There’s more skeletons lurking for Faith

Saturday: Keeping Faith; (BBC1, 9pm)

Friday, 26th March 2021, 5:00 pm
Faith Howells is back

The drama Keeping Faith can claim to be a genuine word-of-mouth hit. It was first broadcast in Welsh with the title Un Bore Mercher on S4C in 2017, before the English version was broadcast on BBC Wales.

However, it was on iPlayer where the series really took off, becoming the service’s most downloaded non-network show. So, perhaps it’s not surprising that it was subsequently shown nationwide – and that the highly anticipated third and final series is going out on primetime Saturday nights.

So, what made it so popular? Well, some of the credit has to go to leading lady Eve Myles, who certainly proved she was serious about the part – a non-Welsh speaker, she learned the language especially for the role.

There was also the gripping storyline. For those who missed out, the first series followed Faith Howells, a lawyer at a family firm, who only discovered that her husband Evan was leading a double life after he mysteriously disappeared. The second series found her dealing with the betrayal, but in the new run, it’s her own character that’s in the spotlight as Faith takes on the biggest case of her career.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t any more skeletons lurking in the Howells’ cupboard though. Eve says: “We left Faith at the end of series two asking Evan to leave, and a divorce was imminent. She had come to learn of all his dark secrets and had become embroiled in the dark underworld that Evan was running away from.

“In the new series you can expect the unexpected and even more secrets revealed. There’s a new character who shakes Faith’s world just as she’s about to get back onto her feet. New and old characters fight for their family and justice, and Faith’s past comes back to haunt her. There are exceptional performances from all the cast and brilliant scripts from Matthew Hall and Pip Broughton.”

It seems there’s one new addition in particular we should be watching out for. Eve says: “The character of Rose, played by the amazing Celia Imrie, comes into town like a powerful, menacing force. She has defined Faith but plays on all her fears. A woman with huge guilt, a heavyweight in manipulation with many dangerous contacts, a woman with nothing to lose.”

There’s also the court case at the centre of the series, which sees Faith and Cerys taking on the case of 13-year-old Osian Taylor, who has been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour. Hs father and consultant can’t agree on whether to operate due to the high risk, so Faith fights for the child’s own voice to be heard.

Eve says: “The court case deals with an extremely sensitive subject that highlights many questions… This is the type of case that would either make or break Faith… I think it does both.”

So, a juicy storyline and a great cast. No wonder the actress is going to be sad to say goodbye to Keeping Faith. “My favourite thing about Faith is that she will never give up. I will miss her courage.”

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