Is No Return a true story? All you need to know about the new Sheridan Smith ITV drama

Sheridan Smith, is No Return a true story?
(Image credit: ITV)

Is No Return is a true story? ITV viewers are wondering after it hit screens last night. The new drama sees actress Sheridan Smith return to screens as a mum of two called Kathy Powell.

Kathy, Martin, and their two teenagers Noah and Jess, and Kathy's sister and her family, relax and spend quality time together on an all-inclusive holiday in Turkey.

However Noah is dragged away in handcuffs accused of a serious crime that he denies committing.

Noah, 16, is supposed to be sitting exams and spending the summer having fun before college, but instead, he faces years in a Turkish prison, thousands of miles from home.

And viewers want to know whether the story is based on real-life...

Is No Return a true story?

No return is NOT based on a true story. The series was created by writer Danny Brocklehurst, who has confirmed that while the very simplest elements of No Return were inspired by a friend who experienced some legal trouble on an international holiday, much of it is invented.

While No Return is set in Turkey, due to travel restrictions being in place at the time of filming, the production team used Spain, Manchester, and Bolton.

Mr. Brocklehurst also recently wrote Netflix’s Harlan Coben adaptation Stay Close and he describes this series as a passion project, and said that “it’s the story of a family caught in a modern nightmare but it allows us to explore themes of parenthood, justice, addiction, and consent.”

Who is in the ITV No Return cast?

The cast of No Return stars Sheridan Smith as mum Kathy Powell, Louis Ashbourne Serkis plays her teenage son Noah, who is accused of sexual assault.

They’re joined by Michael Jibson (Four Lives, Quiz) as father Martin and Lily Sutcliffe as sister Jessica.

Philip Arditti (Black Earth Rising) plays Noah’s legal representative Rico Karvalci and Rufus Hound (Trollied) plays Private Investigator Al Milner.

Completing the cast are Siân Brooke (Stephen, Good Omens, Sherlock) who plays Kathy’s sister Megan, David Mumeni (Sliced, Dead Pixels) who plays Megan’s husband Steve, and Murat Seven (SOKO Stuttgart) as hotel worker Ismail.

Louis has previously starred in Joe Cornish’s fantasy movie The Kid Who Would Be King, and is of course the youngest son of actor and director Andy Serkis and actress Lorraine Ashbourne.

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How many episodes of No Return are there on ITV?

No Return has four episodes, each episode is one hour long.

The first episode sets the scene; For Kathy, Martin and their two teenagers, Noah and Jess, the annual holiday is something that the Powell family look forward to all year round. They’re joined by Kathy’s more affluent sister, Megan, her workaholic husband, Steve, and their son, Fred. It’s an opportunity for them all to switch off, relax and spend quality time together as a family, and an all-inclusive holiday in Turkey is just what the doctor ordered…

But when Martin watches Noah head off to a beach party, little does he know it’s the last moment they’ll share before all their lives are turned completely upside down. The next time Kathy and Martin see their son, he’s being dragged away in handcuffs accused of a serious crime that he denies committing.

16-year-old Noah is supposed to be sitting exams and spending the summer having fun before college, but instead he faces years in a Turkish prison, thousands of miles from home.

Episode 2:

When Kathy and Martin visit Noah in prison, the gravity of the situation knocks both parents sideways. The prison is a stark difference from the beaches and bars of tourism Turkey. Divided by glass, Kathy implores her son to be brave and assures him he’ll be out in no time. But when Noah is back in his cell, lawyer Rico reveals the truth of their new reality. The Turkish system is different and Noah will be detained for months with no release date on the horizon.

Meanwhile, Steve is acting suspiciously and Megan has a close encounter with attractive hotel worker, Ismail. The restart holiday that was supposed to save their marriage could instead be the catalyst that tears it apart.

While Jess babysits Fred, her parents tackle a bewildering legal system. Sick of feeling useless, Martin decides to take matters into his own hands, entirely unaware that Kathy has a risky plan of her own. And with both parents playing with fire, someone is bound to get burned.

No Return

(Image credit: ITV)

When is No Return on ITV?

No Return airs on Mondays at 9pm on ITV, for the next three weeks as an episode is aired each week. Alternatively, all four episodes can be watched on the ITV Hub.

Fans are already loving the show. One told Sheridan, "First episode of no return was brilliant, totally hooked soooo want it to be next Monday already , ❤️ you honey."

Another fan put, "Make amazing moments to cherish.. such an amazing lovely character. I love what you do and enjoy following your story."

And a third fan added, "Cant wait so excited to see' No Return' best actress ever. Our National Treasure. Your such a diverse , incredible actor. Everything you have starred in has been outstanding. Love you Sheridan!!!!" (sic).

If you loved No Return, check out The Holiday on Channel 5.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)