Makers of ‘Downton Abbey’ release trailer for ‘Jamestown’ TV series

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A forthcoming television series, set in Jamestown, centers on the story of young women sent to the colony in 1619 to serve as planters' wives. (YouTube/SKY 1)
A forthcoming television series, set in Jamestown, centers on the story of young women sent to the colony in 1619 to serve as planters’ wives. (YouTube/SKY 1)

Women. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

That seems to be the theme of a 30-second trailer for a forthcoming television series about Jamestown. The show has the pedigree of “Downton Abbey,” whose creators are also on board with “Jamestown.”

But if the “teaser,” as it’s called,  is any indication, the show’s general style is less Edwardian restraint and chasteness and more bodice-ripper. Less Lady Mary and the Dowager Countess sipping tea in the drawing room. More saucy wench, with glimpses of thigh.

“I saw too clearly that men have the law here,” says a woman’s voice at the beginning of the trailer. “They desire us beyond their understanding.”

The production company behind shows such as “Downton Abbey” and “The Hollow Crown” undertook the eight-part series on Jamestown, with Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation President James Horn serving as a historical consultant. 

Horn was approached about the show in 2014 after Sue de Beauvoir, the producer, read his book, “A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America.” 

United Kingdom-based Carnival Films announced filming, most of which took place in Hungary on a set re-creating the James Fort, last spring.

The television drama pivots around three fictional female leads, played by Naomi Battrick, Sophie Rundle and Niamh Walsh. They number among about 150 young women sent to Jamestown in 1619 to become planters’s wives, Horn said in an interview last May. 

“It’s been a very interesting process,” Horn said of his work with the production team. “They really want to make it historically accurate, but of course it’s not a documentary, it’s a drama.”

By email, a spokesperson for Carnival said there is no official date yet for when the series will air. Sky did not respond to a request for comment.

The video trailer opens with images of a sailing ship, followed by a woman stepping down the gangplank. Toward the end of the piece, after the sound of a woman laughing and images of fire and a red-haired woman winking, a male’s voice is heard lamenting the presence of wickedness.

“Women,” he says.

WYDaily archives were used in this article. This story has been updated to reflect include a comment from Carnival about when “Jamestown” will be broadcast and to reflect that Sky did not respond to a request for comment.