The English is a six-part Western series that's now available to stream on BBC iPlayer and Prime Video.
Billed as "an epic parable on race, love and power", The English is a six-episode miniseries that follows one woman's quest for vengeance in 19th Century America. From all the buzz around the series we've heard so far, it's shaping up to be one of the best BBC dramas of the year.
The English stars Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place) and is produced by award-winning company Drama Republic (the team behind Doctor Foster, Us and Black Earth Rising) plus it's been written and directed by multi-award-winning Hugo Blick (The Honourable Woman, The Shadow Line).
Here’s everything you need to know about The English.
How to watch The English
The English waspart of the UK's 2022 Autumn TV line-up and began airing on BBC Two on Thursday, November 10 at 9 pm. All six episodes are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
And if you're trying to stream The English outside of the UK, you can find the full series on Prime Video.
The English plot
When The English was first announced, writer-director Hugo Blick said: “The chance to make a Western with Emily Blunt and the cast is so delicious I’m still wondering if it’s one of those weird dreams we were all having during lockdown.
“If not, a thrilling, romantic, epic horse-opera is heading to your screen sometime next year, and I couldn’t be more excited.”
More recently, the BBC gave us some more info about what the series will entail. According to their release, the series "takes the core themes of identity and revenge to tell a uniquely compelling parable on race, love and power" as Cornelia and Eli band together to cross the West.
The BBC added: "Both of them have a clear sense of their destiny but neither is aware that it is rooted in a shared past. They must face increasingly terrifying obstacles that will test them to their cores, physically and psychologically. But as each obstacle is overcome it draws them closer to their ultimate destination, the new town of Hoxem, Wyoming.
"It is here, after an investigation by the local sheriff Robert Marshall (Stephen Rea) and young widow Martha Myers (Valerie Pachner) into a series of bizarre and macabre unsolved murders, that the full extent of their intertwined history will be truly understood, and they will come face to face with the future they must live."
What critics said about The English
The English has been received well. Ahead of the series premiere in the UK, the show had a 79% critics' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a score which has jumped up to 83% since the show's debut (as of the time of our last update). Most outlets were particularly impressed with the cast's performances and beautifully shot scenery.
Empire's five-star review of the series called The English "A massively ambitious and original take on the Western genre confirming the extraordinary writing and directing skills of TV auteur Hugo Blick, while showcasing one of Emily Blunt’s greatest performances yet."
Meanwhile, The A.V. Club said the show "has all the makings of a classic Western saga" and praised many elements including the performances, cinematography, and costumes, but were frustrated with the plot development, writing "there are hints of an in-depth, poignant tale hidden within The English, as Eli and Cornelia struggle with retaining parts of their identities after experiencing tragedy. But the show so explicitly wants to establish its Western atmosphere that the plot becomes an afterthought."
The Hollywood Reporter summed The English up as "a beautifully shot exercise that’s always right on the border of saying something brilliant, only to more frequently settle for being a picaresque assembly of bizarre characters, bloody adventures and satisfyingly badass lead performances from Emily Blunt and Chaske Spencer."
Who's in the cast?
Emily Blunt leads The English cast as Cornelia Locke with Chaske Spencer (The Twilight Saga, Banshee) starring opposite her as Eli Whipp.
Speaking to The Telegraph about her starring role, Blunt said: "I love a character with a secret. And I loved Cornelia's buoyancy, her hopefulness, her guilelessness. It's the worst thing ever when you open a script and read the words 'strong female lead'. That makes me roll my eyes – I’m already out. I’m bored. Those roles are written as incredibly stoic, you spend the whole time acting tough and saying tough things.
"Cornelia is more surprising than that. She’s innocent without being naive and that makes her a force to be reckoned with. She startles Eli out of his silence and their differences become irrelevant because they need each other to survive. I thought that was very cool", Blunt added.
The cast also includes Rafe Spall (The Salisbury Poisonings), Tom Hughes (A Discovery of Witches), Stephen Rea (The Shadow Line) Valerie Pachner (A Hidden Life), Toby Jones (Marvellous), Ciaran Hinds (The Terror), Malcolm Storry (The Princess Bride), Steve Wall (Raised by Wolves), Nichola McAuliffe (Tomorrow Never Dies), Sule Rimi (Black Earth Rising) and Cristian Solimeno (Avenue 5).
You can check out some first-look images from the series below:
Is there a trailer?
We received a main trailer earlier in the year (which you can check out below), but on October 14 we were treated to a new scene from the show. In this new clip, we watch as Cornelia Locke crosses paths with Eli Whipp for the first time in Kansas, where he's been tied up by a hotel manager.
The main trailer arrived on September 1, and it gives us a taste of Cornelia and Eli's adventure across the Old West, and the unruly characters they meet along the way. Keep an eye out for plenty of beautiful shots, and Cornelia's sharpshooting skills!
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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.