In Review: Years and Years: Series 1 – Episode 2

Russell T. Davies's cautionary story about the future continues...

Synopsis: Edith comes home with a secret, and Stephen and Celeste face a very modern nightmare.

Review: Russell T. Davies continues his cautionary tale with an episode that shows populist right-wing politics on the rise in a world that is going to hell.

The Story

Picking up several months from where last weeks episode left off. Things are slowly changing in the lives of the Lions family. Daniel is divorcing his husband Ralph and has taken up with Viktor the Ukranian refugee he was trying to rehome in last weeks episode.

Meanwhile, in London Stephen and Celeste are feeling the pinch as Celeste is let go from her job due to the unstable political situation between the USA and China. And if that isn’t bad enough. Pence has succeeded Trump as President and President Putin has been made the leader of Russia for life.

Edith, who was fairly close to the Nuclear missile that hit a Chinese Island in last weeks show has returned home and she is hiding a secret.

In regards to new technologies. We see implants that turn a person’s hand into a phone and a magic pen that can turn off all digital devices that are in close proximity.

And of course. Right-wing politician Viv Rook is in the ascendency and becomes an MP.

The Acting

Jessica Hynes puts in a wonderfully secretive and layered performance as Edith who has returned home from her work in Vietnam and is looking to stay home with family for a while. She has some great scenes with Ruth Madeley who plays her sister Rose. The scenes of them both at the political hustings, which feature Viv Rook are both funny and rather scary at the same time.


Not too much time passes in this week’s episode, which allows for Gran to get a lot of scenes in before the inevitable happens. But as far as events go. Russell T. Davies packs a hell of a lot into this hour. It’s quite frightening seeing how easily Rosie gets taken in by Viv Rook in the episode and this will likely set up a fair bit of conflict in the family during next weeks episodes.

The storyline concerning Daniel and Viktor is handled really well, but the scariest storyline in this episode involves Stephen and Celeste pretty losing everything they own due to an American banking company going out of business.

The new technology that allows people to use their hands as phones is a funny touch, but also rather frightening if you think of the full implications of wearing implantable technology.  And the pen that acts as a tempory electromagnetic pulse that can take out all smartphones is definitely on my want list.

Overall. A pretty strong second episode, which looks to be all set up all sorts of dramas for next week.


Years and Years: Series 1 - Episode 2
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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