The Buccaneers Producers Break Down That Panic-Inducing Debutante Ball

“It’s the equivalent of girls today on a prom night standing up in a limo ‘woo-hooing’.” Inside The Buccaneers big debutante ball scene.

Episode 1. Kristine Frøseth, Alisha Boe, Josie Totah, Aubri Ibrag and Imogen Waterhouse in "The Buccaneers," premiering November 8, 2023 on Apple
Photo: Apple TV+

This article contains spoilers for The Buccaneers episode 1.

Based on Edith Wharton’s unfinished novel, The Buccaneers is Apple TV+’s newest original series. The story follows five young American women from wealthy families in the 1870s looking to move up the social ladder by marrying the cash-poor and status-rich sons of the British gentry. 

The first episode, “American Poison,” introduces the young women, their families, and the way the marriage market is not as romantic as depicted in other period dramas or previous Wharton adaptations. Conchita “Conchi” Closson (Alisha Boe) was the first American woman to marry a British Duke. Her friends Annabelle “Nan” St. George (Kristine Frøseth) and her sister Virginia “Jinny” (Imogen Waterhouse) plus sisters Mabel (Josie Totah) and Lizzie (Aubri Ibrag) Elmsworth are also hoping some of Conchi’s luck rubs off on them. The bond between the young women is tested by the competition to make a good match, the culture clash between their world and the world of their suitors as well as the secrets they’re hoping won’t be discovered by others. 

In the middle of the episode, Lizzie and Ginny are presented at a debutante’s ball in England with their friends watching in dismay at how the British gentry is treating them. Den of Geek spoke to series creator Katherine Jakeways, executive producer Beth Willis, and episode director and executive producer Susanna White to find out what went into bringing the debutante ball to life. 


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