Gentleman Jack

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Season 1 episodes (8)

1 Episode 1
Halifax, 1832. Anne Lister returns from Hastings to Shibden Hall, having discovered that her would-be companion and lover, the aristocratic Vere Hobart, has accepted a marriage proposal from a man. Despite her affection for her elderly aunt, Anne is frustrated by the shabbiness of her ancestral home and finds her father and long-suffering sister difficult to live with. A visit from her ex-lover Mariana Lawton compounds Anne's fear that she is destined to be alone. However, when Anne discovers that her land is rich in coal, her plans to transform the estate soon provide a welcome distraction from her broken heart. On the neighbouring estate, Crow Nest, shy heiress Ann Walker is quietly delighted to hear that charismatic Anne Lister is back. Meanwhile, Anne's servants and tenants have problems of their own. A hit-and-run accident on Shibden land puts a child's life at risk, and Anne's French maid Eugenie finds herself in trouble.
2 Episode 2
Anne begins a playful but dangerous courtship of shy local heiress Miss Walker, who quickly finds herself captivated by the attention of her charismatic and unusual neighbour. Anne's plan to renovate Shibden Hall is also stepping up a gear, and her determination to sink her own coal mines brings her into the path of local magistrate Christopher Rawson and his brother Jeremiah. Hearing rumours that the Rawson brothers have been stealing her coal, Anne looks for a way to use their dirty tactics against them. While Christopher remains defiant, Anne makes Jeremiah nervous. Miss Walker prepares for a trip to the Lake District. When she tells her cousin about her friendship with Anne, she is surprised by Catherine's reaction and begins to realise that Anne is not popular with everyone in the Halifax community. Back at Shibden, Anne's servant John Booth offers a solution to Eugenie's problem. Meanwhile, Anne, who has been grappling with her own dilemma, wonders if confronting the past could be the key to finding future happiness.
3 Episode 3
Anne and Ann have been growing closer since Anne arrived by surprise in the Lake District. Exhilarated by the pace at which their relationship is progressing, Anne soon guides it into romantic territory. She confides her hopes for the future in her aunt, who reminds Anne that this is Halifax, and people aren't always nice. Brushing off Aunt Anne's concerns that her bold behaviour leaves her vulnerable to scrutiny, Anne has a proposition for Ann. Mrs Priestley's inkling that there is something 'more tender still than friendship' about the two women's relationship presents a threat. Meanwhile, John Booth is surprised at his own romantic success. The Rawson brothers step up their attempts to outmanoeuvre Anne in the coal business. Marian Lister is annoyed that her sister is treating Shibden like a hotel, and Sam Sowden's mouthy behaviour causes problems for his son Thomas, who reluctantly takes the law into his own hands.
4 Episode 4
Undeterred by Mrs Priestley's warning about the dangers of their liaison, Anne and Ann are caught up in the excitement and passion of their affair. In York, Anne is delighted when Doctor Belcombe confirms that she is the perfect tonic for Ann's nervous disorder. The two women get a cooler reception back in Halifax, and when the news of a bereavement arrives at Cliff Hill, Ann's desperate reaction makes Anne suspect that there's more to it and that Ann has secrets of her own. At Shibden, Eugenie's misfortune has implications for John Booth. Anne is unimpressed to hear that Marian is dating someone who works in industry. As her rivalry with Christopher Rawson heats up, Anne steps up her plan to re-open her old coal mines and sink her own shaft. When people begin to question his father's disappearance, Thomas Sowden spins a risky web of lies.
5 Episode 5
The widowed Reverend Ainsworth arrives in Halifax with his sights set on Ann Walker's hand in marriage, as well as a position at a local church. Eliza Priestley - who remains bitterly angry with Anne Lister since she caught her kissing Ann Walker - encourages unctuous Ainsworth's predatory plans. Aware that Ainsworth's attentions are stirring up painful memories for her lover, Anne Lister sets out to deal with the clergyman in her own inimitable manner. She soon realises however that there are greater demons inside Ann Walker's troubled mind, as the scrutiny of another member of Ann's tribe of friends and relations poses a further threat to their relationship. Anne presses on with the transformation of her estate, but there are signs that her ambitious plans could also be about to lead her into trouble. Meanwhile Marian remains impressed with Mr Abbott, and a discovery in the pig-sty gives Mary Sowden reason to suspect that Thomas is lying about exactly how his father disappeared.
6 Episode 6
With Ann Walker’s mental health in an alarming downward spiral - and her overprotective relatives watching over her – Anne Lister is forced to contemplate travelling alone, despite her family’s warnings that to do so would raise eyebrows. When a panicked call comes from Crow Nest, Anne is unable to ignore Ann’s cry for help and witnesses her lover’s shocking breakdown first-hand. Back at Shibden, Aunt Anne and Jeremy are less taken with the irritating Mr Abbott than Marian is. Samuel Washington suspects there may be more to Anne’s decision to put the pit sinking on hold than she’s letting on. She reopens negotiations with the powerful Rawson brothers, but continues to put Jeremiah under pressure. Meanwhile, Thomas Sowden’s macabre secret casts a dark cloud over his deepening relationship with Suzannah Washington, and Ann Walker’s Scottish relatives have dangerous ideas of their own about what is best for her future.
7 Episode 7
Anne Lister's new groom arrives and, with her entourage complete, she sets off for Europe, determined to escape the heartache of her doomed relationship with Ann Walker. Before she leaves she is obliged to invite Christopher Rawson up to Shibden after he insults her sister Marian publicly in his bank. Undeterred by his warnings that her accusations will have dangerous repercussions, Anne comes up with a bold, reckless strategy to finally sink her own pit and expose the Rawsons' industrial-scale theft of her coal. In Scotland, Ann Walker becomes increasingly isolated when she discovers that Captain Sutherland plans to marry her off to his cousin Alexander, a penniless rogue. Leaving Shibden behind, Anne is desperate to distract herself from her failed relationship, so travels up to London with her old flame Mariana Lawton. Things come unstuck, however, when crippling memories of their past relationship fuel a series of explosive and hurtful conversations between the two women. Despite his lowly social status, Thomas Sowden plucks up the courage to ask Mr Washington for his eldest daughter's hand in marriage.
8 Episode 8
Following a four-week journey north from Paris to Copenhagen chaperoning Miss Sophie Ferrall (the flirtatious sister of the aristocratic Countess Blucher), Anne Lister finds that the doors of Danish high society open effortlessly for her. Her delight in her glittering surroundings, along with her charisma and eccentricity, win her an audience with Queen Marie, who invites her to her birthday ball, where she will be obliged to dress entirely in white. Despite the pleasure Anne takes in all this, it's clear that inside she still struggles with the crushing disappointment of her estrangement from Ann Walker. When difficult news arrives from home, Anne is faced with a decision: whether to stay where she has found acceptance and appreciation, or to dutifully go home, back to where her heart was broken. In Scotland, a shocking discovery about Captain Sutherland leads Ann Walker to make a bold resolution about her own future, while an unexpected visitor at Upper Southolm Farm threatens to finally expose Thomas Sowden's macabre secret.

