Jamestown (TV series)

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Jamestown
Series title over image of a stockade entrance
GenreHistorical drama
Created byBill Gallagher
Starring

Abubakar Salim

Abiola Ogunbiyi
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series2
No. of episodes16
Production
Executive producer(s)Richard Fell, Bill Gallagher, Nigel Marchant, Gareth Neame
Producer(s)Sue de Beauvoir
Production company(s)Carnival Films
DistributorNBC Universal Intl.
Release
Original networkSky 1
Picture format4K UHDTV
Original release5 May 2017 (2017-05-05) –
present
External links
Website

Jamestown is a 2017 British drama television series,[1] written by Bill Gallagher and produced by Carnival Films, the makers of Downton Abbey. Set in 1619, Jamestown follows the first English settlers as they establish a community in the New World.[2] Among those landing onshore are a group of women destined to be married to the men of Jamestown, including three spirited women from England. The series premiered on Sky One in the United Kingdom in May 2017. Sky ordered a second series of Jamestown in May 2017, before the premiere of the first series.[3] Series 2 aired from February 2018.[4] The renewal of Jamestown for a third season was announced by Sky One on March 23, 2018.[5]

Summary[edit]

1619, twelve years after the men have founded the colony of Jamestown, women arrive from England duty bound to marry the men that have paid for their passage. Among the women are Alice, Verity, and Jocelyn who arrive with little idea of what the future holds or the disruption they are about to bring to the settlement. The new governor, Sir George Yeardley, and his wife also arrive and discover that running the settlement is not without problems with a company secretary trying to undermine his position.

Cast and characters[edit]

  • Naomi Battrick as Jocelyn Woodbryg – Betrothed to Samuel Castell
  • Sophie Rundle as Alice Kett – Farm girl betrothed to Henry Sharrow
  • Niamh Walsh as Verity Bridges – Betrothed to Meredith Rutter
  • Max Beesley as Henry Sharrow – Eldest brother of the three Sharrows.
  • Gwilym Lee as Samuel Castell – Company Recorder to the Virginia Company (Series 1)
  • Jason Flemyng as Sir George Yeardley – Governor of Virginia
  • Claire Cox as Temperance Yeardley – Wife of Governor Yeardley
  • Dean Lennox Kelly as Meredith Rutter – Owner of the tavern of Jamestown
  • Shaun Dooley as Rev Michaelmas Whitaker (Series 1)
  • Stuart Martin as Silas Sharrow – Middle brother of the three Sharrows
  • Steven Waddington as Redwick – The town Marshal
  • Matt Stokoe as James Read – Blacksmith/craftsman
  • Burn Gorman as Nicholas Farlow – Company secretary of the Virginia Company
  • Luke Roskell as Pepper Sharrow – Youngest of the three Sharrow brothers.
  • Ben Starr as Dr Christopher Priestley 
  • Tony Pitts as Edgar Massinger – Land owner and tobacco grower (Series 1–2)
  • Patsy Ferran as Mercy Myrtle – Servant girl of Samuel and maid to Jocelyn.
  • Kalani Queypo as Chacrow – Native Indian go-between the settlers and Pamunkey Indians
  • Raoul Max Trujillo as Opechancanough – Chief of the Pamunkey
  • Abubakar Salim as Pedro (Series 2- ) – Angolan warrior who is captured and sold into chattel slavery.
  • Abiola Ogunbiyi as Maria (Series 2- ) – Angolan who is captured and sold into chattel slavery.
  • Rachel Colwell as Winganuske (series 2) - Chacrow's sister married to Henry Sharrow as a gift.

Production[edit]

Most of the series was filmed in Hungary.[6]

Episodes[edit]

