"The Village is a BBC TV series written by Peter Moffat. The drama is set in a Derbyshire village in the 20th century. The first series of what Moffat hopes will become a 42-hour TV drama was broadcast in spring 2013 and covered the years 1914 to 1920. A second series has been confirmed for 2014 which will continue the story into the 1920s. Future series would be set in the Second World War, post-war Austerity Britain, and so on.
The Village tells the story of life in a Derbyshire village through the eyes of a central character, Bert Middleton. Bert has been portrayed as a boy by Bill Jones, as a teen by Alfie Stewart, and as an old man by David Ryall. John Simm plays Bert's father John Middleton, an alcoholic Peak District farmer, and Maxine Peake plays Bert's mother, Grace. Peake is a preferred actress of the writer, who has called her "the best actress of her generation", and she has featured in two previous Moffat series, Criminal Justice and Silk.
Writer Peter Moffat has spoken of wanting to create 'a British Heimat', alluding to Edgar Reitz's epic German saga Heimat, which followed one extended family in a region of Rhineland from 1919 to 1982. Unlike Downton Abbey, this version of history is a working-class history—"domestics are expected to face the walls when the master walks by".
The first series was filmed in and around Hayfield, Edale, Glossop, Chapel-en-le-Frith and Charlesworth in the Peak District, and in the grounds of Tatton Park in Cheshire, during October to December 2012.
John Simm used local historian Margaret Wombwell's book Milk, Muck and Memories in his research for how the farmers from the period lived, and Moffat researched locally and at the Imperial War Museum.
On 28 April 2013 the BBC Media Centre reported that "BBC One's critically acclaimed epic Sunday night drama series starring Maxine Peake and John Simm will return with six more episodes next year."