Jericho (2016) is a recent British ITV production that’s just been released for streaming in the US on Acorn.tv. I’ve been following news about the production for a while, so I thought I’d fire it up.
I wasn’t exactly sure how exciting it would be:
“In 1870s Yorkshire, Annie Quaintain, a recently widowed mother, is forced to sell her house and possessions to pay off her late husbands debts. Penniless and shunned by society, Annie and her two children set out for Culverdale Valley, where an enormous railway viaduct is being built. She sets up a lodging house in Jericho, a lawless shanty town full of rough and rowdy workers.”
However, I surprised myself by binge-watching the whole season over about four days! (Okay, so I was feeling supremely lazy about doing anything else…). I don’t know if it was the best thing I’d ever seen, but it was entertaining enough to keep me engaged, and I had fun checking out some of the costumes and boys (and hate-watching aspects of the hair, but then you know me!).
Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife) plays Annie Quaintain, who at the beginning of the series has just been widowed and kicked out of her house with her two children. She randomly hears about work being available in a nearby temporary camp/town set up for builders of a railway viaduct and tromps off with kids in tow to the English Old West.
The setting appears to be the very early 1870s, when ladies are still wearing small hoops but with bustles and draped overskirts. The costumes were designed by Lorna Marie Mugan, whose previous work includes Peaky Blinders and Ripper Street.
Costume designer Lorna Mugan said about this outfit, “I imagined her like a woman out of a Renoir painting – La Parisienne – wearing an electric-blue dress. So although when we meet Annie, she’s officially in mourning, she’s not wearing black but deep blue. At the beginning, we see her in silk, but towards the end of the series she is dressed in tougher, more-forgiving upholstery fabric. Even though she has fallen on hard times, she always maintains a dignified façade” (Jericho: Behind the scenes of a new ITV period drama).
Annie almost immediately sets up a boarding house and becomes an enterprising businesswoman.
They were clearly trying to show Annie’s relaxation — actress Jessica Raine said, “The audience can watch her physically relax, the clothes become more practical, the hair comes down and becomes softer. It is like a releasing of all those strict Victorian morals” (press info).
On her way into town, Annie meets Johnny, played by Hans Matheson. Hans doesn’t usually do it for me — he can be kind of Neanderthal — but for some reason he surprised me with his hotness in this. It helps that he plays a super noble character who very quickly falls in LURVE with Annie. I don’t know, I like a bad boy but I also like them hot and principled.
The nice thing is that there’s an interesting upper-class character — Isabella Lambton — who has a quite smashing wardrobe minus some surprisingly modern prints. So if you’re afraid of too many practical blouses, you get to check this out as well:
You’ve also got other boys:
Back to the ladies:
Sadly the series was cancelled after the one season, but I recommend giving it a whirl!
Have you seen Jericho? What did you think of those potentially crazy prints, and Annie’s hair, and Hans’s hotness or lack thereof?