ruth Madeley and Anne Reid[3] as the Lyons family.

Years and Years
Years and Years.jpg
Created byRussell T Davies
Screenplay byRussell T Davies
Directed by
Music byMurray Gold
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes6
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)Karen Lewis
Production location(s)Manchester
Production company(s)Red Production Company
Original networkBBC One
Audio formatStereo
Original release14 May 2019 –



The focus of the six-part series is the Manchester-based Lyons family: Daniel is getting married to Ralph, Stephen and Celeste worry about their kids, Rosie is chasing a new partner, and Edith has not been home for years. Presiding over them all is Gran, the imperious Muriel. All their lives converge on one crucial night in 2019, and the story accelerates into the future, following the lives and loves of the Lyons over the next 15 years.[4]

Cast and charactersEdit

  • Emma Thompson as Vivienne Rook MP, a charismatic and controversial businesswoman turned politician.[5]
  • Rory Kinnear as Stephen Lyons, a financial advisor, who lives in London with his wife, Celeste, and their two daughters, Bethany and Ruby. He is also Daniel, Edith and Rosie's older brother.[6]
  • T'Nia Miller as Celeste Bisme-Lyons, an accountant and Stephen's wife.[7]
  • Russell Tovey as Daniel Lyons, a housing officer based in Manchester and Rosie, Stephen and Edith's brother.[8]
  • Jessica Hynes as Edith Lyons, a political activist and Stephen, Daniel and Rosie's sister. [3]
  • Ruth Madeley as Rosie Lyons, the youngest of the Lyons siblings, who has spina bifida. She is a single mother, has two sons, Lee and Lincoln, and works in a school cafeteria.[9]
  • Anne Reid as Muriel Deacon, the Lyons siblings' grandmother.[3]
  • Dino Fetscher as Ralph Cousins, Daniel's ex-husband, who is a primary school teacher.[10]
  • Lydia West as Bethany Bisme-Lyons, Stephen and Celeste's older daughter.[11]
  • Jade Alleyne as Ruby Bisme-Lyons, Stephen and Celeste's younger daughter.[12][13]
  • Maxim Baldry as Viktor Goraya, a Ukrainian refugee, who develops a romantic relationship with Daniel.[14]



In June 2018, the BBC announced that Russell T Davies would write Years and Years which was described as "an epic drama following a family over 15 years of unstable political, economical and technological advances".[15] Davies noted that he has been aiming to write the drama series for almost two decades.[4][16][17]

In October 2018, it was announced that Emma Thompson had joined the cast as Vivienne Rook alongside Rory Kinnear, T'Nia Miller, Russell Tovey, Jessica Hynes, Lydia West, Ruth Madeley and Anne Reid.[3] Years and Years was cast by Andy Prior. It was also announced that the series would be directed by Simon Cellan Jones.

The series began filming in Manchester in October 2018.[3] Locations included Trafford Park for the refugee camp.


