The story of pioneering lesbian Anne Lister will continue on HBO and the BBC now that the networks have ordered a second season of the period piece Gentleman Jack, which is still only partway through its first season, according to Deadline.
The networks have called for another eight episodes of the period piece that stars Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster) as Lister, a mountaineer, landowner, businesswoman, and prolific diarist whose wrote in code in part about her sexual trysts and love affairs with women.
The series, set in 1832 in Halifax, West Yorkshire, costars Sophie Rundle (Bodyguard) as Ann Walker, a landowner on whom Lister sets her sights to be her life partner. The plot weaves the story of Lister and Walker trying to make a 19th-century lesbian love affair work in small-town Britain in with Lister’s business dealings as she schemes to reclaim control over her coal mines from which a set of influential brothers have been stealing.
Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax creator Sally Wainwright worked for over a decade to bring Gentleman Jack to the small screen.
“It’s so exciting that so many people have had such a positive response to Suranne’s exuberant performance as the brilliant, life-affirming Anne Lister and to Sophie’s beautiful performance as her courageous partner, Ann Walker,” Wainwright said about landing a second season. “I’m utterly delighted that we’ve been recommissioned because there are so many more big, bold stories to tell about Anne Lister and Ann Walker.”
Jones also weighed in on the news.
“I’m so thrilled that I will be joining Sally Wainwright on the second part of Anne’s journey. We always dreamed there would be more and now we get to play it all out,” Jones said, according to Deadline. “It’s such amazing and positive news. I love working with the brilliant and talented Sophie Rundle and can’t wait to create some more Lister and Walker moments with her too.”
Lister’s story was previously told in the 2010 BBC film The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister.
Gentleman Jack’s first season is currently airing on HBO and the BBC.