slavery in canada
Season 2 of TURN: Washington’s Spies is a wrap, which means we’ve got one last timeline update for the season! You can click on the image above to view the full-size Timeline, or better yet, visit the Timeline Page to view a chronological list of every event along with links for further reading.
The Season 2 Finale merited quite a few additions to the Timeline, including the Battle of Monmouth, one of the largest engagements of the Revolutionary War in terms of troop numbers. John Andre was present, but Benjamin Tallmadge and the 2nd Dragoons were not; historically, the young Marquis de Lafayette played a crucial role in the battle, but TURN left him on the sidelines for the entire episode in spite of having introduced him to much fanfare just a few episodes earlier.
The Thomas Hickey affair (a fascinating true story from earlier in the war) received similarly strange treatment in the finale. In the TURN universe, Hickey was the final piece that wrapped up an episodes-long treasonous plot to kidnap Washington, but the entire scene felt like an afterthought hastily shoved into the last five minutes of the episode. The very title of the Season 2 Finale — “Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot” — was actually a reference to the English poem about Guy Fawkes as quoted in one of the most well-known eyewitness accounts of the Thomas Hickey execution, quoted at the beginning of this well-written summary of the event.
Additionally, we have yet another event to add to the right-hand extreme of the Historical Timeline. A central plot point of the finale episode was Akinbode/Jordan’s plot to take Abigail and Cicero to Canada. As J.L. Bell points out in his latest weekly review of TURN, this makes no sense, given that slavery was legal in all British colonies, including Canada, in 1778. The writers appear to be setting up Canada as some anachronistic, proto-Underground Railroad destination for this sympathetic Revolutionary War family, even though the abolition of slavery in Canada was a gradual process that began in the 1790s and wasn’t complete until well into the 19th century. (You might find a few unexpected TURN-related names if you were to browse the history of slavery and abolition in Canada.)
Finally, there’s also an event in the Timeline related to Peggy Shippen’s final relationship status — even though we’re getting slightly ahead of the show’s chronology — on account of so many readers inquiring about it. (As you can tell from the rest of the Timeline, the actual historical record doesn’t necessarily act as a “spoiler” for TURN, since the show departs so radically from documented history.)
Today: #RenewTURN Twitter Rally
Last year, TURN fans waited two long weeks after the Season 1 finale for confirmation that the show would be renewed for Season 2. We can expect more of the same waiting period this year, if comments made last week by AMC network CEO Josh Sapan are any indication.
According to Variety, Sapan said that the cable network would “assess” the futures of both “TURN: Washington’s Spies” and “Halt and Catch Fire.” Both historical dramas (Yes, the 1980s counts as a historical time period, as depressing as that might be to some) debuted in 2014 and have struggled in the ratings despite amassing small, devoted fanbases. If it’s any consolation, the raw numbers for Season 1 of “Halt & Catch Fire” (in 2014) were very close to the numbers for Season 2 of TURN (in 2015) — and last year AMC gave “Halt and Catch Fire” the green light for another season.
For you devoted TURN fans who are on Twitter, @TurnonAMC (an unofficial handle) is leading an effort to get the hashtag #RenewTURN trending later tonight. Details can be found here. We’ll be keeping tabs on the latest TURN renewal news and will post it on Twitter, Facebook, and (of course) here on the blog once we hear any official word!
This entry was posted in Site updates, TURN news, Uncategorized and tagged 2d light dragoons, 2nd dragoons, amc turn, battle of monmouth, benedict arnold, benjamin tallmadge, george washington, halt and catch fire, historical accuracy, historical timeline, john andre, John Graves Simcoe, peggy shippen, slavery in canada, slavery in the american revolution, thomas hickey, TURN, turn amc, turn ratings, TURN season 2, turn season finale, TURN: Washington's Spies, washington's spies.