James is the father of Erasmus and Titch (Tom Ellis) Wilde. He is described as an esteemed scientist and inventor whose shadow looms over the entire story, bearing down with the enormous weight of patriarchy, empire and duty. At his core, Wilde is a man fighting to give himself permission to love the way he must, even as he reckons with his failings as a father. Throughout the series, he will attempt to reconcile those things without destroying himself and everything he cares for.
“Washington Black” is adapted from Esi Edugyan’s novel of the same name. The nine-episode series is set in the 19th century and follows Washington “Wash” Black (Ernest Kingsley Jr.) as he flees from a Barbados sugar plantation after a shocking death threatens to upend his life. He becomes the protégé of Medwin Harris (Sterling K. Brown, who also executive produces), a Black refugee from Nova Scotia who serves as the de facto major of Black Halifax. While trying to outrun his past and the hunters on his tail, he meets Tanna (Lola Evans), a young wealthy British woman who passed as white but was secretly born of a Melanesian mother on the Solomon Islands, forcing her and her father to flee London for Nova Scotia. Tanna’s father pushes her into an arranged marriage with a white merchant to protect her, but she falls in love with Wash and begins to wonder what her life could be like with him. Eddie Karanja, Edward Bluemel, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Rupert Graves and Shaunette Renée Wilson also star.
Dance’s prominent TV credits include playing Tywin Lannister in “Game of Thrones” and Lord Mountbatten in Seasons 3 and 4 of “The Crown.” He has also recently appeared in films including David Fincher’s “Mank” and Matthew Vaughan’s “The King’s Man.” Up next, he will appear in “Sandman” on Netflix and Michael Winterbottom’s limited series “The Sceptred Isle.”
“Washington Black” is executive produced by showrunner Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, Brown under his Indian Meadows Productions banner, writer Jennifer Johnson, directors Wanuri Kahiu and Mo Marable and The Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jeremy Bell, Lindsay Williams and DJ Goldberg, Anthony Hemmingway and Jennifer Johnson. Edugyan is co-producer.