The series will be broadcast on BBC One in the UK, HBO in the US and Spain, and Canal+ in France.[3]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.K. viewers
(millions) [18]
1Episode 1Simon Cellan JonesRussell T Davies14 May 2019 (2019-05-14)3.392
On 14th May 2019, businesswoman Vivienne Rook (Emma Thompson) causes controversy by disparaging the Israel-Palestine conflict on an evening talk show, and Rosie (Ruth Madeley) gives birth to her son Lincoln. Daniel (Russell Tovey) reflects on the state of the world and what Lincoln’s future will bring. The timeline skips forwards to 2024; in the meantime, Donald Trump wins a second term as president, China constructs an artificial island and military base named Hong Sha Dao in disputed waters, Daniel marries Ralph (Dino Fetscher), Queen Elizabeth dies, Rook tries and fails to be elected as an independent candidate in the 2022 general election, and a Russia-backed military government takes over Ukraine. Daniel makes a connection at work with Victor (Maxim Baldry), who fled Ukraine after he was tortured for being gay and lives in a local council-run refugee camp. Bethany (Lydia West) tells parents Stephen (Rory Kinnear) and Celeste (T'Nia Miller) that she is transhuman and eventually plans to upload her consciousness to the Cloud. Cracks begin to form in Daniel and Ralph’s marriage. Rosie goes on a date with Tony (Noel Sullivan), but leaves in disgust after she discovers he has sex with his house robot. At a party for Muriel’s (Anne Reid) 92nd birthday, the family get a video call from long-absent Edith (Jessica Hynes). She has travelled close to Hong Sha Dao and believes she could die in an imminent US nuclear strike on the island. As air raid sirens sound in the UK, the family descend into panic, and squabble. In the uproar, Daniel flees Ralph and his family for Victor, and they have sex.
2Episode 2Simon Cellan JonesRussell T Davies21 May 2019 (2019-05-21)2.297
Edith has survived the Hong Sha Dao nuclear strike, but she was exposed to the nuclear fallout and her life expectancy has been shortened to just ten years. She returns to live in the UK, keeping the severity of her radiation poisoning secret from everyone but Bethany. Celeste loses her job as an accountant, and she and Stephen sell their house to down-size. Bethany has cybernetic implants surgically installed as a step on the path to becoming transhuman. Daniel has left Ralph, and he and Viktor are living together as a couple. However, Ralph informs the Home Office on Viktor's job at a petrol station, illegal for an asylum seeker, leading to his deportation to Ukraine. Rosie becomes a supporter of Vivienne Rook's populist Four Star Party, while Edith is also a sympathiser. Stephen and Celeste sell their house for more than £1.2 million, leaving the proceeds in a single bank account on the night of the sale. Overnight, their money is almost all wiped out in a banking crisis triggered by the collapse of an American investment bank. With nowhere else to go, Stephen and Celeste and their daughters move into Muriel's house. Vivienne Rook is elected MP in a Manchester by-election as Rosie cheers her on.
3Episode 3Simon Cellan JonesRussell T Davies28 May 2019 (2019-05-28)TBD
The banking crisis has led to a recession in 2026. Stephen works as a bicycle courier, among other low-paid jobs. Vivienne Rook has proposed that anybody with an IQ of less than 70 is barred from voting. Viktor is arrested and then released by Ukrainian police. Ukraine may soon criminalise homosexuality, so Viktor decides to enter an LGBT-friendly country illegally and claim asylum. Edith has returned to activism, infiltrating the offices of a corporation with links to the Syrian dictatorship under an assumed identity, with Lincoln as part of her cover. The information she steals is released causing a scandal that shuts down the corporation. The availability of self-heating ready meals leaves Rosie redundant from her job. Viktor claims asylum in Spain and is reunited with Daniel. Stephen begins an affair with co-worker Elaine. Celeste finds out, but does not confront him. The Lyons siblings' estranged father dies from antibiotic-resistant sepsis and they attend his funeral. Bethany and fellow transhuman Lizzie travel to Liverpool for black-market cybernetic surgery. Lizzie is given a bogus, malfunctioning eye implant, but Bethany escapes unharmed. A general election gives the Four Star Party fifteen seats in a hung parliament, allowing Rook to determine the balance of power between a minority government and the opposition. Hearing the election results, Stephen uses the car he rented for the funeral to destroy a fellow courier's bicycle in a fit of frustrated rage after he follows the courier to Elaine's flat. Meanwhile, his siblings sit impassively in the passenger seats.
4Episode 4Simon Cellan JonesRussell T Davies4 June 2019 (2019-06-04)TBD
The coalition government collapses and Viv Rook becomes the Prime Minister. Celeste confronts Stephen about the affair and he leaves the family house, moving in with Elaine. Rosie begins a mobile catering business. Daniel and Viktor attempt to bring Viktor back to the UK, first by hiding in a coach, then by attempting to buy a forged passport, and finally by sailing in an overcrowded boat from France. Half a mile off the British coast, the boat sinks. Daniel and most of the other migrants drown. Viktor survives and returns to Manchester alone.
5Episode 5Lisa MulcahyRussell T Davies11 June 2019 (2019-06-11)TBD
Extensive flooding and two dirty bombs result in large numbers of displaced residents in the UK. Checkpoints are erected around Rosie's estate in Manchester in response to criminal activity in the area. Bethany is fitted with a brain implant which enables her to interact directly with the internet, but also to spy on her family. Muriel is diagnosed with macular degeneration but is able to pay £10,000 for fast-track NHS surgery which reverses the condition. Stephen blames Viktor for Daniel's death. He also starts a new job with an old school friend. At a business auction held at Chequers, he encounters Viv Rook by chance before his company wins the contract to maintain two of the new "Erstwhile" concentration camps. Stephen uses the company's computer system to send Viktor to the camp.
6Episode 6Lisa MulcahyRussell T Davies18 June 2019 (2019-06-18)TBD


Critical receptionEdit

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first series holds an approval rating of 82% based on 17 reviews, and an average rating of 7.45/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Years and Years scathingly critiques the present with a nihilistic projection of the future, leavening the devastating satire with a buoyant sense of humour and characters who are easy to become invested in."[19]


  1. ^ a b "BBC - Get Obsessed - 2019 BBC Drama - Media Centre". Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  2. ^ "BBC One - Years and Years, Series 1, Episode 1". BBC. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "BBC - Emma Thompson cast in Russell T Davies' BBC One drama Years and Years - Media Centre". Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b Martin, Laura (1 January 2019). "Years & Years: Everything we know about the new Russell T Davies and Emma Thompson dystopian drama". Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  5. ^ "HBO News - Emma Thompson Joins Years & Years". HBO.
  6. ^ "BBC - Years and Years - Media Centre".
  7. ^ "BBC - Years and Years - Media Centre".
  8. ^ "BBC - Years and Years - Media Centre".
  9. ^ "BBC - Years and Years - Media Centre".
  10. ^ "BBC - Years and Years - Media Centre".
  11. ^ "BBC - Years and Years - Media Centre".
  12. ^ "Jade Alleyne - Years & Years". Revolution Talent. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  13. ^ "BBC - Years and Years - Media Centre".
  14. ^ "BBC - Years and Years - Media Centre".
  15. ^ "BBC - Gripping new drama Years & Years, from Russell T Davies, set for BBC One - Media Centre". Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  16. ^ Singh, Anita (1 January 2019). "Emma Thompson plays 'rebel, trickster and terror' MP in BBC drama Years & Years". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  17. ^ "First look at Emma Thompson in new Russell T Davies drama Years and Years". Radio Times. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Weekly Top 15 Programmes (See relevant weeks and scroll down to BBC and BBC 1 "(inc HD)")". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Years and Years". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 19 May 2019.

External linksEdit