MOVING On is back with a Scandinavian twist.
Created by Jimmy McGovern, the fourth series of BBC1’s daytime drama has the usual impressive cast lists.
This time including actors from The Killing, Borgen, Wallander and Lilyhammer.
Regular readers will know that I have a lot of time for all involved in Moving On.
Having written about it at Moving On: Plays For Our Today and Moving On 3.
Moving On is a series of stand alone dramas providing TV opportunities for writers and skilled production workers in the North West.
With some famous faces in the casts working more for love than money.
Along with Johnny Vegas and Robert Glenister making their BBC TV drama directing debuts in this new series.
Colin McKeown’s Liverpool-based LA Productions performs drama miracles on a budget that would no doubt be an insult to shoestrings.
With little sign of the financial constraints on screen.
Broadcast on BBC1 at 2:15pm on consecutive days from next Monday (Jan 28), here’s just some of the highlights from this 2013 series.
Which you can also, of course, record if at work or catch up with later via the BBC iPlayer.
Downton Abbey’s Rob James-Collier makes a return appearance, having played estranged husband Clive in a Moving On series three story called The Milkman.
This time he’s a lot more charming, going back to school as supply teacher Mr Evans. Or Aidan to his friends.
In episode two: Visiting Order, written by Colette Kane, one of two films directed by Noreen Kershaw.
He’s immediately smitten when he meets Scandinavian single mum-of-two Liv, played by Norwegian-born Lilyhammer actress Marian Saastad Ottesen.
Social worker Liv also likes the look of Mr Evans. But keeps a secret from him.
Her father Kris is serving a long sentence for drug trafficking.
And in another casting coup, he is played by Bjarne Henriksen, who many UK viewers will know as Theis Birk Larsen from The Killing series one, as well as Borgen.
Jason Manford may surprise some as black cab driver Gary in the fifth and final film of this series: That’s Amore.
Directed by Johnny Vegas, Jason co-stars with Wallander’s Rebekah Staton, who plays his fed up wife Lisa.
“Bone idle” beer-swilling couch potato Gary has no idea anything is wrong.
Until Lisa tells him their house is up for sale and she wants a divorce.
Telling him: “People in comas make more decision than you do, Gary.”
Forced to live apart in the same house while they wait for a buyer, Gary becomes increasingly frustrated.
Concluding: “My life’s turned into one big episode of Jeremy Kyle.”
Colin McKeown says: “Johnny spotted something in Jason and it’s paid off.
“I think Jason’s performance will surprise people, so watch this space.
“I also think Robert Glenister’s episode will take people by surprise because for a first time director its an extremely assured piece of work.
“I think both Robert and Johnny have a great future as directors.”
Former Hustle star Robert directs episode four – Blood Ties – which features Paul McGann, Jack Shepherd and Jennifer Hennessy and is written by Arthur Ellison.
Robert maintains: “Moving On is the best reason for ressurecting the single play on primetime terestrial telly.”
Episode three – Friends Like These – is written by Shaun Duggan and features Gillian Kearney as busy single mum Danielle.
She earns a little extra cash by child-minding for her friend Sam, played by former Accused and Coronation Street actress Rachel Leskovac.
With Natasha Little as Sonia, a new mum at the school who has a home Danielle can only dream of.
Sonia befriends Danielle and decides to help her.
But as Sam warns Danielle: “Beward of the middle classes bearing gifts.”
Series four begins with The Shrine, written by Karen Brown and starring Matthew Kelly, Barbara Flynn, Shameless actress Sally Carman and Rev’s Steve Evets.
As LA Productions explain: “Moving On explores contemporary issues, from divorce and public displays of grief to obsessive friendships, relationships and caring for the elderly.
“All linked by the common theme of characters who reach a turning point in life and then move on.”
Scroll down for more photos and links.
Moving On 4 begins on BBC1 at 2:15pm on Monday (Jan 28) and at the same time on the next four days.
Moving On: Plays For Our Today