The second series of Home Fires, ITV Studios’ World War II drama, begins filming in Cheshire this week.

The six new episodes will see Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey, Outnumbered) and Francesca Annis (The Little House, Cranford) reunited with a cast that includes Ruth Gemmell (Penny Dreadful), Claire Rushbrook (Whitechapel) and Ed Stoppard (Cilla).

Set in the village of Great Paxford during the summer of 1940, the series is set against the backdrop of the Battle of Britain, with the German army advancing through France and Britain bracing itself for invasion.

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Produced by Louise Sutton (Death in Paradise, Midsomer Murders), Home Fires was inspired by the book ‘Jambusters’ by Julie Summers. Creator and writer Simon Block (The Eichmann Show, The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall) has devised and written the second series with executive producers Francis Hopkinson (Wallander, Lucan, Jekyll & Hyde) and Catherine Oldfield (Collison, Fingersmith, Foyle’s War).

Robert Quinn (Jekyll & Hyde, Primeval) returns to the team to direct episodes 1-3, whilst John Hayes (Strike Back, Game of Thrones) joins and directs episodes 4-6.

Home Fires has been recommissioned for ITV by Director of Drama Steve November and Controller of Drama Victoria Fea.

The first series averaged 6.2 million viewers and a 24% share when it debuted on ITV earlier this year. Broadcast for the second series is expected in 2016.