‘Stonehouse’ recap: What happened in Episode 2?

Matthew Macfadyen’s new ITV drama continued in the UK tonight!

Written by A Very English Scandal author John Preston and inspired by the extraordinary true story, Stonehouse series dramatises the life and times of disgraced politician John Stonehouse.

The three-part mini-series tells the story of how Stonehouse, a high-flying member of Harold Wilson’s Government, disappeared from a beach in 1974, intending to fake his own death.

Watch the trailer here:

Leading the cast as John Stonehouse is Matthew Macfadyen (Pride & Prejudice), with his real-life partner Keeley Hawes (The Durrells) playing Stonehouse’s wife, Barbara.

They’re joined by Emer Heatley (Showtrial) as Stonehouse’s mistress Sheila Buckley, Kevin R McNally (The Crown) as Harold Wilson, and Dorothy Atkinson (All Creatures Great and Small) as Betty Boothroyd.

Stonehouse will be released in the US and internationally later this year on BritBox.

documentary about the real John Stonehouse is set to air on ITV1 in the UK after the final episode.

Here’s a plot recap for the second episode, which premiered on ITV1 at 9pm on Tuesday 3rd January 2023:

In Melbourne, John Stonehouse moves to a grotty, downtown apartment to lie low, but is drawn out by friendly locals in a jazz club.

Slightly drunk, he signs off a cheque that will draw the attention of Australian police.

Back in the UK, Labour loses an important vote and – with the government’s majority still wafer thin – Stonehouse’s disappearance gains significance.

On Christmas Eve, Stonehouse is arrested and questioned. He’s initially suspected of being the missing peer Lord Lucan, but further interrogation and evidence lead to Stonehouse spilling the beans.

He has to call home to Barbara, who had been preparing herself and the children for Stonehouse never to return.

After Stonehouse refuses to resign, Wilson deploys chief aid Betty Boothroyd to convince Barbara to fly out to Australia.

Once there, Barbara has to contend with Stonehouse’s pseudo-psychological excuses and Sheila’s suspicious presence during the trio’s uneasy stay at a rural ‘safehouse’.

Wilson – still determined to get Stonehouse back to the UK – calls in a favour from the Australian High Commissioner.