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Film and TV

Gentleman Jack creator Sally Wainwright hints at season 2 plot

Reiss Smith July 8, 2019
Anne Lister sitting down, holding hands with Ann Walker who is on bended knee

Gentleman Jack ended its first season with a wedding (BBC)

Sally Wainwright has revealed the first details about Gentleman Jack’s second season.

Wainwright said that she feels “overwhelmed” by the response to the BBC show, which ended its first season on Sunday (July 7).

“Obviously it’s had a big impact amongst gay women and the love for it is overwhelming, and that’s so beautiful and exciting, but also so many straight women are feeling empowered by it as well,” she told RadioTimes.com

Season one ended with Ann Walker (played by Sophie Rundle) and Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) finally committing to each other in a sort of wedding ceremony.

Wainright has teased that the second season, which was confirmed back in May, will explore what life was like for a married lesbian couple in Regency-era England.

Sally Wainwright preparing for Gentleman Jack season 2

She told RadioTimes.com that she has already begun “wading through” Lister’s diaries for inspiration.

“What I think is interesting is they were quite equally matched, in an odd sort of way,” she said.

“So even though Anne Lister seems like this absolute powerhouse with this iron will, Ann Walker had a real streak of stubbornness—and of course she had all the money.

Anne Lister was known as Gentleman Jack, the title of Ross McGregor's play and of the BBC production due to air this year.
Gentleman Jack is set in the 19th century. (BBC One)

“So there was a real interesting dynamic and a real interesting power dynamic between them, which I’m really looking forward to exploring a bit more fully.”

She confirmed that the newlyweds will honeymoon before returning to Shibden, teasing: “First they went to North Yorkshire, and then they went down to Geneva and they spent some time walking around the foothills of Mont Blanc.”

Gentleman Jack assault scenes ‘sadly pertinent’

In a separate interview with Digital Spy, Wainwright said she found it “sadly pertinent” that episode five ended with Lister being beaten up in the street, scenes which aired in the UK just days after a lesbian couple were attacked on a London night bus.

“I hoped it was relevant because we’re all much more articulate now about gender and sexuality, and the whole debate about identity,” she said.

“But becoming aware of those stories in the last few weeks, it is relevant and sadly pertinent that Anne Lister got beaten up and that’s still happening now.”

I hoped it was relevant because we’re more articulate about gender and sexuality.

After Gentleman Jack wrapped up its first season in the UK, many fans applauded the series for its primetime lesbian representation.

“Though there’s been more lesbian representation in tv in recent years, Gentleman Jack has been the first show that’s really made me feel seen,” tweeted one fan.

“I will never get over how beautiful this is. To see two women unashamedly in love on prime time British television, I need a minute to stop crying, thank you,” another added.

More: Anne Lister, gentleman jack, Sally Wainwright

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