‘Man in an Orange Shirt’ Premieres on Masterpiece This June

Vanessa Redgrave and Julian Morris in "Man in an Orange Shirt" (Photo: Courtesy of Nick Briggs/Kudos for BBC and MASTERPIECE)

Vanessa Redgrave stars in acclaimed drama Man in an Orange Shirt, coming to PBS’ Masterpiece this summer as a one-off special.

The drama originally aired on the BBC in 2017, as part of its “Gay Britannia” season, a series of programs meant to honor the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in the United Kingdom. It comes to Masterpiece in June 2018, as the United States celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride month, an annual event which commemorates the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The riots are generally considered a tipping point for the gay rights movement here in America.

Masterpiece will air the two-part drama in a single evening, on Sunday, June 17.

Man in an Orange Shirt follows two gay love stories set 60 years apart – stories linked by family, and a painting that holds a secret that echoes down through the ages.

The drama charts the challenges and changes to gay lives from the Second World War to the present day by contrasting two relationships – one which was forbidden by external forces such as illegality and societal pressure, and a modern day romance which does not face those specific barriers, but nevertheless must face its own internalized issues and temptations.

Redgrave stars as a grandmother struggling with her relationship with her gay grandson. The cast also includes Oliver Jackson-Cohen, James McArdle, Joanna Vanderham, Laura Carmichael, Julian Morris, Julian Sands, David Gyasi and Frances De La Tour.

Watch the Masterpiece trailer for yourself below:


Man in an Orange Shirt is written by bestselling British author Patrick Gale, and is loosely based on a story he discovered about his own parents’ relationship.

Masterpiece also released a two minute behind-the-scenes clip featuring comments on the meaning of story from several of Man in an Orange Shirt’s cast members and producers.

"Love shouldn't be taken for granted." Man in an Orange Shirt comes to MASTERPIECE on Sunday, June 17 at 9/8c on @PBS. pic.twitter.com/Al363Gbq99

— Masterpiece PBS (@masterpiecepbs) June 5, 2018

Does this sound like something you'd watch? Let's discuss! 

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

More to Love from Telly Visions