Emma Watson, Yasmin Paige, and Lucy Boynton headline director Sandra Goldbacher's made-for-television adaptation of author Noel Streatfield's classic novel of the same name. The setting is 1930s London. Orphans Pauline (Watson), Petrova (Paige), and Posy Fossil (Boynton) have all been adopted by eccentric explorer Professor Brown (aka "Gum"), and raised as sisters by Brown's benevolent niece Sylvia (Emilia Fox). Before the three girls get to know their adventurous adoptive father, however, Gum vanishes for over a decade. Though her faithful retainer, Nana (Victoria Wood), does her best to keep the family afloat, Sylvia simply can't keep up with the demands of raising a family, and her health begins to deteriorate. Eventually, faced with dwindling financial resources, she decides to take in lodgers. Those who arrive as household guests include the lively academics Dr. Smith (Harriet Walter) and Dr. Jakes (Gemma Jones), plus curvy dance instructor Theo Dane (Lucy Cohu) and kind-but-pensive Mr. Simpson (Marc Warren). As the nontraditional family begins to see their lives changed by these new arrivals in ways that they never anticipated, Pauline, Petrova, and Posy enroll in the local theater school and set about establishing themselves as stars of the stage. But while Pauline dreams of becoming a world-famous actress and Posy longs to grow into a graceful ballerina, Petrova just wants to take to the sky as an aviator.