Yesterday wilderness. Tomorrow civilisation. In the Yorkshire Dales in the 1870s, the shantytown of Jericho is the home of a community that will live, thrive and die in the shadow of the viaduct they’ve been brought together to build.
Just as Annie and her family are starting to put recent events behind them, Bamford, the railway detective hired by Charles to find out who sabotaged his viaduct, returns to Jericho looking for Red Killeen. Bamford is now certain that Red was behind the explosion and wants him tracked down and punished. With Bamford sniffing around, Annie, Johnny and George are terrified that their deadly secret will be exposed. In her desperation to protect George, Annie unwittingly opens the door for Bamford to get a step closer to her family and to the truth. When George goes missing it looks like Annie’s best-laid plans have backfired. Annie has to find George before his disappearance draws unwanted attention their way.
With the cloud of Bamford no longer hanging over the town, Coates now has the reins of Jericho firmly in his grasp. But in a bid to protect its inhabitants from rogue traders, Coates makes himself fierce enemies, which will have grave consequences for not just him but for the whole of Jericho. Bamford’s departure also means that Annie and her family can begin to settle down. With her regular money coming in from her lodgers, George employed by Coates and Martha earning a wage at the tavern, Annie’s main concern seems to be batting-off the not unwelcome attention of Johnny Jackson. But any closeness between them is soon shattered by terrible news – Martha has fallen sick with fever. And the fever is spreading.
Johnny feels increasingly isolated as the truth about his identity spreads like wildfire throughout the town; his family want him gone, his friends shun him because they feel deceived and Coates now sees him as a rival. Even Annie is keeping her distance. After George saw them together she’s kept away from him in an attempt to reconcile with her son. Having failed to persuade George to move home Annie decides to take a different tack. Jericho is now her home plus it’s a place of opportunity. She decides to expand her business and set up a canteen and in doing so she hopes to win her son back.
The pressure is on for Charles and Isabella. With no hope of outside investment, and with horns still locked with Johnny, money for the viaduct is running out and wages need to be paid. When Charles announces that wages will be delayed, the navvy workforce is up in arms and calls a strike. How long can Charles ignore this problem and will he find the cash in time to keep the men from revolting? It’s time for George to move back into Annie’s hut after his time living with Coates at the Steam Truck. But it’s obvious that George has things on his mind, and memories of his family’s old life still haunt him. Memories that mightn’t be all they seem. Annie has buried a dark secret about her family’s past that looks to come to the surface now George is back under her roof.
Charles has asked a surveyor to find the most affordable location to quarry stone for the viaduct. But when Annie and Johnny discover that the quarry site is where the bodies of Happy Jack and Skinny are buried, panic sets in. Surely if they move the coffins they will discover Red. Everything they thought was dead and buried now looks to come back and destroy everything they have fought for. While Annie and Johnny do all they can to keep George calm and prevent him from spilling their secret, the town is in outrage. They rally around Hatty and superstitions abound. Hatty, won over by the promise of a decent new head stone for Jack gives in to the inevitability of the exhumation and asks Annie to be at her side when the time comes. Annie is going to have to keep it together in the toughest of circumstances.
Johnny is the prime suspect for the murder of RED KILLEEN. Jericho wants answers and, since CHARLES has washed his hands of his brother, COATES takes it upon himself to lock JOHNNY away pending the judgement of the law. Worried as to JOHNNY’s fate, ANNIE makes a desperate plea with CHARLES to have him released but CHARLES, still stinging from the knowledge that JOHNNY and ISABELLA slept together, won’t relent. JOHNNY must face the justice he deserves, delivered by COATES. But with GEORGE buckling under the pressure of knowing the wrong man has been accused, and with COATES gunning for JOHNNY, ANNIE worries it won’t be long before the truth is exposed.
In the aftermath of the trial, ANNIE and JOHNNY’s relationship is out in the open and they’re finally able to enjoy the intimacy of their union. With COATES on his way out of town, it seems that nothing can now disturb the peace and closeness between them. Except that COATES is determined that his time in Jericho is not yet done. The new quarry is a huge success for Jericho. Blasting through the rock, the men discover a cavern of sandstone that will change the fortunes of the viaduct. The only problem is that Jericho’s navvies won’t go near it: superstitions abound that the mine is on cursed land, the land where the bodies of HAPPY JACK, SKINNY and RED were buried.
Drama series set in the Yorkshire Dales during the 1870s. Annie Quaintain is turfed out of home when her schoolmaster husband's death leaves her widowed and penniless. Shunned by society, and with no family to turn to, Annie is desperate for a place for her and her children to stay. When she hears of jobs going in Culverdale Valley where an enormous viaduct is being built, she sets off with her children Martha and George for the promise of a new life in the vast expanse of the Yorkshire dales. Their journey takes them to a remote shanty town called Jericho, home to a community of navvies.