About this show

Sally Wainwright adapts the extraordinary life of Yorkshire landowner Anne Lister based on her meticulous diaries. Set in the 19th Century, Anne Lister returns from her travels in Europe to the family manor, Shibden. Although she is cultured in every way, highly educated, financially independent, practical and expert in medical, legal and industrial matters she wishes to find a woman with whom she can have a long term relationship. Told through her diaries the narrative moves between Anne's attempts to restore the family mansion and her new love interest Ann Walker, a young and equally wealthy neighbouring heiress, who is enthralled by Anne, and the discovering of Anne's diaries in the in 1930s and the cracking of coded passages which revealed their lesbian relationship.

Ratings and reviews

26 reviews
Gemma Williams
January 25, 2020
Brilliant in every facet of production. Suranne Jones perfectly depicts one of the most iconic women in modern history, Sally Wainwright strikes again with her writing and direction, you can easily see this is lifelong passion of hers. Costume, sets, Murray Golds masterpiece!
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Jane Walker
May 21, 2022
An amazing show with wonderful acting and great story telling, what a pleasure to finally see this show for the first time and I have just started season two and it continues to amaze me best series I have seen in a long time.
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Katherine Spreadborough
December 19, 2019
Wonderfull! Costumes, dialogue, characters... just everything! Also representation like this means so much to me, Thank you Sally Wainwright!!
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