Jamestown – Season 1

posted 1 May 2018, 08:02 by Paul Woodward

Genre: Drama / Historical

Stars: Sophie Rundle / Naomi Battrick / Niamh Walsh / Max Beesley / Jason Flemyng / Dean Lennox Kelly / Burn Gorman

Certificate: 15

Year: 2017

Set in the first English settlement in the United States, Virginia in 1697 and the show starts with the introduction of the first women after the settlement was first established 12 years prior – In a ‘Maids for Wives’ project to build the colony. The show follows life on the farms and plantations following the arrival of so many women and how that impacts the lives of those of Jamestown.

It’s a bit of a slow burn show but is entertaining enough in its own way, which centres around the drama three new women bring to the lives of Jamestown. Jocelyn, who is married to one of the ruling members of Jamestown is constantly manipulating and scheming in a desire to improve her husbands and ultimately her own standing in the community. I found her a hard person to like, but her loyalty to the other women marks her less heartless than her ambitious schemes and blackmailing presents her as.

Alice seems to inspire the desire of every man in the camp! She falls for the brother of the man she’s sent to marry – who just happens to be a total bastard! She also ends up in bit of a love triangle, albeit unwanted on her part, with the town blacksmith the broody, man of few words James Read! Who you’d actually prefer her to be with than Silas, the guy she falls for in the first episode!

Verity is probably my favourite of the three women, a fun-loving wisecracking character out for a better life (it was that or Jail). She is sent to be married to the tavern keeper Meredith Rutter, who is also the town drunk, although their relationship is troubled and more like friendship you can’t help but like them as a couple and him as a loveable rogue.

Burn Gorman, does Villain’s well, and his upper crust Farlow alongside Town Marshall Redwick and prominent land owner Massinger make for a trio of dislikeable villains. Their scheming and attempts to rule and own the town and its profits make you root for the other townsfolk. Jason Flemyng’s role as Yeardly the ruler of the town is a grey area character, whilst mostly honest and honourable and protective of all – he does have some schemes of his own.

My favourite character is probably the maid Mercy, whose innocence, naivety and inability to keep her mouth shut make her instantly loveable. She may only be a secondary character but she makes a big impression on viewers! Mercy is delightfully brought to life by Patsy Ferran!

Max Beesley is well cast as the bastard Alice is meant to marry, from the first episode you’ll hate him, but he is an intriguing multi-faceted character who you do enjoy watching the ups and downs of – even though you think he’s a tosser.

Jamestown, is not a show I’d rave about but it is an enjoyable drama nonetheless, with some good acting (and some bad) and a few likeable characters who you want to follow. Also given it’s setting there is a lot of potential for the show to explore and expand upon in the future!

7/10

Review by Woody

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