“The Long Song,” A Tale of Hope and Endurance, Premieres January 31

“The Long Song,” A Tale of Hope and Endurance, Premieres January 31

The Long Song follows the story of a woman named July, who grew up as a slave on a sugar plantation in Jamaica and is now looking back on her life. Through extended flashbacks, she recounts her tumultuous story, which has been shaped by villains, heroes and well-meaning people who are an unsettled mix of the two.

Based on the award-winning novel by Andrea Levy, the miniseries is airing in three-parts on CET and ThinkTV16 on consecutive Sundays at 10pm starting on January 31. The series was scripted by Sarah Williams, who did work on Flesh and Blood and who previously adapted Levy’s International Emmy® Award-winning Small Island for MASTERPIECE.  

Read just a few of the reviews here:

“A beautiful, moving, horrifying adaptation of Levy’s complicated tale that honors the source and its subject.” –The Guardian

“So finely-tuned and carefully-balanced that it’ll break your heart—and make you laugh at the same time.” –The Radio Times

“What can a period slavery drama tell us that we don’t already know? Quite a bit.” –The Times

Who Stars in the Series?

Tamara Lawrance (King Charles III) stars as July, the strong-willed house slave in Jamaica during the era of emancipation, with Hayley Atwell (The Avengers) as her demanding, capricious mistress. The show also stars Jack Lowden (Mary Queen of Scots), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Rogue One), Jordan Bolger (Peaky Blinders), Ayesha Antoine (Doctor Who), Gordon Brown (Only God Forgives), Leo Bill (The Living and the Dead), Madeleine Mantock (Into the Badlands), and the acclaimed comic, actor and activist Sir Lenny Henry (Broadchurch).

What about the author of the source material?

Andrea Levy, who died in 2019, was born in London to Jamaican parents and spent her writing career probing her heritage. Her fifth novel The Long Song published in 2010 that was the recipient of the Walter Scott Prize and was shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize. The Daily Telegraph called it a “sensational novel”. While Kate Kellaway in The Observer commented: “The Long Song reads with the sort of ebullient effortlessness that can only be won by hard work.” Sadly, Andrea Levy passed away after her long battle with breast cancer in 2019, however, her work lives on.

When and How to Watch

The show airs Sundays at 10pm from January 31 and through February 14 on CET and ThinkTV16. While each episode will also be available to stream on the PBS Video App at broadcast time, those will Passport will be able to binge-watch the series on January 31 after the premiere.