Back to Life (TV series)

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Back to Life
Back to Life (TV series).jpg
GenreComedy drama
Dark comedy
Written by
Directed byChristopher Sweeney
Starring
ComposerSolomon Grey
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series2
No. of episodes12
Production
Executive producers
  • Sarah Hammond
  • Harry Williams
  • Jack Williams
Producer
  • Debbie Pisani
CinematographyBen Wheeler
EditorGavin Buckley
Running time23–25 minutes
Production companyTwo Brothers Pictures
DistributorAll3Media
Release
Original network
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release15 April 2019 (2019-04-15) –
present

Back to Life is a British dark comedy-drama co-written by Laura Solon and Daisy Haggard and starring Haggard and Adeel Akhtar that premiered on BBC One on 15 April 2019.[1] On 10 November 2019, the series premiered in the United States on Showtime.[2] The first series received critical acclaim with many reviews highly praising the performance and writing of Haggard. On 19 November 2019, Back to Life was renewed for a second series which later premiered on 31 August 2021 to similar positive reviews.[3]

Plot[edit]

Miri Matteson has just returned home to Hythe, Kent, after serving an 18-year prison sentence. As Miri attempts to rebuild her life, she forms a friendship with Billy, who cares for the elderly woman next door.

Cast[edit]

  • Daisy Haggard as Miri Matteson
  • Geraldine James as Caroline Matteson, Miri's mother
  • Richard Durden as Oscar Matteson, Miri's father
  • Adeel Akhtar as Billy, Miri's budding love interest
  • Jo Martin as Janice, Miri's parole officer
  • Jamie Michie as Dom, Miri's now married pre-prison boyfriend and Caroline's secret affair
  • Christine Bottomley as Mandy, Miri's now married pre-prison best friend
  • Juliet Cowan as Tina, local policewoman who was Miri’s childhood enemy
  • Imogen Gurney as Lara, Miri's former best friend
  • Liam Williams as Nathan, Miri's boss at the fish and chip shop (series 1)
  • Souad Adel Faress as Anna, Billy's wife (series 1)
  • Frank Feys as Samuel, a private investigator (series 1)
  • Ade Edmondson as John Boback, Lara’s father (series 2)
  • Lizzy McInnerny as Norah Boback, Lara’s mother (series 2)

Episodes[edit]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1615 April 2019 (2019-04-15)15 April 2019 (2019-04-15)
2631 August 2021 (2021-08-31)31 August 2021 (2021-08-31)

Series 1 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Episode 1"Christopher Sweeney[4]Daisy Haggard and Laura Solon15 April 2019 (2019-04-15)
22"Episode 2"Christopher SweeneyDaisy Haggard and Laura Solon15 April 2019 (2019-04-15)
33"Episode 3"Christopher SweeneyDaisy Haggard and Laura Solon15 April 2019 (2019-04-15)
44"Episode 4"Christopher SweeneyDaisy Haggard and Laura Solon15 April 2019 (2019-04-15)
55"Episode 5"Christopher SweeneyDaisy Haggard and Laura Solon15 April 2019 (2019-04-15)
66"Episode 6"Christopher SweeneyDaisy Haggard and Laura Solon15 April 2019 (2019-04-15)

Series 2 (2021)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
71"Episode 1"Ella JonesDaisy Haggard and Laura Solon31 August 2021 (2021-08-31)[5]
82"Episode 2"Ella JonesDaisy Haggard and Laura Solon31 August 2021 (2021-08-31)[5]
93"Episode 3"Ella JonesDaisy Haggard and Laura Solon31 August 2021 (2021-08-31)[5]
104"Episode 4"Ella JonesDaisy Haggard and Laura Solon31 August 2021 (2021-08-31)[5]
115"Episode 5"Ella JonesDaisy Haggard and Laura Solon31 August 2021 (2021-08-31)[5]
126"Episode 6"Ella JonesDaisy Haggard and Laura Solon31 August 2021 (2021-08-31)[5]

Production[edit]

Harry and Jack Williams are the executive producers of Back to Life with Sarah Hammond. They previously produced the BBC show Fleabag.[6]

Various scenes for both series were filmed in Hythe and Lydd-on-Sea in Kent. Dungeness features in Series One and Folkestone Harbour Arm doubles as the Pier and Lighthouse in Series Two. The Abbot's Cliff sound mirror in Dover, on top of the White Cliffs of Dover, feature in both series.[7]

Release[edit]

Back to Life was launched as a boxset on BBC iPlayer on 15 April 2019, and was shown weekly on BBC One from 15 April 2019.

Reception[edit]

The show has received critical acclaim. For the first series, review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval rating with an average rating of 8.4/10, based on 26 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Driven by the marvelous Daisy Haggard, Back to Life questions what it means to be a person with humor, heart, and a genuine sense of surprise."[8] The first series was also compared positively to critically acclaimed tragicomedy Fleabag with which it shares producers. Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 88 out of 100 based on 14 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[9]

For the second series, Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval rating with an average rating of 8.8/10, based on 5 critic reviews.[10] Metacritic assigned a score of 87 out of 100 based on 6 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[11]

Home media[edit]

Title Release date BBFC rating Distributor
Region 2 DVD (UK) Region B Blu-ray (UK)
Season 1 1 July 2019[12] 1 July 2019[13] 18 Spirit Entertainment
Season 2 25 October 2021[14] TBA 15 Dazzler Media

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Back To Life: Episodes' Daisy Haggard on playing a 'relentless optimist'". 12 April 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  2. ^ "Showtime(R) Programming Advisory". The Futon Critic. 19 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Showtime(R) Orders Second Season of "Back to Life"". The Futon Critic. 19 November 2019.
  4. ^ "Back to Life (TV Series 2019–) Full Cast & Crew". imdb.com. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Perkins, Steven (25 August 2021). "'Back To Life' Season 2 — release date, plot, cast, trailer and everything you need to know". What To Watch. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  6. ^ "When is Back to Life on BBC1 and BBC3? Who's in the cast and what's it about?". Radio Times. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  7. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office Back to Life Series 1 and 2 (2019-2021)".
  8. ^ "Back to Life: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Back to Life: Season 1". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Back to Life: Season 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Back to Life: Season 2". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  12. ^ "Back to Life [BBC]". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  13. ^ "Back to Life [BBC] [2019]". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  14. ^ "Back to Life - Series 2". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 18 September 2021.

External links[edit]