“Gentleman Jack” takes the TV world by storm
The lesbian historical figure, Anne Lister, is taking the TV world by storm through a historical drama collaboration between BBC and HBO called “Gentleman Jack.”
The series stars Suranne Jones as the eponymous “Gentleman Jack,” who lived in 1832 northern England as the owner of her family’s coal mines.
The series also includes Sophie Rundle (as Anne’s love interest, Ann Walker), as well as Gemma Whelan (as Marian Lister, Anne’s sister) and Timothy West (as Jeremy Lister, Anne’s father).
Gentleman Jack well-received with series debut
When the series was launched in the UK with a Sunday night slot on BBC One, it registered as the biggest new drama launch of the year with an average of 5.1 million viewers and a peak audience of 5.6 million.
In fact, it did so well, both BBC and HBO have already ordered a second season of the period drama.
“We always dreamed there would be more and now we get to play it all out,” Suranne Jones said.
She added that the renewal is “such amazing and positive news.”
“I love working with the brilliant and talented Sophie Rundle and can’t wait to create some more Lister and Walker moments with her too,” Jones said.
Sally Wainwright, who wrote “Gentleman Jack,” said she was excited to see people positively responding to Suranne’s “exuberant performance” as well as Sophie’s “beautiful” acting.
“I’m utterly delighted that we’ve been recommissioned, because there are so many more big, bold stories to tell about Anne Lister and Ann Walker,” Wainwright said.
Anne Lister: Gentleman Jack of history
Called the “first modern lesbian,” Anne was an English polymath and landowner from Halifax, West Yorkshire who lived an openly lesbian lifestyle from 1791 to 1840.
Anne was quite a diarist, documenting her life as much as possible– with the most intimate parts written in code.
The series is based on those diaries with the title coming from the nickname given to Anne by Halifax residents: “Gentleman Jack.”
The story focuses on Anne’s efforts to transform her ancestral home, Shibden Hall, by reopening the coal mines.
In keeping with the diaries, the series was shot in locations around Halifax, Huddersfield, and West Yorkshire.
Lookout Point, which is supported by BBC, makes the series for BBC and HBO. The second season is set to run for eight episodes.
The series is directed by Wainwright, Sarah Harding and Jennifer Perrott, with Wainwright also serving as executive producer together with Wainwright, Faith Penhale and Laura Lankester for Lookout Point, and Ben Irving for BBC One.
For more about the series, check out the trailer below: