The Long Song: Series 1 (2018 - 2021)


Series 1
The Long Song

Critics Consensus

The Long Song refreshingly grounds its historical drama from the perspective of the oppressed, unblinkingly depicting the horror of slavery while simultaneously exploring the compelling inner worlds of those held captive by it.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 17

62%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8

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Episodes

Air date: Jan 31, 2021

Drama set during the final days of slavery in 19th-century Jamaica. July is born to field slave Kitty at the Amity sugar cane plantation run by John Howarth and his younger sister Caroline. On a spoilt whim, Caroline decides she wants to train July as her personal maid.

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Air date: Feb 7, 2021

The harvest at Amity is ready to be taken in or the crop will spoil, but tensions are brewing between the workers and Robert. Robert expects the workers to put in long hours, while the workers are now free to challenge his authority. With Robert feeling more and more humiliated with the 'ungrateful' former slaves, a dangerous stand-off develops between them. July can see Robert changing, and this scares her.

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Air date: Feb 14, 2021

With the crop starting to spoil and Amity in ruins, Robert's sanity starts to unravel - with potentially devastating consequences for July and her child. Many years later as an old woman, July is in a desperate position and uncertain of her future. Arrested for stealing food, July appears in court - but an unexpected presence could help to save her life.

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The Long Song: Series 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Cast & Crew

Dona Croll
Old July
Ethan Hazzard
Elias
Jack Lowden
Robert
Richard Pepple
Dublin Hilton
Joy Richardson
Miss Rose
Hayley Atwell
Caroline Mortimer
Andy Frestner
Samuel Lewis
Esther Tejeda
Lilian
Dorian da Silva
Driver Jackson
Luis Bryan Mesa
Byron
Leighton Hudson
Benjamin
Shereen Gray
Peggy Jump
Ansu Kabia
James Richards
Clarisse Albrecht
Mary Ellis
Andrea Levy
Sarah Williams
Tom Coan
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News & Interviews for The Long Song: Series 1

Critic Reviews for The Long Song Series 1

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (9)

It's hard to watch, and more essential viewing for it; the three-parter takes place from an enslaved woman's point of view, and it looks straight at the violence, sadism, and moral depravity of the British plantation owners.

Jan 29, 2021 | Full Review…

It's the rare streaming-era show that doesn't feel padded for binge viewing. And all three lead performances, especially Lawrance's, are world class. All told, it's a very good miniseries that should have been great.

Feb 1, 2021 | Full Review…

As acted by Lawrance and written by Levy and Williams, however, July is also wry, funny and delightfully rude. She is, despite the best efforts of the white people constantly dismissing her as collateral, a full human worthy of starring in her own story.

Feb 1, 2021 | Full Review…

The tone is strangely mischievous, which doesn't mean it lacks heart; it's just packed with a touching, dreamlike poignancy.

Jan 29, 2021 | Full Review…

A beautiful, moving, horrifying adaptation of her unsimple tale, that honours the source and its subject.

Mar 7, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A grim tale for Christmas, with fun trimmings.

Mar 7, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The Long Song refuses to be a conventional period drama, pushing back against one-dimensional portrayals of the enslaved, whilst also never letting the masters of the system off the hook.

Feb 4, 2021 | Full Review…

A surprisingly intimate view of the scourge that slavery was in Jamaica.

Feb 2, 2021 | Full Review…

What begins as a dangerous attraction evolves into a twisted triangle, further complicated by labor unrest on the sugar plantation ironically named Amity.

Feb 1, 2021 | Full Review…

It's worth tuning in for Lawrance alone and the episode teaser promised that the arrival of a new plantation overseer might offer a little more light and shade in the story-telling. The subject deserves it.

Mar 8, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Within it, though, are some riveting tangles: all the dispossessions, acquirements and, latterly, invigorating exchanges of postcolonial drama.

Mar 7, 2019 | Full Review…

BBC1's new drama The Long Song is so finely-tuned and carefully-balanced that it'll break your heart - and make you laugh at the same time.

Mar 7, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Long Song: Series 1

  • Feb 21, 2021
    I give it five full stars for the great acting, especially Tamara Lawrance. You can't take your eyes off her. What a wonderful moving performance by Lawrance, unforgettable. Hayley Atwell plays the selfish and shallow mistress with a comedic touch. She also gives a great performance, and the two of them together are a treat to see. And Jack Lowden renders a horrifying portrayal of the weak minded "master." But even aside from that magnificent acting, the story, the other actors, the exotic setting - all contribute to an excellent but saddening show. The evils of slavery are evident throughout. And heartbreaking.
  • Feb 01, 2021
    Could have been so great. Whatever happened to the notion that less is more? So many of these furious revisionist period dramas are so shrill and seething with vengeance and rage that the characters are drawn in a completely binary fashion of pure good vs. pure evil--like all those superhero films--which I thought we all understood is FANTASY, not reality. In The Long Song it plays itself out with all white women (and some white men) characterized as vulgar, cruel, mindlessly sadistic, punitive, avaricious, stupid, brutal, fiendish, spoiled, gibbering, petty, neurotic, shrill, brutal, and ridiculously silly--while Black people are characterized as near saints--kind, intelligent, sensitive, compassionate, thoughtful, reflective, grounded, realistic, canny, wise, humorous, nuanced, and multifacted. As said: humankind is not constructed like that. Neither individuals--not groups of people--are All Heroic vs. All Villains. It's not realistic, regarding any race nor any time period in history. Don't most people (aside from professional critics) see how manipulative, artless, and dishonest this kind of show ends up being? Makes me so sad, because realistically rendered history, realistically told stories of whole human beings--who are now as ever, always complex, surprising, fallible, and contradictory--set in any time period are so much more interesting and enriching to watch.

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