'The Long Song' on PBS — Everything you need to know about the miniseries

Key art for 'The Long Song.'
(Image credit: PBS)

The Long Song is a new three-part miniseries about the end of slavery in Jamaica and is based on the novel of the same name by English author Andrea Levy.  The series first premiered on BBC One in 2018, and has been picked up by PBS for distribution this month as part of the network's anthology block Masterpiece Classic. The story is set in 19th century colonial Jamaica and follows the life of July, a slave on a sugarcane plantation. Themes explored in the series include including British colonialism, slavery, racism, violence and love, as we follow the lives of those living in Jamaica during and after the abolition of slavery in 1833.

When asked about her inspiration for writing The Long Song, Andrea Levy said: 

"I am of Jamaican heritage and I want to understand that heritage because I wasn’t taught it at school. I have worked on my novels to try and find out who I am. The last book that I wrote (before The Long Song) was about the time of my parents coming to this country, called Small Island. The next thing I had to write, because I come from the Caribbean, because I am part of that is about slavery. Because slavery was alive and well and kicking for 300 years in the Caribbean and in Jamaica."

When is 'The Long Song' heading to PBS?

The Long Song will air on 31st January 2021, and can be watched via PBS. To watch this and an array of other programmes, viewers can sign up for an APT Passport membership. APT Passport is available on most popular streaming devices in the PBS Video app including AppleTV, Roku, AndroidTV and Chromecast.

Other popular shows available on PBS Video app include All Creatures Great and Small, Flesh and Blood, Van der Valk, Poldark and Endeavour. So why not sign up to enjoy all of these great programmes?

How to watch 'The Long Song' anywhere in the world 

If you're not in your usual PBS viewing market and still want to watch The Long Song, a VPN might be just the thing you need. A VPN allows your network traffic to flow through a specific set of servers in a specific country. So if you want to watch PBS in the U.S., you can watch PBS in the U.S.

The only catch is you need to be able to trust your VPN provider, because all of your network traffic — encrypted and unencrypted alike — will be flowing through it. For that, we've long been fans of ExpressVPN.


ExpressVPN is one of the easiest and affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it. Plus it'll help keep your network traffic away from any prying eyes on public networks.

And it's a great way to watch The Long Song from anywhere in the world.

Who stars in 'The Long Song'?

Here's a rundown of the main cast...

  • Hayley Atwell (Caroline Mortimer)
  • Ethan Hazzard (Elias)
  • Tamara Lawrance (July)
  • Jack Lowden (Robert Goodwin)
  • Madeleine Mantock (Miss Clara)