A six part miniseries, Years and Years is an addictive and engrossing family drama set in a contemporary Manchester of today and a few years hence. As the politics of the day slowly send the country towards a dictatorship, so the extended Lyons family struggle with their everyday.
Four siblings reflecting a cross section of opinion and thought. Eldest is Stephen (Rory Kinnear), a successful accountant living in a rambling home in London with wife Celeste (T’Nia Miller) and their kids. Celeste and the Lyons’ family matriarch (Anne Reid) actively dislike each other. Eldest daughter Edith (Jessica Hynes) is an environmental activist to be found in many of the troubled hotspots around the globe. Gay Daniel (Russell Tovey), a local council worker, is the bedrock of the family whilst the youngest sibling, Rosie (Ruth Madeley) is a single parent and confined to a wheelchair.
Created by Russell T. Davies (Torchwood, It’s a Sin, A Very English Scandal), the miniseries beautifully captures the zeitgeist as family troubles, squabbles, celebrations and disasters strike. Emma Thompson is a local politician who, through hardline politics and corruption, rises to power and turns the country on its head. Banks collapse, food runs short, technology increases surveillance and social control. The basic fabric of society looks to disintegrate. Living through it all is the Lyons family.
It’s a wholly engaging journey chock full of relatable characters and personalities, plotlines and subplotlines. Affairs, broken relationships, financial ruin, death are part of the narrative and whilst not every strand works (the technology involving Stephen and Celeste’s daughter, Bethany – Lydia West – is not completely successful and results in the strangest final two minutes of the series), the intelligently scripted Years and Years will have you completely hooked and so supportive of the funny, irascible Rosie and the arrogant yet likeable Daniel.