The Little House, which started on ITV this evening, is based on a Phillipa Gregory novel that I wasn’t aware of, but which appears to date back to the late 90s. I was drawn to watch it by a cast that includes Francesca Annis and Tim Pigott-Smith, and wasn’t I glad I did.
It’s a psychological suspense story, involving a young married couple and the husband’s charming but perhaps oppressive parents, played by Annis and Pigott-Smith. The wife, played by Lucy Griffiths, is a teacher, who is trying to understand a mystery from her own past.
When she falls pregnant, she is persuaded – against her will – to keep the baby and put on hold plans to research her past. Her husband also persuades her to accept an offer of a lovely home. This is the eponymous little house; the setting is wonderful, but the snag is that it’s right next door to her in-laws.
Once the baby is born, he appears more at ease with his grandma than his mother, and by the end of the episode it was plain that Annis, having packed her daughter-in-law off to a clinic, would be quite happy to be rid of her on a permanent basis. Annis is always excellent, I think, and here she shows a menacing side beneath the surface charm. A good story - and good enough to warrant a blog post I hadn’t planned to write!