The Buccaneers
GenrePeriod drama
Created byKatherine Jakeways
Based onThe Buccaneers
by Edith Wharton
Directed bySusanna White
Starring
Theme music composer
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes8
Production
Executive producers
Running time49–55 minutes
Production companyThe Forge
Original release
NetworkApple TV+
Release8 November 2023 (2023-11-08) –
present (present)

The Buccaneers is a period drama television series created by Katherine Jakeways, based on the unfinished novel of the same name by American novelist Edith Wharton, published posthumously in 1938. Set in the 1870s, it revolves around five wealthy and ambitious American women and their experiences in London high society as they deal with culture clashes, differing approaches to tradition, friendship, and love. The series stars an ensemble cast led by Kristine Frøseth, Alisha Boe, Aubri Ibrag, Josie Totah, and Imogen Waterhouse. Matthew Broome, Josh Dylan, Barney Fishwick, Guy Remmers, Mia Threapleton, and Christina Hendricks also star.

The first season premiered on 8 November 2023 on Apple TV+ and received positive reviews from critics.[2] On 19 December 2023, it was renewed for a second season.[3]

Premise

In the 1870s, the "Buccaneers" are five ambitious women and daughters of the American nouveau riche Nan and Jinny St. George, Conchita Closson, and Lizzy and Mabel Elmsworth. Following Conchita's wedding to Lord Richard Marable, the women are invited to London in the midst of debutante season in the hopes of securing husbands and titles. The women's eccentric and extroverted nature contrasts with English high society and centuries of tradition as they navigate cultural clashes and strict social codes while dealing with interpersonal relationships and potential suitors.

Cast and characters

Main

Recurring

Episodes

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"American Poison"Susanna WhiteKatherine Jakeways8 November 2023 (2023-11-08)
Encouraged by the whirlwind marriage of their friend Conchita to Lord Richard Marable, the American nouveau riche daughters of the St. George and Elmsworth families are sent to England to find husbands. Jinny St. George and Lizzy Elmsworth enter London society as debutantes. Both are attracted to Richard's younger brother James, even as Richard's family looks down on them. The unconventional manners of Jinny's sister Nan catch the eye of a bachelor, Guy Thwarte. Jinny accidentally reveals to Nan that the latter is secretly illegitimate, and Nan is sent on a tour of Cornwall to not disturb Jinny's marital aspirations. While swimming in the sea, Nan meets Theo, a duke seeking a wife who does not care about his status.
2"Women or Wives"Susanna WhiteKatherine Jakeways8 November 2023 (2023-11-08)
Conchita throws a house party in Runnymede, with her and Richard's friends in attendance. James rebuffs Jinny and dances with Lizzy. While playing a game of sardines, Mabel nearly kisses Honoria. James forces a humiliated Lizzy to strip nude in front of him. Conchita overhears Richard saying that she will never fit in and leaves. Nan confides her parentage to Guy, who leaves. Theo arrives and proposes to Nan.
3"The Perfect Duchess"Richard SeniorKatherine Jakeways8 November 2023 (2023-11-08)
As Nan ponders Theo's proposal, his mother hosts a private ball at Tintagel. Nan grows closer to Theo and connects with the dowager duchess but is disturbed by the arrival of Guy, who is revealed to be Theo's closest friend. Meanwhile, Jinny and James have eloped. Nan dances with Theo at the ball, but the event is interrupted by Conchita running into the rain. Richard finds her and the two reconcile; Mabel and Honoria kiss. Guy assures Nan he will keep her illegitimacy secret from Theo. The next morning, Nan tells Theo that she is willing to marry him but must first return to New York; he asks to come with her.
4"Homecoming"Richard SeniorCatherine Shepherd15 November 2023 (2023-11-15)
The girls arrive in New York, where Patricia St. George throws a lavish party to celebrate her daughters' successful courtships, but Nan rebuffs her and declares her intention to tell Theo the truth. Nan unsuccessfully asks her father for information. Meanwhile, Guy drunkenly sends a telegram confessing his love to Nan, which Theo reads. Lavinia Elmsworth catches Mabel kissing a maid; Conchita worries she and Richard will not escape the Brightlingseas. Nan reconciles with Patricia, who assures her that she is her daughter. Theo asks Nan for a quick marriage. Patricia tells her husband that their marriage is over.
5"Failed Betrayal"Richard SeniorRoanne Bardsley, Emma Jane Unsworth22 November 2023 (2023-11-22)
While attempting to hide his family's lack of funds, Guy hosts a celebration of Bonfire Night at his estate. Theo invites Jean, hoping to set up a match with her and Guy. The group is tasked with finding a torch in a hedge maze, during which Nan learns about Guy's telegram, and Jinny and Lizzy rekindle their friendship. Mabel and Honoria sleep together. Conchita, now living separately from Richard, tells Nan she is in love with Guy. Theo confronts Guy at a poker game with Nan, though Theo reconciles with Nan and Guy at the bonfire. Mabel also lashes out at Honoria.
6"It's Christmas"Charlotte ReganAnna-Maria Ssemuyaba29 November 2023 (2023-11-29)
The group spends Christmas with the Tintagels. Guy, who is now courting Jean, makes tentative peace with Nan and her impending marriage. Lizzy admits James' torment of her to Jinny, who rejects the notion that James is abusive; Jinny also admits Nan's illegitimacy to James. Mabel decides to enter a marriage of convenience to Miles so she and Lizzy can stay in England. Seeing how happy Conchita and Richard are together, Mrs. Testvalley leaves their service. James tells the dowager duchess of Nan's birth, and Nan privately admits her relief at the engagement's end to Guy. She publicly admits her illegitimacy at Christmas luncheon, where Theo declares his love for and intention to marry her.
7"First Footing"Charlotte ReganRoanne Bardsley6 December 2023 (2023-12-06)
The group attends a New Year's Eve party hosted at the Brightlingsea estate, where Nan feels outcast by other guests for her illegitimacy. Nan and Jinny's parents arrive, and Patti scolds Jinny for revealing Nan's secret. She later informs her husband that she will be divorcing him after Nan's wedding. Guy and Nan share a moment on the roof, and when they return downstairs, Theo reveals he knew about the telegram, leading to a fight between him and Guy. Guy reveals to Nan that Theo knew about the telegram but hid it from them, and Theo forces Guy to recite the telegram. Nan confronts Theo about knowing about her mother and not saying anything and storms off. Meanwhile, Lizzy is publicly embarrassed by James and condemns Jinny for their behaviour. Jinny, secretly pregnant, attempts to leave the party but returns to James' side. Honoria subtly shares to Richard her knowledge of his and Lady Testvalley's affair before reminding him how happy he is with Conchita. His mother reveals that she knew about the affair, and Richard is later comforted by Conchita. Guy and Theo make amends before saying goodbye. Nan talks to Guy, and he re-affirms his love for her but also reveals that he asked Lady Hopeleigh to marry him, further explaining that they both needed to move on.
8"Wedding of the Season"Charlotte ReganKatherine Jakeways13 December 2023 (2023-12-13)
The day before her wedding, Theo issues Nan a final chance to change her mind until the next morning. At a ceremony, Nan rejects Jinny, and Richard confronts his mother, announcing his intention to sever ties and move to the US with her. Conchita reveals to him that her father's investment failed and the family has lost their money, but Richard stands by his decision. Jinny faints while climbing the stairs, and Miles reveals to James that she is pregnant, leading him to beat Jinny. Patti affirms to Tracy that she will divorce him given that Nan will be a duchess soon. Mabel questions her engagement to Miles and later comes out to Lizzy, who accepts her. Guy climbs up to Nan's room and reveals he ended his engagement to Lady Hopeleigh; the two proclaim their love and have sex. Jinny reveals to them James' abuse and her pregnancy, and the trio try to escape, intending to leave for South America, but James finds them and returns with Jinny. The next morning, Mabel ends her engagement with Miles and declares her love for Honoria. Outside the chapel, the group stalls the ceremony to help Jinny escape with Guy. Nan marries Theo, with the dowager duchess' knowledge, so she will be able to protect Jinny and Guy from James with her status. Outside, Tracey reveals to Patti that Nan's biological mother has returned.

