Powerful New Ensemble Drama Explores Human Connection and Disconnection of "Life"



The most ordinary lives can be filled with the most extraordinary moments. This is the philosophy of BAFTA-nominated playwright and screenwriter Mike Bartlett, whose new, explosive BBC drama Life is a feature drama addition to ONETV. The six-part series will encore weeknights at 6pm & Midnight ET, Dec. 15 – 22, 2022.

Life follows a diverse group of residents who live in apartments all in the same suburban Victorian-era home in Manchester. The seemingly unconnected group go about their lives and all the drama that comes with it, before eventually finding their stories intersecting in the most shocking ways.

Writer and series creator Mike Bartlett previously found success with his BAFTA-winning BBC series Doctor Foster, which took a similar approach to exploring regular life in a deep and fascinating way. This new series is a continuation of sorts on Doctor Foster, as one character’s future sprung his imagination into creating a whole new series.

“She seemed to be starting a new story,” said Bartlett on the character of Anna. “I wondered about a woman in a marriage for 15 years with a big drinking problem, who suddenly breaks out of her marriage and her suburban life and starts again, at that age. What does that mean for her? It left a big question mark that I wanted to explore. That felt like a really exciting story that I wanted to investigate.”

“Mike has given me an opportunity to play, what I call, beautiful monsters,” said actress Victoria Hamilton. “Which is what I think an awful lot of us are. We don’t get a kick out of watching successful people with perfect lives, do we? We want to watch and say, ‘Thank God you’re a mess, too!’”

Series stars also include Alison Steadman, who you may recognize as Joyce from Boomers, and Peter Davison, who played veterinarian Tristan Farnan in the original All Creatures Great and Small from 1978 – 1980. In Life, Steadman plays Gail, a long-time married woman on the brink of leaving her cruel husband (Davison) before upsetting news shatters her plans. Their neighbour David is also a married professor struggling with his marriage while being drawn to a younger woman.

There’s also Belle (Victoria Hamilton), who is fighting alcoholism all while trying to build a new life for herself and take care of her teenage niece, and Hannah (Melissa Johns), a young pregnant woman navigating new motherhood, romance, and her complicated ties to her baby’s father.

While each character faces very different personal problems and storylines throughout the series, they all find a way into each other’s lives by the end, demonstrating the unique connections we have with those around us, even if they appear to be strangers.

“It’s about how and why so many of us end up isolated and atomized even when we’re surrounded by other people,” says Bartlett. “About how hard it can be to find human connection but how vital that is, for us to live. It’s also about, I suppose, learning to be honest with oneself about what you’re doing with your life. Hopefully it’s funny as well!”

Discover when you can watch Life next on ONETV. Enjoy!