Gentleman Jack wowed critics and audiences alike when it aired on BBC One earlier this year. This was a Sunday-night period drama with a difference – based on the diaries of early 19th-century landowner, industrialist and traveller Anne Lister, it revealed a woman determined to explore her lesbian sexuality.
Wainwright was joined on stage by series consultant Anne Choma and folk duo O’Hooley & Tidow, the creators of the drama’s closing song, who also played a live set.
Created by RTS Award-winning writer Nicole Taylor (Three Girls), the emotional thriller focuses on wealthy couple Dan (Compston) and Emily (Rundle) who are head over heels in love and live a beautiful house just outside of Glasgow.
Their lives seem perfect, but there is one thing missing: a baby.
A chance encounter introduces them to Kaya – played by Mirren Mack in her television debut – an 18-year-old from the other side of the city.
Some 20 years in the making, Sally’s Wainwright’s new television drama, Gentleman Jack, was originally rejected by every broadcaster she took it to. The story of an openly gay woman who farmed in 19th-century rural Yorkshire was considered a non-starter by TV networks. Starting this month, the topic is getting eight hours of BBC One Sunday-night primetime.
It’s common for writers to describe their latest work as a “passion project” – often industry-accepted shorthand for what they hope is infectious enthusiasm for their new offering.
In 2018, BBC iPlayer received requests for 3.6 billion programmes throughout the year.
Among the top ten requested shows per series included Bodyguard, Killing Eve, McMafia, Doctor Who, Keeping Faith, The Cry, Dynasties, Our Girl, Bing and MOTD Live.
“In 2018 we saw people who use iPlayer increasing the amount of time that they spend watching programmes on it,” said Dan McGolpin, Controller of Programming for the BBC.
Set in New Zealand during the 1860s, the series follows British adventurer Ana Wetherell (Eve Hewson) who falls in love with fortune hunter Emery Staines (Himesh Patel), and is plunged into a world of tragedy, mystery and revenge.
The couple must overcome numerous barriers put in their way, particularly from the spiteful Lydia Wells (Eva Green) and rich boy Francis Carver (Marton Csokas).
Inspired by Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad novels, the series follows detectives Rob Reilly (Killian Scott) and Cassie Maddox (Sarah Greene).
It sees the pair attempt to solve the murders of a young ballerina and a vivacious free-spirited woman.
Set during the height of the Celtic Tiger financial boom, the two murders, seemingly unrelated, are revealed to be connected through the cruel elements in both cases.
Series five, which began filming in Manchester last month, sees the devastating effects of the 1929 financial crash. Tommy Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy, is now a Labour MP and takes on the responsibility of not just his family, but the electorate as well.
Other new cast members to debut in the Bafta award-winning drama are Brian Gleeson, Elliot Cowan, Charlene McKenna, Andrew Koji, Daryl McCormack, Kate Dickie and Emmet J Scanlan.