‘We knew we’d get compared’ to ‘Bridgerton’

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By Dan Sears

AppleTV+ now has its own version of “Bridgerton,” with new period drama “The Buccaneers.” 

Now streaming, the series is based on the 1938 unfinished novel by Edith Wharton, set in 1870s London.

The story follows a group of five young American women who arrive in high society in England to test their own luck on the marriage scene there, after one of their weddings to a Lord. 

“We started developing the show before ‘Bridgerton’ had been on. By the time it was on, inevitably, we knew it would end up getting compared,” creator/ writer /producer Katherine Jakeways told The Post. 

“There were lots of brilliant things about ‘Bridgerton’ that we’d be delighted to be compared with, and lots of things we’re doing that are different. It’s a different tale, because it’s got Americans in it, it’s the culture clash of Americans coming into this stiff English world. 

“But also, there is romance, but we wanted the beating heart of the whole thing to be the female friendships. So, the real love story of our show is the relationship between the young women.”

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Alisha Boe, Josie Totah, Kristine Froseth, Aubri Ibrag, and Imogen Waterhouse in “The Bucccaneers.”
Courtesy of Apple
Guy Remmers and Kristine Froseth in “The Buccaneers.”
Courtesy of Apple

The young women include headstrong Nan St. George (Kristine Frøseth), her best friend Conchita Closson (Alisha Boe, “Thirteen Reasons Why”), who is getting married for love to English Lord Richard Marable (Josh Dylan). There’s also Nan’s older sister Jinny St. George (Imogen Waterhouse), and the Elmsworth sisters, Lizzy (Aubri Ibrag) and Mabel (Josie Totah). 

Nan is torn between Theo, Duke of Tintagel (Guy Remmers), and his friend Guy Thwarte (Matthew Broome).

Christina Hendricks co-stars as Nan and Jinny’s mom, Mrs. Patricia St. George. 

Christina Hendricks in “The Buccanners.”
Courtesy of Apple
Adam James and Christina Hendricks in “The Buccanners.”
Courtesy of Apple

“It was a big day when we heard she was up for doing it, I was a big ‘Mad Man’ fan, [Christina Hendricks] is so fantastic,” said Jakeways. “I think it’s possible that character – like mothers in period dramas often are – could be a bit one-note. We were keen to write her so she had more depth, and Christina was so great at making her feel realistic.

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“The [younger actors] weren’t particularly people we knew, and a lot of the male leads were younger actors who hadn’t worked before. Matthew Broome hadn’t finished drama school when we first met him. We met hundreds of actors. I  can’t imagine there was an actor between 18 and 30 on our side of the Atlantic that we didn’t see a tape from or consider.”

Conchita (Alisha Boe) getting married in “The Buccaneers.”
Courtesy of Apple
Jinny (Imogen Waterhouse) and her mom, Patricia St. George (Christina Hendricks) in “The Buccaneers.”
Courtesy of Apple

This show isn’t the only version of the story that’s been adapted onscreen. There was also a 1995 BBC miniseries starring Carla Gugino as Nan and Mira Sorvino as Conchita that got a mixed reception (the ending was criticized for being too saccharine, which isn’t how Wharton’s novels typically wrapped up). 

“It was in our mind that [the mini series] existed, but I still haven’t watched it,” said Jakeways. 

“I remember it being on when I was [in college]. It was important for us to tell our own version of it. I still haven’t watched the ‘90s miniseries – maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to watch it.”

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