Show: Jamestown, Series 2
Company: Carnival Film & Television / Sky 1
Synopsis: This second season sees the tobacco plantations provide the wealth they promised but the status quo will soon be disrupted by births, deaths and broken marriages. Our pioneering settlers find themselves at the heart of adventure once more as new arrivals attempt to find their place in this foreign land.Relationships with the Native peoples afford some great influence in the town but no man, or woman, is going to give up their share of the Virginian riches without a fight.
Jamestown is different compared to my normal watching (there’s no superheroes or magic!) but the charm of the first series made me stay for the second.
This is a character-driven show, rather than fast-paced plots. There is a sense of mystery though, and the politics that ravage Jamestown are not for the faint-hearted.
As with the first series, the second opens with a catastrophic event: murder, this time, not rape. The mystery surrounding the killing shapes the plot for the majority of the series, with a suspected spy in the town making neighbour turn against neighbour. Treason is a word not uttered lightly, but uttered frequently across the course of eight episodes.
Each episode has enough tension and intrigue to keep you gripped, even during the happier times. But this series is certainly darker than the first: slavery is prominent, the relationship with the natives is souring and as characters’ true natures are revealed, there is no telling where the threat truly lies.
I have to admit, the final episode disappointed me. It ended in such a low and negative place. I’m assuming it is setting the scene for a third season, but it left you with no satisfaction of how the characters had progressed.
There certainly was progression! Each character grows in their own right throughout this series, but I’m going to focus on a few that changed the most.
Jocelyn takes centre stage. With the loss of her husband, she is a threat to the stability of Jamestown: there is no place for an unmarried woman, especially one who dabbles in politics, refuses to be tamed and is determined she will make her own way in the world. Although there were times where Jocelyn’s constant interference was annoying, she is a strong and powerful character.
On the flip side, the governor’s darker side is more prominent. We see more of his relationship with his wife and how, beneath the charm and the smiles, he is a dangerous man who refuses to be trifled with. He is in a position of authority and power – and will not lose that, regardless of the cost.
The two who progress are the Secretary Nicholas Farlow and James Read. Another side of the Secretary is revealed and suddenly, he isn’t the bad guy, but a vulnerable man with a secret that could see him destroyed.He’s prepared to go against his comrades and you get to know the man as well as the title.
James has always been a gentle giant. But you see his emotions get the better of him this time, at the same time as proving he is one of the most honourable men in Jamestown, even if his pride lands him in unnecessary trouble. He’s not a love-struck fool, but he does crave companionship and you just want him to find that happy ending.
An enjoyable second series, despite the disappointing ending. I’ll definitely be checking back for the third, just to see where these characters will go next.