True Love (TV series)

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True Love
Genre Drama
Written by Dominic Savage
Directed by Dominic Savage
Starring David Tennant
Billie Piper
David Morrissey
Jane Horrocks
Ashley Walters
Opening theme "What the World Needs Now Is Love"
by Dionne Warwick
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 5
Executive producer(s) Juliette Howell
Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner
Lucy Richer (for BBC)
Producer(s) Guy Heeley
Location(s) Margate, Kent, England
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Working Title Television
Original network BBC One
Picture format 16:9 1080i
Audio format Stereo
Original release 17 June (2012-06-17) – 20 June 2012 (2012-06-20)
External links

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.[1]

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.[2] True Love was originally titled Love Life but was re-titled, as ITV also has a TV series with the same title.[3]


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 two centres on Paul (Ashley Walters) who is married to Michelle (Lacey Turner), a new father who experiences "love at first sight".
  • Episode three centres on Holly (Billie Piper), a teacher who lives alone and is in an unhappy relationship with a married man. She develops feelings for a student in her class (Kaya Scodelario).
  • 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 five centres on Adrian (David Morrissey), a divorcé 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 daughter's best friend (Jo Woodcock) develops an unrequited obsessive love for him.


True Love was filmed entirely in Margate and surrounding areas between early September and mid-October 2011.[4] Billie Piper's 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.[5]


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


Episode-viewing figures are from Broadcast Now and Digital Spy.

Episode no. Airdate Episode title Total viewers
17 June 2012
18 June 2012
19 June 2012
20 June 2012
20 June 2012


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,[10] while Sam Wollaston of The Guardian compared the storyline, overlaid with sentimental music, unfavourably to an edition of the Our Tune radio feature.[11] The Independent's Terence Blacker was also unenthusiastic: "It messed up the story, revealing the outcome of a will-they-won't-they tale of infidelity before a single word of dialogue had been spoken."[12]


  1. ^ "Love Life: five original, provocative love stories from Dominic Savage for BBC One". BBC Press Office. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "BBC One - True Love - Episode Guide". BBC One Website. London. June 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "BBC and ITV resolve Love Life clash". ATV Today. 25 February 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "David Tennant visits Thanet to film a new BBC drama". The Thanet Gazette. Thanet, Margate. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office True Love Film Focus". 
  6. ^ "True Love debuts with 3.11m". 18 June 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "True Love loses 460k". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Euro 2012: England's Ukraine victory nets peak of more than 18m viewers". London. Retrieved 19 June 2012. [dead link]
  9. ^ "'Silk' falls to 4.2m for Wednesday finale". Digital Spy. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Mohan, Isabel (17 June 2012). "True Love, BBC One, review". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  11. ^ Wollaston, Sam (17 June 2012). "TV review: Into Orbit: A Culture Show Special; Secrets of Our Living Planet; True Love | Television & radio". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  12. ^ Blacker, Terence (19 June 2012). "Terence Blacker: It's a fascinating time for love – but TV can't keep up". The Independent. London: Independent Print Ltd. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 

External links[edit]