Sky 1 announces Jamestown, a new original British drama series from Carnival Films, the multi award-winning producers of Downtown Abbey and Sky 1’s most popular drama, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man. The brave story of the birth of a nation, Jamestown charts the early days of the first British settlers as they embark on their lives in America.

Written by Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise to Candleford, The Paradise), Jamestown is the latest series forming part of Sky’s continued commitment to offer its customers brand new original drama all year round. The eight-part series will air exclusively on Sky 1, and will go into production in April 2016.

Set in 1619, Jamestown follows the settlers as they establish a community in the New World. Amongst those landing on shore are a group of women destined to be married to the men of Jamestown, including three spirited women from England: Jocelyn (Naomi Battrick), Alice (Sophie Rundle) and Verity (Niamh Walsh). Leaving their old lives behind, these women have embarked on this journey to start afresh, fulfil their dreams and become the female pioneers of an exciting new western outpost.

Battling against inhospitable wilderness, suspicious indigenous people and a host of brutal challenges with ambition, power and entrepreneurial spirit on their side, these pioneers will define a new way of life. Jamestown will reveal the spirit of adventure and true grit of these early adventurers who travelled in search of a better life. Leading the cast of settlers are Max Beesley, Jason Flemyng, Dean Lennox-Kelly, Shaun Dooley, Stuart Martin, Steven Waddington, Matt Stokoe and Burn Gorman.

With whole-hearted tales of love, affairs, births, marriage and death, Jamestown tells a modern story in a historic setting. With all manner of trials, the settlers come together to conquer and adjust to the realities of their new lives on the other side of the world. Jamestown is a place for them to build new lives and start again but it is also somewhere past secrets can be buried.

Jamestown was commissioned for Sky by head of drama, Anne Mensah, commissioning editor, Cameron Roach and director of Sky 1, Adam MacDonald. Carnival’s Gareth Neame, Nigel Marchant and Richard Fell will executive produce and the producer is Sue de Beauvoir. The series will be distributed by NBCUniversal International Distribution.

Commenting on the commission, Anne Mensah, Head of Drama, Sky, said: “The wonderful Bill Gallagher has managed to combine an amazing tale of bravery and adventure with unforgettable characterisation and compelling emotion that mark out Jamestown as completely unique. The women at the centre of our story were choosing a new life in a country from which they could never return – personal stakes on that level make for simply incredible drama. We are so excited that Carnival are bringing another project of such huge ambition to Sky 1.”

Gareth Neame, MD, Carnival Films adds: “This is a unique project; the birth of America through the eyes of the early English settlers. Bill Gallagher has created a show which boasts adventure, community and a remarkable range of characters. Combining life and death, power, ambition, love and rivalry, the stakes are high and the drama tantamount.”

The series is one of a number of new Sky original dramas airing in 2016/17, including among others, the return of Gothic horror Penny Dreadful, The Tunnel: Sabotage, Harlan Coben's The Five and The Young Pope, starring Jude Law and Diane Keaton and directed by Paolo Sorrentino.