Behind the Scenes
Elizabeth Deane, Executive Producer & WriterPeter Jones, DirectorJill Reurs, Script SupervisorSimon Russell Beale, ActorWigsCostumesResearch & Props
Peter Jones, Director
Peter Jones
Director

Jones guided the actors and crew through an authentic recreation of John and Abigail Adams' story.

'We're looking to a way in which the two central characters... can really be brought to life.'
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Video Interview (1:52) QuickTime Video

Peter Jones:

It's quite moving, in fact, to be filming in Quincy. It's bound to affect one. From the very first little scouting trip I did from WGBH down into Quincy and to see that the birthplace is being kept and treated, quite rightly, almost like a shrine. But also the Massachusetts Historical Society, a wonderful foundation which is preserving all of the written work, the words, the letters, which is the other dimension to all of this. Now, interestingly, when something becomes, obviously, a shrine, and a national park, part of a national park, a historical site, you've got lots and lots of visitors. So the disappointment then is that you actually can't film there.

But you can imagine my excitement on a Saturday afternoon, out on my own, just looking around this area, finding this mansion. And what I found here was one part of the house, which belongs to the early 18th century with a lovely kitchen, a bedroom upstairs which is identical to what is in the historical Adams birthplace. But also, at the other end of the house, rooms which were added on by the Quincy family in the late 18th century, which match precisely the rooms and the house that John and Abigail moved into when they returned from France. So in the one concentrated location here in this mansion, we actually have brought together everything, really, in the arc of their lives in Quincy itself.

Behind the Scenes John & Abigail Adams American Experience PBS