Unknown Heart (TV 2013, 2 x 90 Minutes)



Part One

Rarely has spring in the Cotswolds been as invigorating, nor the orchards of the Chipping Vale Cider Farm as glorious as this year. For Elizabeth Lancaster, 40, a fragile beauty who, with her brother Richard, has inherited the centuries-old, family-run cider farm, the blossoms she enjoys might be her last: she urgently needs a heart transplant.

Throughout her illness, she has been lovingly cared for by her husband Duncan, 45, and their twins Ben and Millie, 15. Although Elizabeth has nearly given up hope, an accident suddenly reshuffles the cards of two families...

Andrew Shaw, 45, a noted architect, has just crashed his car, fatally injuring his wife Tilda. Her heart will continue to beat in the body of Elizabeth, who survives the transplant to the relief of her family. Only Richard, 45, an inveterate gambler, had been hoping to sell the farm to pay off his sky-high debts. Elizabeth is aghast when she returns to work after her recovery: through fraud and mismanagement, Richard has run the firm into the ground...

Andrew has lost all joy in life. At home, his sister-in-law Janet devotes herself to his two young children while secretly pining for Andrew. Wishing to meet the recipient of his wife’s heart, he pays a visit to Elizabeth; as if discovering a kindred soul, the two fall in love. Duncan feels betrayed and moves out; Janet immediately despises Elizabeth; the children are shocked; and the ever-manipulative Richard thinks his moment has come. One night, an explosion rips through the cider compound…

Part Two

Ignoring the pains in her chest, Elizabeth had rushed out to the compound but was unable to do anything but gaze at the fiery destruction of her life’s work. The fire is followed by more bad news, now from her cardiologist: her body seems to be rejecting her new heart… She refuses to tell her family, so as not to upset her loved ones any further. Encouraged by his children, Duncan launches a campaign to win back Elizabeth.

Andrew, meanwhile, quits his job as an architect, hoping to help Elizabeth rebuild the cider farm. But even though they’ve once yielded to desire and made passionate love, Elizabeth still cannot decide whether to return to Duncan or commit herself to Andrew. By now, she realizes that Andrew’s sister-in-law Janet is in love with him – and it seems to be an obsessive and all-consuming love.

A greater danger to Elizabeth’s plans – and her life – is her brother Richard, who, unbeknownst to his sister, has arranged to sell the property to a notorious developer who proposes to erect three exclusive houses while actually planning to build a sprawling, middle-income neighbourhood. The developer has also been known to set fire to buildings that hindered his plans… With Andrew’s help, Elizabeth unmasks Richard’s machinations and saves the cider farm through a major contract. But she still has two men in her life who love her and whom she, too, loves…

Cast & Crew

CastCarolina Vera, Greg Wise, Gedeon Burkhard, Julian Sands, Sophie Cookson, Simon Pearce, Tanja Wenzel, Christopher James Barley, Ralf Bauer, James Fox and Jane Seymour
DirectorGiles Foster
WriterMatthew Thomas
Director of PhotographyJames Aspinall
Production DesignerJulian Fullalove
CostumesAlexandra Caulfield
MusicRichard Blackford, 
Stuart Hancock
EditorLiz Webber
ProductionVerena von Heeremann
(Executive Producer ZDF)
Herbert G. Kloiber
(Executive Producer)
Rikolt von Gagern (Producer)