The English: fans label 'breathtaking' Western 'the best thing' on TV

Cornelia sports a red dress sitting next to her tent in The English
Cornelia (Emily Blunt) got herself into a heap of trouble in episode one. (Image credit: 2022 The English © Drama Republic/BBC/Amazon Studios)

*This article contains spoilers for the season premiere of The English*

The English, the new Western drama from the BBC and Amazon Studios, has certainly won over fans at home thanks in no small part to its gorgeous cinematography.

The first episode premiered in the UK on November 10 and the whole series is now available to stream on BBC iPlayer and Prime Video. In the season premiere, we're introduced to our two protagonists for this new epic drama, English aristocrat Cornelia Locke (Emily Blunt) and Pawnee ex-cavalry scout, Eli Whipp (Chaske Spencer). 

The pair didn't exactly meet on the best of terms; Cornelia was assaulted and trapped, and Eli had been captured and tied up after leaving the military behind, and their troubles only got worse as the episode unfolded (a full episode summary can be found later in this article). 

Although the show has only just started and The English clearly has many fans. Whilst there was plenty of buzz about the strong performances in the show, one thing stood just even more than the acting: the show's breathtaking visuals!

One fan wrote: "Almost every scene could be a poster".

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Another wrote: "#TheEnglish might very well be the best thing I've ever seen on telly. Just stunning", whilst another summed up the premiere episode as "bloody, brutal and breathtaking." And they weren't the only ones who were full of praise, either!

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If you need a quick refresh of what went down in The English's first episode, we've included a brief summary below.

What happened in the first episode of The English?

Cornelia leaves her English home behind on a quest for revenge on her child's killer; during a stop on her travels, she is taken in by hotel owner, Richard M. Watts (Ciaran Hinds) in Kansas.

Watts has Eli tied up outside his hotel; Cornelia offers the man money to cut him down and free him, but Watts refuses and then knocks her out; he then cuts Eli down, and sends wagon driver Sebold Cusk (Toby Jones) off with Eli in tow.

As Sebold explains, the plan is to have Eli framed for Cornelia's death, and Cusk stands to earn the reward for turning him over to the authorities. However, a group of cowboys interrupts their journey.

Eli manages to kill the three men, but Sebold gets shot in the process. Eli returns to the hotel to get his horse and retrieve his belongings, but he saves Cornelia in the process. As he plans to leave, she manages to convince him to travel alongside her for at least part of the journey to her destination in Wyoming. 

The English airs Thursdays at 9 pm on BBC Two in the UK. The full series can be streamed as a box set on BBC iPlayer and on Prime Video outside of the UK.

Martin Shore
Staff Writer at WhatToWatch.com

Martin is a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.