Filming is underway for the highly anticipated Gentleman Jack season two, starring Suranne Jones in the title role, Anne Lister, alongside Sophie Rundle reprising her role as Anne’s love interest and now-wife, Ann Walker.
The BBC period drama is based on the extraordinary real-life story of “the first modern lesbian” Anne Lister, a Yorkshire landowner in the nineteenth century who meticulously documented her life in coded diaries. A second season was commissioned in May last year.
Marking the cast’s return to Halifax for COVID-safe filming, the BBC released an image of Jones dressed in Anne’s signature top hat, in addition to a face mask emblazoned with the words: “What would Anne Lister do?”
The previous season finale saw Anne Lister and the wealthy Ann Walker secretly marry in York, before they began planning marital life together. Penned by screenwriter Sally Wainwright, all the events in the show were based on the real-life Anne Lister’s four-million-word-diaries, and the same will be the case for season two.
Wainwright said in a statement that she had been “thrilled” by the “extraordinary response” to the series. “‘I’ve been in a little bit of heaven once again spending so much time deep in Anne’s diaries as I’ve written the scripts, and can’t wait to see the fabulous, joyous magic and detail that Suranne and Sophie will bring to it all,” she said.
Set in Yorkshire, 1834, the second season will see the newlyweds return to Shidbden Hall as wife and wife, with the hopes of combining their estates and become “a power couple,” according to the BBC’s synopsis, which continues: “Anne Lister’s entrepreneurial spirit frightens the locals as much as her unconventional love life and, with Halifax on the brink of revolution, her refusal to keep a low profile becomes provocative and dangerous.”
Suranne Jones said: “I’m so happy to be back in beautiful Yorkshire, back with my favourite team, back with Sophie and this amazing cast and of course I’m so honoured to be returning as Anne Lister. Sally’s scripts are detailed and wonderfully human as ever.”
Sophie Rundle added: “I feel very lucky to be heading back to Halifax to tell more of this extraordinary story that has meant so much to so many people all over the world. It is a privilege to be able to make more of this brilliant, brave show with such a talented cast and crew.”
Much of the original Gentleman Jack cast are also reprising their roles, including Gemma Whelan as Marian Lister, Gemma Jones as Aunt Anne Lister, and Timothy West as Jeremy Lister.