Series 1 (2017)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions)
11"Episode 1"John AlexanderBill Gallagher5 May 2017 (2017-05-05)0.6[7]
Alice, Verity and Jocelyn meet the men they are expected to marry. Farm girl Alice is met by the handsome Silas, but it is his elder brother Henry, a violent and brutal farmer, who has paid to marry her. Fiery Verity meets her new husband having his ear nailed to the town stocks. He is a drunkard and owner of the local tavern. Upper class Jocelyn, who confessed to Alice on the voyage she had killed a man in England, is betrothed to the company recorder and soon becomes embroiled in the local politics of tobacco selling. Silas and Henry go up river to buy corn from the Indians. Silas returns alone leaving Henry for dead after an explosion on one of their canoes.
22"Episode 2"John AlexanderBill Gallagher12 May 2017 (2017-05-12)N/A
Henry Sharrow believed dead, blacksmith James Read seeks to marry Alice as does Silas whom she prefers. Marshall Redwick and Farlow, unable to punish Jocelyn, use the example of Verity's irreverence to punish her in the stocks. Verity curses the marshall who comes down with sickness and she is suspected of witchcraft. Another man dies of sickness and Mercy also succumbs, but Doctor Priestley saves her with Indian medicine. The Reverend Michaelmas Whitaker accuses Verity of witchcraft and Jocelyn plots to save her and prevent Alice from being blackmailed into marrying Read. The doctor searches for the cause of the sickness.
33"Episode 3"San DonovanBill Gallagher19 May 2017 (2017-05-19)N/A
A native American is caught trying to steal shot and powder for a musket secretly sold to them. Silas is accused of trading the musket. Jocelyn suggests the captive be returned as a sign of goodwill with Samuel accompanying Governor Yeardley. Marshall Redwick and Farlow see an opportunity to restore military rule if the native does not survive the journey. Alice is convinced James Read knows who sold the musket but he is reluctant to help her because of his love for her. Negotiations with the natives do not go well as the natives realise the arrival of women to Jamestown means the settlers intend to stay. Henry Sharrow has survived with care from the natives and meets another colonist, Davey McDurran believed dead, living with the natives.
44"Episode 4"San DonovanBill Gallagher26 May 2017 (2017-05-26)N/A
Alice and Silas marry. Rumours of a gold map leading to a Portuguese mine stirs Jocelyn to force a reluctant Samuel to help her find the map. Farlow and Redwick seek to discover a relationship between Jocelyn and Doctor Priestley by having one of their men extract information from Mercy. Verity challenges husband Meredith to give up drink for a month. James Read clashes with the governor over his refusal to allow him to marry Alice and suffers a harsh punishment. The doctor declares his love for Jocelyn who has made an enemy of the governor's wife.
55"Episode 5"Paul WilmhurstBill Gallagher2 June 2017 (2017-06-02)N/A
Governor Yeardley is taken ill and Jocelyn sees an opportunity for her husband as does the Marshall and Farlow. Silas's cow is killed. Verity is blamed when she is accused of inflaming passions between Fletcher and Baily who kills Fletcher. Henry Sharrow and Davey McDurran search for gold. Jocelyn fears the governor's wife and a letter she is expecting from England revealing her secret; a secret she confides to Doctor Priestley who confesses his love for her. James Read discovers Henry Sharrow is alive. Verity hears of an uprising amongst the soldiers against Yeardley.
66"Episode 6"Paul WilmhurstBill Gallagher9 June 2017 (2017-06-09)N/A
Silas searches for his brother Henry; Alice asks James Read to make her a dagger. Temperance Yeardley organises the St John's Eve celebration and Jocelyn sees a way to ingratiate herself. Verity starts stealing property from Farlow and Redwick to her husband's shock. Henry Sharrow and Davey McDurran find silver. When a box belonging to the governor goes missing Temperance seeks its recovery from Verity and finds her with Jocelyn. Henry Sharrow returns to Jamestown.
77"Episode 7"David MooreBill Gallagher16 June 2017 (2017-06-16)N/A
Henry Sharrow believes his silver find gives him great power. Verity supports Alice, who fears Henry, in her claim of rape and Farlow and Redwick seek to turn the claim to their advantage. Jocelyn has discovered a secret of the governor and blackmails Temperance to hand over the letter she is expecting. Silas returns to Jamestown and is rejected by his brother and Alice who feels betrayed by him. James Read refines the silver and Doctor Priestley's test of the silver's provenance results in the tables being turned on Henry Sharrow, Governor Yeardley, and Jocelyn.
88"Episode 8"David MooreBill Gallagher23 June 2017 (2017-06-23)N/A
A ship docks with new settlers, orders from the Virginia Company, and the letter Temperance is expecting. Jocelyn fears she will hang. Verity reveals to her husband they are not married and the ship her way home. Redwick and Farlow's position is undermined when the orders from the company dictate the governor institutes a form of democracy. Samuel discovers Redwick and Farlow's fraud against the company. Alice and Verity determine to help Jocelyn but Alice makes the situation worse. The ship's captain bring news to Redwick and Farlow's advantage who order manacles from James Read. The Sharrows are threatened ruin by Massinger. Temperance is shocked by her husband's actions that reflect on her decision about Jocelyn. The first democratic vote is held to thwart Massinger.

