Jamaica Inn (2014 TV series)

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Jamaica Inn
Jamaica Inn BBC.png
Based onJamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
Written byEmma Frost
Directed byPhilippa Lowthorpe
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes3
Executive producers
  • Ed Rubin
  • Joanie Blaikie
  • Hilary Heath
  • Sarah Stack
  • Stephen Wright
  • Hugo Heppell
  • David Thompson
  • Dan Winch
Production locations
EditorDavid Thrasher
Running time180 minutes
Production companyOrigin Pictures
Original network
Picture format16:9 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release21 April (2014-04-21) –
23 April 2014 (2014-04-23)

Jamaica Inn is a British drama television series that was first broadcast on BBC One for three consecutive nights from 21 to 23 April 2014. The three-part series, written by Emma Frost, is an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's 1936 gothic novel Jamaica Inn.[1] It was poorly received, becoming a subject of controversy and making national news over its mumbling cast and other sound problems.[2][3]


Jamaica Inn is set in 1821. It tells the story of Mary Yellan (Jessica Brown Findlay) who is uprooted to live with her Aunt Patience (Joanne Whalley) after her mother dies. Mary finds Aunt Patience under the spell of her husband, Joss Merlyn (Sean Harris) after she arrives at Jamaica Inn, a coaching inn he owns in Cornwall. Mary soon realizes that the inn has no guests and is being used as the hub of Joss' criminal activity, misleading ships and plundering their wreckage. Mary becomes attracted to Jem Merlyn (Matthew McNulty), Joss' younger brother who is a petty thief. Mary hopes for help from Francis Davey (Ben Daniels), the parish vicar, and his sister Hannah (Shirley Henderson).[1]

Background and production[edit]

The three-part series was commissioned by Ben Stephenson and Danny Cohen, both from the BBC.[1] Filming began in September 2013 in Cornwall, Yorkshire and Cumbria (Kirkby Lonsdale).[1][4] It was originally decided that the series would be filmed in Northern Ireland.[5] An investment from Screen Yorkshire was provided for the series.[1]



No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUK viewers
1"Episode 1"Philippa LowthorpeEmma Frost21 April 2014 (2014-04-21)7.25
2"Episode 2"Philippa LowthorpeEmma Frost22 April 2014 (2014-04-22)5.44
3"Episode 3"Philippa LowthorpeEmma Frost23 April 2014 (2014-04-23)5.17


The transmission of the first episode brought about a major debate on social media sites about the sound quality and inaudible dialogue, culminating in over 2,000 complaints being received by the end of the series.[6][7]

Terry Ramsey of The Daily Telegraph wrote that "Daphne du Maurier's story is a classic, but this hard-to-watch (and hear) version is unlikely to have had people gripped."[8] David Stephenson of Daily Express agreed, describing it as a "disappointing BBC drama with mumbling dialogue and absent plot."[9] Sean Harris later addressed his reaction to the mumbling controversy in an interview after his BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series for Southcliffe.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e "BBC One announces cast for Jamaica Inn". BBC. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  2. ^ "BBC blames mumbling Jamaica Inn cast". Telegraph Online. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  3. ^ "BBC's Jamaica Inn drama loses quarter of audience after sound quality issues". The Guardian. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  4. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (30 September 2013). "'Downton' star Jessica Brown Findlay to lead 'Jamaica Inn' for BBC One". Digital Spy. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  5. ^ "BBC adaptation of 'Jamaica Inn' filmed in Northern Ireland". The Daily Telegraph. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Jamaica Inn: Viewers complain over 'mumbling actors'". BBC News. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Jamaica Inn ends with 2,200 complaints about mumbling". BBC News. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  8. ^ Ramsey, Terry (23 April 2014). "Jamaica Inn, episode 3, BBC One, review: 'hard to watch'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  9. ^ Stephenson, David (27 April 2014). "Jamaica Inn review: Disappointing BBC drama with mumbling dialogue and absent plot". Daily Express. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  10. ^ Methven, Nicola (19 May 2014). "Jamaica Inn star Sean Harris laughs off 'mumbling' controversy at Bafta ceremony". Mirror-online. Retrieved 24 May 2014.

External links[edit]

Radio Times, Jamaica Inn