Lilies

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  • Enter the world of the Moss sisters— or “my lilies,” as their father calls them— who live in working-class Liverpool right after World War I. Iris (Catherine Tyldesley, Coronation Street), the eldest of the three, dutifully runs the household in the wake of their mother’s death; wayward May (Leanne Rowe, Oliver Twist) works as a maid but longs to perform onstage; and youngest daughter Ruby (Kerrie Hayes, The Mill) sells corsets and trains for the Olympics. Alongside their sorrowful, overbearing father (Brian McCardie, Line of Duty) and war-tormented brother (Daniel Rigby, Flyboys), these young women struggle through poverty, passions, and disappointments—sustained by the fortifying power of family. From the creator of the hit BBC drama Call the Midwife.


    Episode 1: The Chit Behind King Billy
    To help get the family pianola out of hock for a street party honoring war vets, Ruby takes a job selling corsets, training all the while for the Olympic swimming tryouts. But brother Billy finds that not all of the returning soldiers are welcomed as heroes.

    Episode 2: The Thunderbolt
    When Iris falls head over heels for a young magician who comes to the door in search of rabbits, the rest of the family must face the unpromising prospect of running the household without her competence and self-sacrifice at the center.

    Episode 3: The White Charger
    At tea with her employer, Mr. Brazendale, May meets a charming photographer with obvious designs on the trusting girl. Meanwhile, Billy finds a stray stallion in the woods, which Dadda schemes to keep for the upcoming Orange Parade.

    Episode 4: The Tallyman
    Scarlet fever invades the district, and the Mosses scramble to provide for seven orphaned children and stay one step ahead of the dreaded housing inspector. But, in secret, May becomes more occupied with Mr. Brazendale’s renewed attentions.

    Episode 5: The Sea
    Billy’s best friend from the war returns, and a maelstrom of long-suppressed emotions threatens to engulf them both. May learns that she is expecting and then discovers that things aren’t what they’ve seemed in the Brazendale household.

    Episode 6: The Release
    As May makes every effort to conceal her condition, Ruby takes up with a group of newfound friends who introduce her to liberating modern ideas: feminism and vegetarianism. May, however, seeks release of a different sort from her predicament.

    Episode 7: The Serpent
    When Billy inadvertently brings home a snake, a local teacher invites Mr. Moss to discuss the exotic reptile in her class. But their relationship soon turns romantic—to the horror of his daughters. Then, to his horror and rage, Dadda learns of May’s condition.

    Episode 8: The Reckoning
    After a life-threatening delivery, May rejects her baby, awaiting the return of Mr. Brazendale. The turmoil created by Dadda’s flight, the neighbors’ scorn, and Iris’s pursuit of a vocation reaches a climax in a confrontation at the Brazendale estate.

    BONUS Behind-the-scenes featurette (16 min.), production notes, and a photo gallery.