White Heat comes to BBC Two in March. It tells the story of the interwoven lives, loves and betrayals of seven characters whose relationships are forged in the white heat of the Sixties through to present day. The semi-autobiographical series is written for by award-winning writer Paula Milne.
White Heat meets seven students at the moment they move into a Tufnell Park flat as undergraduates in 1965.
The younger intelligent feminist Charlotte is played by Claire Foy, rebel with a cause Jack is played by Sam Claflin, fragile beauty Lilly by MyAnna Buring, medical student Jay by Reece Ritchie, electronics enthusiast Alan is played by Lee Ingleby, law student Victor played by David Gyasi and big-hearted Orla by Jessica Gunning.
Paula Milne said of the casting: "Getting the right cast for White Heat was crucial not least because it spans half a century. It means our young cast must age from 18 to early forties when the older cast take over. Our young cast are all riding the crest of their own burgeoning, brilliant careers – like the characters are when we first meet them. It takes more than talent to take us on their epic journey through the decades – it takes insight and extraordinary maturity and they have that too. They all say they are lucky to play such parts. Me, I think we are lucky to have them."
Charlotte, Lilly, Alan, Jay, Orla, Victor and Jack are full of youthful expectation, forging intense friendships and - in some cases - becoming bitter adversaries, in these first months of living together.
It’s the end of the post-war era, Winston Churchill has died and the world is changing rapidly, particularly for the girls with the arrival of the contraceptive pill. Charlotte and art student Lilly find the strength to defy their parents and fight for the futures they want, but Orla from Belfast is weighed down by the duty that she feels towards her impoverished family in Northern Ireland.
For all the flatmates, mutual and unrequited attractions segue into heady and potentially damaging sexual adventures, planting the seeds of future deceptions.
Finding their feet in a world where none of the old values apply is both empowering and daunting and it becomes clear that the decisions they make during these early months together will change the course of their lives. Charlotte finds herself irrevocably drawn to the volatile and charismatic Jack, a rebel angrily seeking a cause.
In the present day, Charlotte now an attractive woman in her 60s (played by Juliet Stevenson) arrives at the flat in Tufnell Park, where one of them has recently passed away. Charlotte has been made executor of the will and the remaining five are due to arrive to help her sort through the flat. As she is joined at the flat by one of the former flatmates it becomes clear a bitter betrayal took place between them in the past, and as a third flatmate arrives the complex history between them becomes painfully evident.
Check out the trailer: