Filming has begun in Cheshire on Home Fires, ITV’s new six-part drama that was originally called Jambusters.

Francesca Annis and Samantha Bond will play leading roles in the ITV Studios commission about a group of inspirational women in a rural Cheshire community during World War II.

Samantha Bond will star

Samantha Bond will star

Created and written by Simon Block (Lewis, The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall, Attachments), Home Fires is inspired by the non-fiction book ‘Jambusters’, written by Julie Summers, who will take a cameo role in the drama.

The series has been commissioned for ITV by director of drama Steve November and controller of drama Victoria Fea.

“We’re really delighted to have commissioned Home Fires,” said November. “Great writing from Simon has given Julie Summers’ wonderful book a fictional life. The women are real and engaging and have fantastic spirit and attitude. With World War II on the horizon, multiple strands of plot interweave to create a period drama full of jeopardy and intrigue, but also great humanity and modernity.”

Episodes have been written by Mark Burt (Coronation Street, The Dumping Ground) and Tina Pepler (Downton Abbey, Princes in the Tower). The first three episodes will be directed by Bruce Goodison (Our World War, My Murder, 10 Days to War), with Robert Quinn (Death in Paradise, Primeval) directing the final three.

Executive producer Francis Hopkinson added: “Thanks to Simon Block’s brilliant script, inspired by Julie Summers’s book, this series will take a fresh look at life on the Home Front, showing both the tragedies and the triumphs, and offering some wonderful roles for Britain’s top actresses. We are delighted that ITV share our enthusiasm for the project.”

Filming in Cheshire will last until December.