In Ten Pound Poms, an immigration drama by BBC One and Stans, we get to see a plethora of characters who have reluctantly shifted to Australia. They have moved out of obligation and not out of desire to find a new life. There is Kate, who had to move to look for her only son. Meanwhile, Annie’s husband, Terry, moves with her because he wants to fulfill the promise he made to his wife that things in their marriage would be different from then on. Other than them, another couple from England has fallen out of love in an obvious way. The wife, Sheila, intends to go back to England, but her insensitive husband, Bill Anderson, makes sure she never leaves him. These are some of the characters that were not keen on starting their lives in Australia, but Annie Roberts was different. She wanted a change of place and a new life to start from scratch so that her marriage would not fall apart, and she could give her children a better quality of education. But why?
Annie was frustrated to see where her life was leading. She was a homemaker who spent half of her life taking care of the house as well as Terry and her kids, Pete and Pattie. She did not have much of a life back in England because she had spent most of her time making sure Terry remained sober. She knows Terry is suffering from flashbacks of his time as an army officer in Germany amidst the Second World War. She knows he is suffering because of it. Terry’s inclination towards alcohol is also because of his PTSD; the man wants to forget everything. Annie is done with Terry spending all of his money on alcohol and gambling; she now wants something different from her life because she cannot possibly spend the rest of her life just babysitting her husband and kids. Her kids are also almost reaching adulthood, and she was hoping for the first time that it was high time they brought out some change in their quality of life.
Their move to Australia for just ten pounds is something that Annie needed. Annie and her husband did not have much money on them, and that’s why, apart from ten pounds, they sold everything they owned to make sure they would have enough money in hand when they reached Australia. Though it is not made clear in which city they landed in Australia, on reaching the land down under, their accommodation and living conditions in the camp that is allocated to them are not exactly ideal. But Annie, who is determined to turn things around for a change, makes sure all of them slowly and steadily adjust to the new life here. Annie is determined, and she would want Terry and the kids to show the same determination. Annie makes do with the space they have; meanwhile, her kids crib constantly.
Annie craves starting her life from scratch because she does not want Terry to indulge in alcohol. Terry is a good man. A drunk Terry ends up getting angry at meeting Pattie’s boyfriend back in the UK. She wants Terry to remain sober, and in turn, it would help her remain calm. Annie’s meeting with a clothing store’s manager, Marlene, leads to her being offered the role of supervisor of the store. Annie is keen on taking this job despite Terry’s expressing his opinion that the money he would get from his new job is enough to run the family. Annie should only take care of the kids and her home. Annie is not sure if that is the right thing to do, keeping in mind how much she wants things to be different. She insists that she would be able to manage her home and the job, which helps her decide to take up the job offer. Once that happens, Annie is finally able to see the change she was craving.
Marlene happens to be that person who pushes Annie to bring out a better version of herself, a version that is not overtly worried about Terry or their kids, Pete and Pattie. Even when Terry reveals his accident to her, the new Annie is livid at him for not being mature about the incident. The old Annie would have mollycoddled the man, but now Annie would want Terry to figure out a solution on his own as she takes off with Kate, her friend, to help her find Kate’s long-lost son Michael. Annie was unperturbed and did not feel guilty for doing it because, for the first time, she was thinking about herself, and from here on, there was no turning back.
Annie went to parties Marlene invited her to, and she would bring Terry with her. Terry is not used to these parties, he is visibly uncomfortable with her new friends, who happen to be influential. Even though he can see men flirting with his wife, Terry does nothing to step up to make her feel she matters to him but rather complains. It is not that Annie does not love her husband; it is just that she feels Terry is not making an effort to bring some change into their lives. He is still stuck in the life they led in the UK and is not happy to see a version of Annie he has never witnessed before. As a couple, they have disagreements on this, and Annie also contemplates having an affair with an acquaintance she met via Marlene but stops herself from doing so. Even with so much disagreement, Terry finally understands why Annie is probably right. He soon strives to be the person who embraces change because it is required for people to grow emotionally as well. The couple was there for each other during Pattie’s pregnancy as well. They both fight as equals, with their neighbor Arty dying in an accident caused by the roof of the home allotted to him crashing down on him. Annie makes sure to fight against the people who allotted the home so that no new person starts living in that death trap. Even though Annie and Terry don’t manage to bring some concrete results, she is happy to see Terry finally getting what she wants from her life in Australia—a change that would help her and him grow as human beings away from the mundane life they led in the UK. This relationship kind of mirrors April and Frank Wheeler’s relationship in the 2008 film Revolutionary Road, where the wife was craving a change from suburban life. In this show, thankfully, the relationship does not turn toxic like in the film. Husband and wife Terry and Annie make things around themselves work and want to get older together. Annie is finally leading the life she had envisioned with Terry.