Many fans of Eve Myles have never gotten a chance to see much or any of her work in the TV program Belonging—and for good reason. Why is that?
Belonging was never broadcast outside of Wales, so the only other way you could watch it was through a UK satellite service or online via BBC’s iPlayer, which only ran the series for a short period of time before dropping it. For those that live outside the UK there was no such luck of watching it. Sadly enough the episodes haven’t made their way back onto iPlayer, and according to the Belonging website there are no plans at the moment for a DVD release. A fan has set up a petition for a Belonging DVD release and I encourage everyone to sign it. This may get the BBC’s attention and hopefully they followup with some information and a possible release date.
Before I go much further, I need to mention that I’m not very familiar with this program or any of the characters because I never got the chance to watch it. Belonging has been described by some as a “hidden gem” and they aren’t kidding. Searching for information online turns up very few results. This program either had a small audience or the BBC was poor at promoting it. Fans that are new to Eve Myles probably never heard of it, but in this article I’ll give a brief explanation and am including some video clips to show what made this program such a success. This is really just a remembrance piece, so I won’t being going too in-depth.
Belonging was a Welsh soap opera that mainly centered on the lives of the Lewis family and was set in and around the fictional town of Bryncoed located in south east Wales. It had a mixture of comedy and drama, but it wasn’t afraid to deal with real life issues such as rape, teenage pregnancy, alcoholism, suicide, etc. At its core, Belonging was about relationships.
Eve played the role of Ceri Owen (later as Ceri Lewis) who played a mother, wife and businesswoman. Ceri ran the ‘Naughty Nights’ lingerie boutique while trying to balance her life as a mother to Jake (played by Lewis Lloyd) and a wife to Robbie (played by Alun Raglan). Some notable life crises were the mysterious death of her mum Margaret and the attempted suicide of her son Jake. The marriage to Robbie was a high point for Ceri as well as becoming a business owner.
Those lucky enough to have watched the program on a regular basis would probably tell you that Eve’s role as Ceri is some of her best work, possibly eclipsing her amazing work on Torchwood. Starting an acting career in her early 20’s, Eve really honed her skills during the run of Belonging and it starts to show after just a few years into the series. She played the role of Ceri with a lot of passion, depth, professionalism and skill. In 2002, 2003 and 2009, Eve was nominated for Best Actress in the BAFTA Cymru awards for the role. Unfortunately she lost out each time, but getting nominated for a BAFTA is huge and says a lot about her acting. Had the series gone on a few more years, I think she would have eventually gotten an award.
All good things
Belonging began airing in 2000 on BBC Wales and was cancelled in 2008, ending with the ninth and final series. The show came back for a one-off episode titled “Coming Home” in mid-April of 2009, which brought the Lewis family back together one last time. It’s no doubt that many of the cast and crew were saddened by the cancellation, but like the saying goes: All good things come to an end.
For those that never got the chance to see the program or need a refresher, here’s a video presentation of “The Belonging Story” in its entirety. It’s a 29-minute documentary that features many clips from the series and includes Eve reliving some memorable moments.
In Part 2 of this article, we’ll take a look at the Lewis family reunion while centering on Eve’s role as Ceri, her impact on the family and the series as a whole. Stay tuned.