Happy Valley creator Sally Wainwright’s new BBC1 drama Gentleman Jack is taking shape, with Game of Thrones star Gemma Whelan, Last Tango in Halifax’s Timothy West and former Doctor Who Peter Davison among the latest names to join the line-up alongside lead Suranne Jones.
Sophie Rundle, Stephanie Cole, Amelia Bullmore, Gemma Jones, Vincent Franklin and Shaun Dooley are also among the newly announced cast of the drama about 19th century landowner Anne Lister – often described as “Britain’s first modern lesbian” – who embarks on a passionate courtship with Rundle’s Ann Walker.
The eight-part series, originally called Shibden Hall, is set in West Yorkshire in 1832 and tells the real-life story of the charismatic Lister who, after years of exotic travel and social climbing, is determined to transform her fortunes and the fate of her faded ancestral home in Halifax by marrying well. It is being co-produced by the BBC and HBO.
Whelan will play Lister’s sister Marian, while West will star as their father, Jeremy, and Davison as her cousin William Priestley.
Joe Armstrong, Jodhi May, Rosie Cavaliero, Thomas Howes, Jessica Baglow, Albane Courtois and Ben Hunter round out the cast.