74 votes
The A Word

The A Word

BBC One 2016

The various generations of the Hughes family, who all love, work and fight like any other clan, find they must learn to communicate all over again when the youngest member is diagnosed with autism.

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The 10 Best Episodes of The A Word

The A Word - S2E6

#1 - Same Deep Water


Season 2 - Episode 6

An "End of Year Show" at Joe's old school brings his family members together. Paul’s deepest feelings about his son’s autism emerge when Nicola makes a film of Joe’s behaviours. Eddie reaches D-Day with Holly, while Maurice makes a shocking proposal.

The episode was rated from 48 votes.

The A Word - S3E5

#2 - Episode 5


Season 3 - Episode 5

Louise and Maurice are shaken when an unwelcome visitor arrives on the eve of Ralph’s wedding. Mark and Joe test Paul and Sarah’s liberalism when they strike out on their own.

The episode was rated from 30 votes.

The A Word - S3E6

#3 - Episode 6


Season 3 - Episode 6

When Rebecca goes into labour, it falls to Joe to help his sister. Alison makes a decision about Ben, Paul makes Mark an offer, and Maurice has a big question for Louise.

The episode was rated from 28 votes.

The A Word - S3E4

#4 - Episode 4


Season 3 - Episode 4

Alison brings the family together when she organises a sponsored walk for Joe. Paul gets a surprise from Sarah, and Maurice feels rejected by Ralph.

The episode was rated from 28 votes.

The A Word - S3E1

#5 - Episode 1


Season 3 - Episode 1

Unsettled by a change in his life, Joe rejects his headphones. Maurice tries to solve all his family’s problems, Alison clashes with a stranger, and Rebecca has some big news.

The episode was rated from 27 votes.

The A Word - S3E3
#6 - Episode 3
Season 3 - Episode 3

Maurice and Eddie lock horns on a kids camping trip. Paul tries to forge a connection with Joe. Rebecca interrupts Alison’s date with Ben to confront her about motherhood.

The episode was rated from 26 votes.
The A Word - S1E1
#7 - Diagnosis
Season 1 - Episode 1

At Joe's birthday party, tensions rise when it's suggested he has communication problems.

The episode was rated from 152 votes.
The A Word - S1E6
#8 - Lost
Season 1 - Episode 6

Alison brokers a peace with Paul in time for the gastropub opening, but Joe goes missing.

The episode was rated from 112 votes.
The A Word - S1E2
#9 - Home School
Season 1 - Episode 2

Following Joe’s diagnosis, Alison wants to protect her son and takes him out of school without telling Paul. He and Rebecca believe that Joe shouldn’t have to change to fit into the world.

The episode was rated from 124 votes.
The A Word - S1E5
#10 - Goodbye
Season 1 - Episode 5

Alison is hit hard when Joe's helper Maya looks set to be deported. As Paul and Eddie discover their wives both want different things, Maurice is left kicking himself for letting Louise go.

The episode was rated from 107 votes.

Last updated: may 08, 2022



If you want to be sure of quality, watch ANY BBC show. This is no exception.


Four years on and I'm still unable to comprehend why this garbage fire of a production was renewed not once, but twice by the BBC. Sensationalism at its finest, The A Word purports to be about the exploits of young Joe, a five-year-old music lover who just so happens to be autistic. What it's actually about is the relationship troubles of the adults in his life, most of whom are intolerable in their ignorance towards others, and the impact that his big bad condition has on his family unit. Great. I definitely tuned into a show that marketed itself as an exploration of an autistic individual's outlook on the world to hear about his grandad's sexual endeavours, or how his mother is completely justified in wanting to 'change him back' and reconnect with the son that she has 'lost'. That's not even getting into the racism, sexism, and homophobia on display throughout the entire programme; in the first episode alone, Alison, our alleged protagonist, refers to her black sister-in-law as a "wh*re" for having engaged in an affair, and in the fourth, her husband Paul remarks that if he had known the woman caring for Joe was letting him listen to rock and roll, he would have "had her deported sooner". That's right: the characters we're supposed to be rooting for are nothing but a bunch of entitled *ssh*les who are unable to cope with the idea that world doesn't reflect their own personal beliefs, even if those beliefs are incredibly harmful and toxic. In the third episode, when it's revealed that Alison literally bullied a speech therapist who is trying to get Joe the help he needs when they were both in secondary school, the show bends over backwards to excuse her actions as those of an insecure teenager, even having her crack a joke about how maybe her bullying her had a positive impact on her life since it led her towards becoming a therapist in the first place. Just...no. Do yourselves a favour and don't waste your time or braincells on this sorry excuse for a show. Turns out the real "A Word" was 'ableism'...


An excellent show, though among the current abundance of autism spectrum shows, this is significantly less heartwarming, more heart wrenching in that typical gritty BBC style. The second season is a bit more mellow in some ways so far, one actual LOL moment for me. Definitely worth a watch, if only to see Christopher Eccleston as a socially bumbling grandfather.


Sry but what is this xD

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