‘Gentleman Jack’ faces an uncertain future after broadcaster pulls out

Gentleman Jack

Gentleman Jack, the British television series that documents the lives of nineteenth century landowner Anne Lister and her partner Ann Walker, may be coming to an end after one of the broadcasters behind the series announced they were pulling out of future series.

US broadcaster HBO has announced their involvement is coming to an end after two series of the program. The show is co-produced alongside the BBC.

The British broadcaster said they were now in talks with series creator Sally Wainwright on what their next steps would be.

“We are tremendously proud of Gentleman Jack, a show which has made a huge cultural impact,” a BBC spokesperson said.

“We are in discussions with Sally about what’s next.”

The series documents the life of Lister who was an eighteenth century landowner in Yorkshire. She was an accomplished mountaineer and wrote extensive diaries about her life. All together her diaries are more than four millions words long.

The sections of her diaries which document her same-sex relationships were written in a code made up of the Greek alphabet, zodiac and punctuation. The coded sections of her diary detail her seduction techniques and document her love life.

Historians have declared the work of great value not only because of it’s detailed account of a lesbian life in the eighteenth century but also because of its records of everyday life and historic events. Lister is often declared to be the first “modern lesbian”.

Actor Suranne Jones plays Lister in the series, while Sophie Rundle portrays her partner Ann Walker.

On Instagram Jones said it was sad that show might be coming to an end.

“While it is sad news Gentleman Jack will not be renewed, this show has brought so many together, enabled people to share their stories, brought joy, emotion and creativity and gave me a real connection to you as it’s audience.” Jones wrote.

“I have never been involved in a show that has made such a huge impact and touched my heart like this one has. It wasn’t always the easiest job I’ve had… but it was always worth it to see the response it got. ”

Jones highlighted that since the show aired there has been an increased recognition of Walker’s accomplishments and place in history.

“Anne Lister now has a statue in the Piece Hall. There is a Blue plaque in Holy Trinity church yard celebrating Anne and Ann’s union in 1834. There is a college named after Anne Lister on the east campus at the University of York. ”

Sophie Rundle also shared how proud she was of the show that elevated a piece of queer history to greater prominence.

“I hope the news that there won’t be another series of Gentleman Jack isn’t too disappointing for those who were hoping for more. What a privilege it has been to play Ann Walker and bring her and Anne Lister’s extraordinary love story back to life.

“I am so proud to have been a part of reclaiming their place in history. And I will be forever grateful to have been allowed to spend time in the eye wateringly talented orbits of Sally and Suranne, and the incredible team of people who brought this story to your screens.”

While another series of the show seems unlikely, sometime program do find new production partners and broadcasters that bring them back to life. The Orville and All Rise are two shows currently airing that recently looked to be finished, but have been revived.

OIP Staff


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