Production

It was announced in June 2022 that Apple TV+ had ordered the series from the Forge, with Katherine Jakeways set to be head writer and Susanna White attached as lead director. Jakeways and White would also executive-produce the series with Beth Willis and George Faber of the Forge.

The cast were included in the series order announcement: Kristine Froseth, Alisha Boe, Josie Totah, Aubri Ibrag, Imogen Waterhouse, and Mia Threapleton would star as the titular buccaneers.[4] In July, Christina Hendricks, Josh Dylan, Barney Fishwick, Guy Remmers, and Matthew Broome were added to the cast.[5][6] Simone Kirby joined the cast in October as the girls' chaperone.[7]

Principal photography for the series began in March 2022 in Madrid and continued in June in Scotland; Glasgow doubled as 1870s New York City. Cast and crew were spotted filming around the Glasgow City Chambers in July.[8]

Reception

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 76%, with an average rating of 6.30/10, based on 41 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Anachronistic to the max and loving it, The Buccaneers is a feminist and frothy treat for fans of period piece pageantry."[9] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the show a score of 71 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[10]

References

  1. ^ "Aisling Brouwer & Anna Phoebe Scoring Apple TV+'s 'The Buccaneers'". Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  2. ^ Cordero, Rosy (16 August 2023). "Apple TV+ Reveals 'The Buccaneers' Premiere Date & First-Look Photos". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  3. ^ Goldbart, Max. "'The Buccaneers' Renewed for Season 2 at Apple TV+". Deadline. Retrieved 19 December 2023.
  4. ^ Petski, Denise (23 June 2022). "Apple TV+ Orders The Buccaneers-Inspired Drama Series; Kristine Froseth, Alisha Boe, Josie Totah Among Lead Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  5. ^ White, Peter (18 July 2022). "Christina Hendricks to Star in Apple TV+'s The Buccaneers-Inspired Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  6. ^ Goldbart, Max (21 July 2022). "Apple TV+'s The Buccaneers-Inspired Drama Series Adds Four More Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  7. ^ Goldbart, Max (27 October 2022). "His Dark Materials Star Simone Kirby Boards Apple TV+'s The Buccaneers-Inspired Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  8. ^ Tarnai, Eszter (24 July 2022). "New pictures of Apple drama Debutante set as filming starts on Cochrane Street". Glasgow Times. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  9. ^ "The Buccaneers (2023): Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 December 2023.
  10. ^ "The Buccaneers (2023): Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 December 2023.