Series 2 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions)
91"Episode 1"Paul WilmhurstBill Gallagher9 February 2018 (2018-02-09)N/A
Alice gives birth to a son, the first of the colony, whom she names Silas despite pressures to name him James. Maria and Pedro handle their enslavement in different ways; Maria vows to return to her country and refuses to accept the ways of the colony whilst Pedro decides he needs Yeardley to purchase him in order to eventually gain his freedom. Silas and Henry find the body of Samuel Castel by the river, leaving Jocelyn a widow. Meredith admits to Verity that he saw Samuel before his death who told him he was on governor’s business but he is reluctant to tell for fear of repercussions. Jocelyn and Mercy are evicted from their home, causing Mercy to find a rosary and suspect Samuel of being a Catholic but they both struggle to believe it is true. Jocelyn nearly puts the rosary in Samuel’s casket but is advised not to by James Reed. At Samuel’s funeral, Yeardley demands the casket is opened, causing Jocelyn to suspect someone planted the rosary. Her suspicious are confirmed when she finds out Yeardley received an anonymous tip to check the coffin. She offers to trade the information of who the real Catholic spy is in exchange for her return home.
102"Episode 2"Paul WilmhurstBill Gallagher9 February 2018 (2018-02-09)N/A
Jocelyn reveals to Governor Yeardley that Doctor Priestly is the papist spy. Yeardley returns her house and instructs Jocelyn to remain close to the Doctor. Verity wants a baby but her drunken husband Meredith is unable to oblige. Alice is ill with worry when she finds Silas is secretly talking to the native Indians. Meredith buys smuggled goods from a ship's crew docked at the quay. Pedro seeks Jocelyn's help by way of James the blacksmith, and she engineers a plot to arrange his change of ownership to Governor Yeardley. Silas and Henry capture one of the smugglers; Farlow interrogates him and kills him, accusing him as the murderer of Samuel Castel.
113"Episode 3"David EvansBill Gallagher16 February 2018 (2018-02-16)N/A
Believing Priestley to be the papist spy, Yeardley continues to use Jocelyn as his spy. Alice falls asleep, and her baby is taken. Henry and Silas believe the native Indians have taken the baby to force Silas to act for them and go to the Indian village. Maria, who had lost her own children, as had the Marshal, are also suspected. Yeardley raises a Militia to confront the Indians egged on by the Marshal. Dismayed at the continual arrival of more English settlers, the Indians see another way when Chacrow suggests giving one of his sisters to Henry Sharrow as a bride. The baby is found floating down the river in a small canoe.
124"Episode 4"David EvansBill Gallagher23 February 2018 (2018-02-23)N/A
Henry Sharrow is married to Chacrow's sister Winganuske. A wife for James Read arrives by ship, but the journey has taken its toll. Henry learns his new wife is not pure, she having been with other Panukey men, and agrees to Governor Yeardley's plan, devised by Jocelyn, to get the Indian chief into his debt. Silas warns Chacrow of the plan. Read falls afoul of the governor for wearing clothes above his station and is publicly whipped by the Marshal. Chacrow turns the governor's plan on its head. Yeardley expects Jocelyn to spend the night with Doctor Priestley to discover evidence that he is the papist spy. Verity and Meredith have the stolen ship goods taken by Massinger. Mercy tells Jocelyn she and Read saw her enter the Doctor's home.
135"Episode 5"Andy HayBill Gallagher2 March 2018 (2018-03-02)N/A
Farlow returns from Bermuda with effeminate Simeon Peck, an alchemist, with promises to turn lead into gold. Governor Yeardley is convinced, but Redwick the marshal is not. Jocelyn seeks to gain an advantage from the situation. Verity makes fun of Peck's proclivities. The marshal lays down the law regarding sodomy. Alice forges a reconciliation between her husband and James Read. Jocelyn confides to Doctor Priestley that she told Yeardley he is the papist spy, but she learns Yeardley already knows who the spy is. The alchemist's transformation is not what is expected. The Sharrows are angry when their tobacco cargo is stolen by privateers but Yeardley's cargo remains untouched.
146"Episode 6"Andy HayBill Gallagher9 March 2018 (2018-03-09)N/A
The Sharrows march on Jamestown with other disgruntled settlers. Yeardley quells the uprising with a document proclaiming an imminent Spanish invasion. An eclipse forebodes impending doom as the settlement prepares for war. Massinger is found by Mercy blind. The spectral corpse of Samuel Castell is seen in Jamestown. Jocelyn finds her wedding ring on her pillow. The Sharrows accuse Massinger of arranging the theft of their cargo. Yeardley believes Massinger is the spy and the killer of Samuel, whose body is exhumed. Massinger faces a test of God's judgement that Jocelyn must face as well. Jocelyn insists that Massinger take the test again. Massinger is hanged, but Verity has the final action.
157"Episode 7"Bill GallagherBill Gallagher16 March 2018 (2018-03-16)N/A
Yeardley expects Pedro to breed with Maria and Jocelyn to accept Dr Priestley's proposal of marriage. The Sharrows take Massinger's slaves in lieu of their stolen cargo. Mrs Yeardley gives cause to Maria to stab Pedro and flee the settlement. Jocelyn seeks a secret pact with Farlow to obtain Massinger's land. Chacrow finds Maria and takes her to Alice who hides her to Silas's dismay. Rutter becomes obsessed with a passage from the Bible. Maria runs to Verity and Read finds the injured Pedro. Maria and Pedro start back for the settlement and are found by Henry Sharrow who puts them in chains to earn favour with Yeardley. Maria is punished by branding. Jocelyn is shamed by the settlement for refusing to remarry and she seeks consolation with James Read.
168"Episode 8"Bill GallagherBill Gallagher23 March 2018 (2018-03-23)N/A
Jocelyn blackmails Yeardley into giving her Massinger's land: land he wanted. Yeardley plans to burn Jocelyn's tobacco crop and blame the Pamunkey to take their land: a plan Farlow disagrees with. Verity gets her own revenge on Marshal Redwick to her and her husband's benefit. Doctor Priestley orders two rapiers from James Read as he challenges him to a duel. Jocelyn offers James Read an overseer's position. Alice tells Chacrow of Yeardley's plan. Jocelyn's crop is fired, Silas flees to the Pamunkey as he is considered a traitor by the settlers. Yeardley orders Henry to return his brother while Yeardley organises an attack on the Pamunkey.

