ITV’s Hollington Drive is a mystery drama series which had viewers gripped and wondering whether the events really took place.
The four-part series explores sibling relationships, hard truths and the dynamics which come into play between families and neighbours.
Written by acclaimed screenwriter Sophie Petzal and produced by Jonathan Fisher, both of whom worked on Irish series Blood, the storyline of Hollington Drive has many wondering if it actually happened.
What is Hollington Drive about?
The official synopsis reads: “Hollington Drive focuses on the lives of sisters, Theresa (Anna Maxwell Martin), and her older headteacher sibling, Helen (Rachael Stirling). Theresa is married to Fraser and David to Helen.
“The sisters appear close and their families enjoy spending time together. We open on a warm, balmy evening, barbecue sizzling on the patio, the perfect family setting.
“The atmosphere is chilled, as they lounge in Theresa and Fraser’s perfectly manicured garden. Apart from Fraser’s brother Eddie winding everyone up, there’s hardly a hint of tension, but this is the calm before the storm.
“When Theresa’s ten-year-old son, Ben, asks to play in the nearby park with his cousin Eva, the adults begin to niggle. Fraser is relaxed and is fine for them to go, but this doesn’t help Theresa’s fears of foreboding and growing feelings of anxiety.
“As expected the children don’t return on time, and Theresa goes in search. Her suspicions are heightened when she finds the children on the edge of a woodland area and they appear to be fighting. Immediately her instincts tell her something terrible has happened.
“This is all too realised when later that evening distraught neighbour, Jean, calls on the family. Her ten-year-old son Alex has gone missing.”
Is Hollington Drive a true story?
Hollington Drive is not based on a true story, though the character relationships are inspired by the very real dynamics of family relationships.
Petzal told ITV: “I’m obsessed with family dynamics,” adding: “I should say that me and my sister have a very different relationship to Helen and Theresa! But, of course, you take things from your own experiences all the time, things like childhood dynamics that live on into adulthood.”
Petzal said she came up with the idea after “ epic, miles-long rambles” with executive producer Fisher.
Petzal said after wrapping up on Blood, she began considering her next storyline and drummed up the idea “of a secret kept between sisters who live very close to each other, and then they suspect their children might have been responsible for another child’s death. Then they make decisions that have unfolding consequences and nothing is quite as it seems.”
She also recently told Drama Quarterly: “That’s probably the most important relationship in my life, and it’s not one I see really depicted on television all that much.”
When is Hollington Drive on TV?
Hollington Drive first debuted on ITV on 29 September at 9pm and ran for four weekly hour-long episodes.