Gentleman Jack fans have been patiently waiting for season 2 for quite some time. The first chapter wrapped up back in the summer of 2019 and the plan was to commence filming the second season in June 2020 . But events out of the crew's control halted that.
"Reluctantly we have decided to delay the start of production of Gentleman Jack series 2 due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency," said production company Lookout Point previously said in a statement.
But all good things come to whose who wait and the show is scheduled to return this spring with eight shiny new episodes for you to delve into. And the BBC has kindly shared a number of first-look images to give us a taste of what to expect.
Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) and her new wife Ann (Sophie Rundle) appear to be enjoying married life, but a new arrival has the potential to destabilise their happiness.
The Larkins' Joanna Scanlan has joined the cast as Isabella "Tib" Norcliffe, Anne's "outrageous former lover", which will undoubtedly go down like a lead balloon with Ann.
Other returning characters include Marian Lister (Gemma Whelan), Aunt Anne Lister (Gemma Jones), Jeremy Lister (Timothy West), Lady Vere Hobart (Jodhi May), Elizabeth Sutherland (Katherine Kelly), Captain George Sutherland (Derek Riddell), Aunt Ann Walker (Stephanie Cole), William Priestly (Peter Davison), Eliza Priestley (Amelia Bullmore), Christopher Rawson (Vincent Franklin), Jeremiah Rawson (Shaun Dooley), Elizabeth Cordingley (Rosie Cavaliero), Samuel Washington (Joe Armstrong), Ben Sowden (Anthony Flanagan) and James Holt (George Costigan).
There's also Mariana Lawton (Lydia Leonard), who previously had a sexual relationship with Anne, but went on to marry Charles Lawton. She can be seen clutching a letter and looking distraught below, so expect plenty more drama between the pair in season 2.
Anne's love life isn't the only source of tension in the second outing. Her "entrepreneurial spirit frightens the locals [and] with Halifax on the brink of revolution, her refusal to keep a low profile becomes provocative and dangerous", according to a synopsis.
She came up against several enemies in season 1, notably the Rawson brothers, and that is set to continue in the upcoming episodes.
"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," said Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax, Scott and Bailey) in a statement.
In Wainwright's foreword included in Anne Choma's book Gentleman Jack: The Real Anne Lister, she writes: "Anne Lister is unique and fascinating. She is known primarily as a diarist, and as a great lesbian lover who recorded her adventures with other women in secret code, but there are a myriad other things to know about this extraordinary woman."
Gentleman Jack will return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer this Spring. Season 1 is available to stream in full on BBC iPlayer.