Source: A prominent character from the 1959 UK television drama South (Sud), Broadcast live on 24 November 1959, in ITV’s Play of the Week slot. A television adaptation of Julien Green's novel of the same name and is considered to be the earliest television play with an overtly homosexual theme

Played By: Peter Wyngarde.

Image: South Characters, Photograph: British Film Institute,


Character Description:

Jan Wicziewsky is a polish army man banished to the US in the deep end of the South to dwell on a plantation. He falls in love with both the plantation owner's niece, Miss Regina and the tall, blond, rugged officer Eric MacClure (Graydon Gould), and struggles to decide between the two.

Character Quote(s):

Jan to Jimmy, the plantation owner's son:

"You know, Jimmy, odd times, freedom of will is a crushing weight and it's not always possible to choose. I'm in love Jimmy, as no human being was ever in love before...It's better not to know what men are thinking, it's almost always sad or shameful. I'm not ashamed, but I am alone. Hopelessly alone."- quote Jan Wicziewsky ("Newly unearthed ITV play could be first ever gay television drama",

According to:

Quote, Simon McCallum from:

"...Wyngarde’s performance as the tortured Jan is extraordinary, by turns theatrical and reflective. Though producers were unable to mention homosexuality explicitly, the bravery involved in accepting such a role cannot be overstated. The wonderful supporting cast includes Hollywood veteran Bessie Love as a worldly Southern matriarch, and pioneering black British actor Johnny Sekka (South has much to say on race as well as sexuality)..." - "Festival gem: South", (, 2016).

Article Sources:

Mark Brown. "Newly unearthed ITV play could be first ever gay television drama." (2013). Retrieved from

Simon McCallum. "Festival gem: South." (2016). Retrieved from