Reviews[edit]

The Guardian said the show to be an expensive soap opera, but found the show to be fun.[8][9] A critic with the Financial Times questioned the accuracy of the show, especially its portrait of women.[10] The Irish Times found that everything in the show is "absurd, generic or risible."[11] The Telegraph was kinder to the show, as it found the show to be a "silly but gripping period drama" [12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Downton Abbey' creator Carnival Films to produce 'Jamestown'". The Premium Herald. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  2. ^ "'Downton Abbey' creator Carnival Films to produce 'Jamestown'". Chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  3. ^ "Sky orders second series of Jamestown – before the first has even begun". Radiotimes.com. Retrieved 2017-07-04.
  4. ^ "Jamestown Series 2 airing from February 2018". Sky.com. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  5. ^ "Jamestown gets third series from Sky One". Digitalspy.com.
  6. ^ Ellie Harrison. "Jamestown: Follow in the footsteps of the first British settlers in America". Radio Times.
  7. ^ Hannah Gannagé-Stewart. "Jamestown strikes gold for Sky". Broadcast Now.
  8. ^ Wollaston, Sam (6 May 2017). "Jamestown review – mail-order brides witness the bloody birth of America". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  9. ^ Wollaston, Sam (9 February 2018). "Jamestown review – new settlers make a splash in Virginia". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  11. ^ Crawley, Peter. "Jamestown: absurd, generic and risible show in 'a hive of men starved of women'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  12. ^ O'Donovan, Gerard (5 May 2017). "Jamestown is a silly but gripping period drama – review". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2019.

External links[edit]