Naomi Battrick, Niamh Walsh, Abiola Ogunbiyi, Abubakar Salim and Ben Starr on Jamestown series 2, historical drama, and more

jamestown season 2 interview sky atlantic jocelyn naomi battrick meredith niamh walsh dr priestly ben starr pedro abubakar salim maria abiola ogunbiyi bill gallagher interview hd

Anything about anything is a product of the time of when it was made. We all know that. You go and study history; history is not the study of what happened, history is the study of how it was recorded. It always has been, so this isn’t possible to get away from.

This show, when it was made, at this time, [was made] because there was a climate in which we were looking for shows like this, and it was telling a story that hasn’t been told before but would have happened, but told in the point of view of a society that was looking to see history in a different light. Ten years ago, this show would have been told completely differently, and it would have been told differently decades before that. I think this is a product of its time, so this is reflective of universal values that we can all look at.

This is an interview I’m extremely proud of, for a couple of different reasons. The first is that I think it’s simply just genuinely very good – we touched on a lot of interesting ideas, and I think their passion for the show really leaps off the page. Certainly, it was palpable in the room – which brings us neatly to the second reason why I’m extremely proud of this interview.

My two Jamestown interviews were actually the first interviews I’d ever done in person, which was, as you can probably imagine, a very different experience from the phoners I’d done before. I was deeply terrified, and more than a little bit out of my depth I suspect. It probably showed. But! I really appreciated quite how friendly the Jamestown cast were (and all the PR people who arranged it, come to think of it), which really put me at ease. Lovely people (Niamh Walsh and Ben Starr loved my cool yellow shoes), and it really meant a lot – and still means a lot – that they were as lovely as they were. Aw.

And, of course, if you liked this piece, you might be interested in the article I wrote about Jamestown series 2, which I spoke to Ben Starr about in the interview. Sort of. It was basically his idea to write it.

Facebook | Twitter | Blog Index | Interviews Index

Sophie Rundle, Stuart Martin, Steven Waddington and Luke Roskell on Jamestown series 2, power dynamics, and more

jamestown season 2 interview sky atlantic sharrow sophie rundle stuart martin steven waddington marshall reddick luke roskell bill gallagher interview hd

There’s the political stage, but the domestic front as well, and everyone trying to survive isn’t it? I think when you go to create a new world and you have a new microcosm of society it becomes very clear what people’s greatest desires are – and you see very quickly the people that want power, and want authority, and want prestige. And some people just want a peaceful simple life, and I think that’s what this is: a study of human nature, and what different people are craving, and what lengths they’ll go to, to get and protect what they want.

Here’s the first of my two Jamestown interviews, both of which are very special to me – they’re the first interviews I did in public! This set specifically, actually, is the first of the two I did, so the other was a little easier in that regard.

I was very lucky, and very appreciative, that those first in-person interviews were with people who were as lovely as Sophie, Stuart, Steven and Luke (sure, we can be on a first name basis, why not) – you always hear those stories of, like, diva actors who’d kick up some fuss or another, but these guys couldn’t be further from that. Wonderfully nice and accommodating while I was doing my best to hide how utterly terrified I was.

I’d love to interview them again, actually – maybe for Jamestown series 3, come to think of it. Not because I think, like, I’d do a better job of it and want to take a second try (I probably would do better, though I do also think this is a really, really good interview), but because they were really good interviewees, and I think it’d be neat to talk to them again.

Facebook | Twitter | Blog Index | Interviews Index

Jamestown and the dynamics of power

jamestown sky atlantic naomi battrick jocelyn tv niamh walsh sophie rundle Abubakar Salim abiola ogunbiyi

Focusing, as the series does, primarily on three female characters, it’s interesting to note how the series examines gendered portrayals of power. When the series debuted last year, a common critique of Jamestown was that its depiction of women was ahistorical – that, largely speaking, portraying the female characters exercising their own agency was inaccurate. Fealty to history aside, it’s worth noting that that’s not really the point; as with any historical drama, Jamestown is much more about the present than it is the past, depicting as it does still relevant concerns about patriarchal power structures. 

This examination of power and gender is most obvious through the character Jocelyn (Naomi Battrick), a widow who refuses to remarry, and gets increasingly involved with the political machinations of the colony. Marriage, in Jamestown, is an explicit microcosm of the wider confines of the patriarchy; Jocelyn refuses to be “owned, possessed, confined, or determined by wedlock”, in turn arguably exercising the most agency of any character on the programme. Notably, the opening of the final episode draws an implicit parallel between Jocelyn and Governor Yeardley (Jason Flemyng), the ultimate authority at the colony – both dressed in shades of blue, atop their horses, at this point the pair are near equals.

An article I was actually very pleased with, on a show I quite enjoyed. This was actually prompted, in a couple of roundabout ways and in a few more direct ways, by some interviews I did with the cast of Jamestown. I watched the very first episode of Jamestown when it was broadcast, and admittedly didn’t quite like it; there was a sexual assault scene about halfway through, which I was rather dubious of, so I didn’t continue with the show.

However! Ahead of the second series, I was invited to watch a screening of the premiere and interview the cast. I wasn’t going to turn that down, especially since it was going to be the first interview I ever conducted in person, so off I went into London (getting horrendously, embarrassingly lost in the process) for that. Somewhat surprisingly, I actually really enjoyed that episode, and the cast were all lovely – I stuck with the show, having more or less decided on writing this article already, and also having promised Ben Starr I’d write it.

And so, this is the article I ended up with. Meant to tweet it to them all but never did (though Max Beesley, who I didn’t interview but is on the show, came across it independently and said it was great, which was nice) – I’ll try and remember to before the third series.

Facebook | Twitter | Blog Index | General TV Index