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The A Word (Series 2)



Every family is a puzzle. And sometimes the pieces just don’t fit.

The A Word returns to the idyllic landscape of the Lake District where, two years on, Joe is changing. Now age seven, Joe has begun to look at the world and finds he doesn’t fit in. ‘Autistic’ is a word he has heard but can’t yet understand. Different is what he feels and fears might be something bad. It is up to the whole family to help Joe make sense of who he is and his place in the world but to do that they must first be honest about themselves.

Peter Bowker’s six-part drama revisits the funny, messy, mixed-up lives of the Hughes and Scott families as they struggle to do their best as parents, carers, and lovers, and to work out what’s really important in the face of nothing ever feeling normal.


When Joe says the word ‘autistic’ for the first time, seeing it as something bad, Paul and Alison know they need to talk to him about it



Joe starts his first day at a specialist school. Louise reveals a truth about her son Ralph to a shocked Maurice. Vincent attempts to atone for his misdemeanors.



Paul makes a connection with Sophie when he takes her and Mark to a gig. Eddie gears up for date night with his Manchester girlfriend Holly.



Rebecca sends Paul and Alison on a weekend away, Maurice has an existential crisis during a fell race, and Eddie is determined to teach Joe to ride a bike.



Paul’s feelings about his son’s autism emerge when Nicola makes a film of Joe’s behaviours. Eddie reaches D-Day with Holly, while Maurice makes a shocking proposal.



A show at Joe’s old school brings his family members together. As Joe takes the stage, it is clear what they mean to him.


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  • Genre: Drama
  • Duration: 6 x 60'
  • Screenplay by: Peter Bowker
  • Cast: Christopher Eccleston, Lee Ingleby, Morven Christie, Greg McHugh, Vinette Robinso, Max Vento
  • Production Company: Fifty Fathoms / Keshet UK
  • Commissioned by: BBC One