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Jericho’s Jessica Raine: From Midwifery to Shantytown Survival

For three seasons, Jessica Raine played Jenny Lee in the hit British drama “Call the Midwife.” Although the show was clearly riding high during her leading role on it, the actress took a calculated risk and opted to exit “Call the Midwife” after season three.

“I’m desperate to play someone not nice,’ said Raine in an interview with The Daily Mail regarding her departure. “You’ve got to listen to your gut instinct.”

Shortly thereafter, Raine would appear in the Shantytown period drama, “Jericho.” As Annie Quaintain, Raine plays a mother of two forced to start again after her late husband’s gambling debts results in her family losing everything. Upon arrival in Jericho, Annie must learn how to adapt in a place that navvies, pioneers, prostitutes and vagabonds call home. Kindness can be found, but not everyone – nor their intentions – are as honest as they first appear.

“Jericho” airs Tuesdays at 8pm ET/5pm PT on VisionTV, beginning September 6.

“She’s a fierce northern woman and I love that about her,” relayed Raine to The Daily Mail. “When we meet her, she’s being evicted from her home and rejected by her neighbours. She knows she needs to be strong to survive. She’s determined, headstrong, resourceful and vulnerable. She refuses to be beaten.”

Continued Raine: “’Jericho’ feels like a breath of fresh air; it has a bit of grit to it. It’s about a frontier town rising from the dust, a woman surviving against all the odds and there’s a cracking thriller in amongst it too. What attracted me to this project was the originality of the drama; it’s about a time and a place we’ve not seen on TV before, to my knowledge. I fell in love with Annie and watching the show for the first time [gave me] goose bumps.”

What provides an added dose of intrigue to “Jericho” is the fact that the incredible eight-part series is based on a true story.

“It’s based on a real place called Jericho, which was in Ribblehead in the North Yorkshire moors,” said series writer, Steve Thompson. “When they were building the railways across Yorkshire, these little shantytowns appeared [for] the men building the railways to live in – they were taming the frontier up in Yorkshire in the 1870s.”

To get in an accurate frame of mind to play Annie, Raine truly did her best to feel the struggle of the character, but then realize that there was an underlying strength to her.

“Filming the opening scenes had us trudging across the moors for days with these tapestry bags that I grew to hate,” recalled Raine. “I was also wearing a very restrictive corset and got incredibly out of breath but it felt right for Annie to be doing that; I felt quite emotional thinking about what she was going through. When she gets to Jericho at first all she wants is to make money so she can leave, but pretty quickly she sees how liberating life there can be. Annie discovers she’s actually a very capable businesswoman and Jericho is the only place where that could have been possible.

“The producers really did build a town in the middle of nowhere in Yorkshire,” added Raine. “It was a huge feat to get the cast and crew up there every day to film. It was a world away from everything and was a real help in terms of character. Being where we were also helped give the show an epic feel because of the stunning landscape and the rolling skies we were filming against.”

“Jericho” airs Tuesdays at 8pm ET/5pm PT on VisionTV, beginning September 6. Additionally, a new season of “Call the Midwife” (sans Raine) can be seen Wednesdays at 9pm ET/6pm PT, beginning September 7.

-Adam Grant

For more about Jessica Raine’s role on “Jericho,” check out the video below!

goose bumps.”

What provides an added dose of intrigue to “Jericho” is the fact that the incredible eight-part series is based on a true story.

“It’s based on a real place called Jericho, which was in Ribblehead in the North Yorkshire moors,” said series writer, Steve Thompson. “When they were building the railways across Yorkshire, these little shantytowns appeared [for] the men building the railways to live in – they were taming the frontier up in Yorkshire in the 1870s.”

To get in an accurate frame of mind to play Annie, Raine truly did her best to feel the struggle of the character, but then realize that there was an underlying strength to her.

“Filming the opening scenes had us trudging across the moors for days with these tapestry bags that I grew to hate,” recalled Raine. “I was also wearing a very restrictive corset and got incredibly out of breath but it felt right for Annie to be doing that; I felt quite emotional thinking about what she was going through. When she gets to Jericho at first all she wants is to make money so she can leave, but pretty quickly she sees how liberating life there can be. Annie discovers she’s actually a very capable businesswoman and Jericho is the only place where that could have been possible.

“The producers really did build a town in the middle of nowhere in Yorkshire,” added Raine. “It was a huge feat to get the cast and crew up there every day to film. It was a world away from everything and was a real help in terms of character. Being where we were also helped give the show an epic feel because of the stunning landscape and the rolling skies we were filming against.”

“Jericho” airs Tuesdays at 8pm ET/5pm PT on VisionTV, beginning September 6. Additionally, a new season of “Call the Midwife” (sans Raine) can be seen Wednesdays at 9pm ET/6pm PT, beginning September 7.

-Adam Grant

For more about Jessica Raine’s role on “Jericho,” check out the video below!