Sophie Rundle and Max Beesley among ensemble cast
Sky 1 has commissioned a new eight-part drama Jamestown, written by Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise to Candleford, The Paradise).
Set in 1619, Jamestown charts the early days of the first British settlers as they embark on their lives in America. Amongst those landing on shore are a group of women destined to be married to the men of Jamestown, including three spirited women from England: Jocelyn (Naomi Battrick), Alice (Sophie Rundle) and Verity (Niamh Walsh). Leaving their old lives behind, these women have embarked on this journey to start afresh, fulfil their dreams and become the female pioneers of an exciting new western outpost.
Leading the cast of settlers are Max Beesley, Jason Flemyng, Dean Lennox-Kelly, Shaun Dooley, Stuart Martin, Steven Waddington, Matt Stokoe and Burn Gorman.
With whole-hearted tales of love, affairs, births, marriage and death, the settlers find themselves battling against inhospitable wilderness, suspicious indigenous people and a host of brutal challenges. With ambition, power and entrepreneurial spirit on their side, these pioneers will define a new way of life as they build new lives and start again – or bury their past secrets.
Anne Mensah, Head of Drama, Sky, said: “The wonderful Bill Gallagher has managed to combine an amazing tale of bravery and adventure with unforgettable characterisation and compelling emotion that mark out Jamestown as completely unique. The women at the centre of our story were choosing a new life in a country from which they could never return – personal stakes on that level make for simply incredible drama. We are so excited that Carnival are bringing another project of such huge ambition to Sky 1.”
Gareth Neame, MD, Carnival Films adds: “This is a unique project; the birth of America through the eyes of the early English settlers. Bill Gallagher has created a show which boasts adventure, community and a remarkable range of characters. Combining life and death, power, ambition, love and rivalry, the stakes are high and the drama tantamount.”
Jamestown is produced by Carnival Films (Downtown Abbey, Lucky Man) and goes into production in April 2016 for broadcast on Sky 1.