A major new TV drama about ‘America’s birth’ is coming in 2017, so what should we expect of it?


Malory Nye

published on 23 April 2016

When and how did America get started? I mean, particularly, English (and English-speaking) America? What would it be like if we could go back in time and be there when it happened, at the point when the first English people made a success of colonizing the edge of the vast north American continent?

How much of this do we really want to know? If we lift up this particular rock of history, what darkness will be find lurking underneath? Religious intolerance, genocide, racism and enslavement, violence, hunger, and blatant land theft?

This is the challenge for the recently announced new drama series titled Jamestown, which starts production this month.

Jamestown is being made by Carnival Films (who also made Downton Abbey) for the British Sky TV (owned by Rupert Murdoch). Carnival have previously worked with Sky on the British adaptation of Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, set in a gritty, contemporary crime-ridden London.

According to Sky TV:

The brave story of the birth of a nation, Jamestown charts the early days of the first British settlers as they embark on their lives in America…

Battling against inhospitable wilderness, suspicious indigenous people and a host of brutal challenges with ambition, power and entrepreneurial spirit on their side, these pioneers will define a new way of life. Jamestown will reveal the spirit of adventure and true grit of these early adventurers who travelled in search of a better life…

With whole-hearted tales of love, affairs, births, marriage and death, Jamestown tells a modern story in a historic setting. With all manner of trials, the settlers come together to conquer and adjust to the realities of their new lives on the other side of the world. Jamestown is a place for them to build new lives and start again but it is also somewhere past secrets can be buried.

The announcement of this new drama raises mixed feelings 


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[Photo credit: Jamestown settlement, Virginia by Pablo Sanchez]

Jamestown: Downton Abbey meets Lord of the Flies?

by Malory Nye time to read: 2 min