ⓘ True Love (TV series)

True Love (TV series)

ⓘ True Love (TV series)

True Love is a five-episode 2012 semi-improvised BBC television drama, which began on BBC One on 17 June 2012.

Each episode is a self-contained story though there is some cross-over between all the episodes, devised through improvisation a first for BBC One drama, exploring an issue related to love and relationships.

True Love had its first public screening at the Turner Contemporary in Margate on 29 March 2012. The series premiered on 17 June 2012 on BBC One, the remaining four episodes being stripped across the next three nights, with the final two airing as a double-bill on 20 June. True Love was originally titled Love Life but was re-titled, as ITV also has a TV series with the same title.


1. Plot

While each episode is self-contained, the series is set in the English seaside town of Margate, Kent. There is some overlap between episodes.

  • Episode one centres on Nick David Tennant, whose happy marriage is turned upside-down by the reappearance of his first love.
  • Episode four centres on Sandra Jane Horrocks, a middle-aged woman in a stale marriage to an unfaithful husband. Jane Horrocks plays a shop keeper who is trapped in a loveless relationship and embarks on a passionate affair with a mysterious man.
  • Episode three centres on Holly Billie Piper, a teacher who lives alone and is in an unhappy affair with a married man. Holly develops feelings for a student in her class Kaya Scodelario.
  • Episode two centres on Paul Ashley Walters, who is married to Michelle Lacey Turner, a new father who experiences "love at first sight".
  • Episode five centres on Adrian David Morrissey, a divorce who lives in a flat in a tower block with his 16-year-old daughter. He begins a relationship with a woman he meets through the Internet. At the same time, his daughters best friend Jo Woodcock develops an unrequited obsessive love for him.

2. Filming

True Love was filmed entirely in Margate and surrounding areas between early September and mid-October 2011. Billie Pipers episode was partially shot at The Charles Dickens School in Broadstairs, where some of the current students were invited to be extras, filming scenes alongside Piper. Other prominent locations include Botany Bay, Turner Contemporary, Westwood Cross shopping centre, and Margate railway station.


3. Cast

  • Charlie Creed-Miles as David, Sandras husband and Hollys lover appears in episodes 3 and 4
  • Alexander Siddig as Ismail, Sandras lover appears in episode 4
  • Aymen Hamdouchi as Gavin, Pauls friend appears in episode 2
  • Kaya Scodelario as Karen, Hollys pupil and lover, and Adrians daughter appears in episodes 3 and 5
  • David Morrissey as Adrian appears in episode 5
  • Lacey Turner as Michelle, Serenas younger sister and Pauls wife appears in episodes 1 and 2
  • Jo Woodcock as Lorraine, Nicks daughter and Karens best friend appears in episodes 1, 3 and 5
  • Gemma Chan as Kathy, Adrians lover appears in episode 5
  • Jaime Winstone as Stella, Pauls lover appears in episode 2
  • Vicky McClure as Serena, Nicks first love appears in episode 1
  • Billie Piper as Holly appears in episode 3
  • Joanne Froggatt as Ruth, Nicks wife appears in episode 1
  • Peter McNeil OConnor as Jim, Nicks friend appears in episode 1
  • Jenny Agutter as Hollys mother appears in episode 3
  • David Tennant as Nick appears in episode 1
  • Vahid Gold as Chris, one of Hollys pupils appears in episode 3
  • Ashley Walters as Paul appears in episode 2
  • Jane Horrocks as Sandra appears in episode 4
  • Luke Bryant as Darren, Nicks son appears in episode 1
  • Genevieve Barr as Sarah, Sandras daughter appears in episode 4
  • Neil Bell as Phil, Adrians friend appears in episode 5


4. Reception

The first episode was received negatively by most critics. Reviewing the episode for The Daily Telegraph, Isabel Mohan criticised the plot and Margate backdrop, both of which she found uninspiring, while Sam Wollaston of The Guardian compared the storyline, overlaid with sentimental music, unfavourably to an edition of the Our Tune radio feature. The Independent s Terence Blacker was also unenthusiastic: "It messed up the story, revealing the outcome of a will-they-wont-they tale of infidelity before a single word of dialogue had been spoken."