It’s official: HBO's Gentleman Jack will be back!
Written by Happy Valley creator Sally Wainwright, the series is largely based on information from the diaries that Lister herself kept, frequently writing in code to disguise the bits about her sexual exploits with women.
Gentleman Jack is set in 1832 in Halifax, Yorkshire. The story largely focuses on Lister’s budding romance with neighboring heiress Ann Walker, but it also details her attempts to revitalize her ancestral home of Shibden Hall. Lister was also a trailblazer in business, frequently taking on the traditional “man’s role” of managing the estate, including the family coal mines. As one might expect, this often put her at odds with other well known businessman in Halifax, and cause some degree of strife.
Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster, Scott & Bailey) stars as Anne Lister, and her performance is really rather incredible, if I might editorialize for a moment. (I would throw awards at her if I could.) Jones is joined by an all-star cast, lead by Jamestown’s Sophie Rundle as her long-term romantic partner Ann, as well as Gemma Whelan, Gemma Jones, and Timothy West.
“We’re thrilled that Anne Lister’s story has resonated so powerfully with audiences in the U.S. and abroad, and we’re grateful to Sally Wainwright and the entire Gentleman Jack family for bringing her story to life,” Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Drama Programming, said in a statement. “Anne’s journey is an important and courageous one and we can’t wait to share this next season with the world.”
The series – which is currently airing here in the States on HBO – also recently premiered on BBC One in the U.K., where it became the corporation’s biggest new drama launch of the year, notching 5.1 million viewers.
“I’m so thrilled that I will be joining Sally Wainwright on the second part of Anne’s journey,” Jones added. “We always dreamed there would be more, and now we get to play it all out. A huge thank you to the BBC, HBO and Lookout Point for giving us our second series. It’s 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.”
Are you watching Gentleman Jack? Are you looking forward to a second season for the show? Let’s discuss in the comments.