Wilderness: release date, cast, plot, trailer, interviews, episode guide and all about Jenna Coleman's revenge thriller

Wilderness on Prime Video stars Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Jenna Coleman as couple Liv and Will.
Wilderness on Prime Video stars Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Jenna Coleman as couple Liv and Will. (Image credit: Prime Video)

Wilderness on Prime Video stars The Serpent’s Jenna Coleman and Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Haunting of Bly Manor). The thriller series sees a British couple’s dream holiday descend into the stuff of nightmares. The pair play Liv and Will, who seem to have it all and are enjoying a glamorous new life in New York. But then Liv learns about Will’s affair and when he suggests a road trip around America’s stunning National Parks, it seems the perfect opportunity for her to exact her revenge. Taylor Swift sings the theme tune too! 

So here's everything you need to know about Wilderness on Prime Video...

A promotional still for Wilderness.

On the edge in Wilderness... (Image credit: Amazon)

A dream driving holiday ends up a nightmare for Liv and Will.

A dream driving holiday ends up a nightmare for Liv and Will. (Image credit: Prime Video)

Wilderness release date

Wilderness is now available in over 240 countries and territories after launching on Friday, September 15, 2023. All six episodes of the series are available as a box set. 

* How to watch Wilderness: stream the scenic revenge thriller online

Wilderness poster. Who's about to push?

Wilderness poster. Is Liv about to push him? (Image credit: Prime Video)

Is there a trailer for Wilderness?

Yes a trailer is for Wilderness has just been released by Amazon Prime VIdeo showing Jenna and Oliver's characters Liv and Will driving through a remote region of America's West. Below it is a teaser trailer reveals Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do (Taylor’s Version), the song of the opening titles, a re-recorded track from Reputation. Wilderness looks terrific as you can see from both trailers below...

Wilderness plot

Based on the novel Wilderness by B. E. Jones, this thriller focuses on Liv and Will (Jenna Coleman and Oliver Jackson-Cohen), a British couple who have left behind their life in a provincial town in the UK to enjoy a glamorous existence in New York. Their marriage seems rock solid but then Liv discovers that Will has had an affair with a younger colleague. She’s heartbroken but her sadness soon turns to fury and she's determined to get revenge... 

When Will suggests an epic trip around The Grand Canyon and America’s other national parks, she secretly vows to set him certain tests before she will accept that he is truly sorry and forgive him. Will has two weeks, 1,500 miles and three opportunities to save his own life. Because if their marriage can’t survive, then neither can he! Out in the American wilderness accidents can and will happen.

While trekking through the epic American National Parks, the couple bump into Will’s colleague Cara (Ashley Benson), a young American woman with a glittering career and an adoring boyfriend, Garth (Eric Barlow). Liv’s best-laid plans are wrecked and, as the foursome go hiking together, Cara and Garth soon find themselves enmeshed in Will and Liv’s lives in a way that will change the course of all their futures forever. 

Wilderness is a twisted love story, where a dream holiday and a supposedly “happily-ever-after” quickly turns into a living nightmare.

Their trip soon starts to go wrong.

Their trip soon starts to go wrong after Liv and Will bump into Cara and Garth. (Image credit: Prime Video)

Wilderness on Prime Video stars Jenna Coleman and Oliver Jackson Cohen.

Wilderness stars Jenna Coleman and Oliver Jackson Cohen as Liv and Will heading for trouble. (Image credit: Prime Video)

Wilderness cast — Jenna Coleman on playing Liv Taylor

In Wilderness, Jenna Coleman plays scorned wife Liv. In an interview done before the current US writers' strike, Jenna reveals: "It becomes a roller coaster and an unexpected journey. There’s a domino effect that’s uncontrollable. It’s heightened but grounded in an emotional, truthful experience. Liv is from Wales and uses humour as a defence mechanism because she is unsure of herself. Through her insecurities and lack of self-worth, Liv has put a lot of herself into her relationship with Will. But now she begins to plot ways in which to kill him and seek justice. There’s no hero or villain. The breakdown of a relationship should feel messy and confusing.

"It feels like a story about womanhood but within that, an exploration of being pushed to breaking point. So many female members of the crew said to me, ‘I’ve felt like that’. It’s going to be interesting to see how viewers react to things that feel extreme but familiar. From the off, it was easy, and a pleasure to film with Oliver, which you need because this series is so dark. We were giddy and playful! It was like we were on a mad, wonky road trip together. We filmed in Banff and Las Vegas and at the ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s house’ in New York. Then, at the Grand Canyon, when we were at the edge of a cliff, it was breathtaking. It was so big and cinematic.  

"I feel like there are so many themes.  For Liv it’s about accepting who you are. Of really being in your own skin, of being happy without needing anyone else. I feel like co-dependent relationships are very common. Wanting to lose yourself in someone else is common. For Liv that’s a really sobering acceptance. Also, having a voice and being able to express yourself and communicate and be in your own body. So, it feels like a feminine story about womanhood; travelling through that arc but within that, obviously a relationship exploration of being pushed to a breaking point and what can happen in a marriage. There were so many female members in the crew who came up to me and said, “I recognise that argument in the scene” or “I felt like that”. I think it’s going to be very interesting to see how the audience reacts to things that feel extreme but very familiar. The exploration of betrayal from someone that you love and what that can do to you."

*  Jenna Coleman first found fame playing Jasmine Thomas in Emmerdale for four years before moving on to Waterloo Road. She then played Clara in Doctor Who and Queen Victoria in ITV series Victoria before starring in the huge hit The Serpent, about the real-life killer Charles Sobhraj (see picture below). She's also had roles in The Cry, Inside No.9, Titanic and Dancing on the Edge

Jenna Coleman as corned wife Liv in Wilderness.

 Jenna Coleman as corned wife Liv in Wilderness. (Image credit: Prime Video)

Liv is plotting and backpacking!

Wild at heart! Liv is plotting while backpacking!  (Image credit: Prime Video)

Jenna Coleman with Tahar Rahim in The Serpent.

Jenna Coleman with Tahar Rahim in The Serpent. (Image credit: BBC)

Wilderness cast — Oliver Jackson-Cohen on playing Will Taylor

Wilderness star Oliver Jackson-Cohen plays cheating husband Will Taylor, who has no idea his life is in danger. In an interview done before the current US writers' strike, Oliver reveals: "It’s a twisted love story. Where we begin and where we end are two totally different shows. Audiences are going to love the thrill ride. It never takes you where you think it’s going to go. It’s stressful, moving, exciting, funny and devastating. Will is an English boarding school-type from a well-to-do but broken family. He and Liv have an incredible bond which is shattered. The show is about whether it’s possible to repair the damage, but Will hasn’t been honest about everything he’s done. He’s in constant survival mode to preserve his marriage. 

"We need the audience to understand why Liv stays with Will. It felt important to build a side to Will that was not a villain but a flawed person who’s loving and hurtful. Viewers will hate him but we go through such a journey that hopefully people change the way they think of both of them. Some of the biggest themes are betrayal and good versus evil. Wilderness shows love in its best and worst light and what the effect of being in love does to someone. We both come from a similar approach, and crafting Liv and Will with Jenna has been a joy. She’s phenomenal.

"The place where we filmed a white-water rafting scene was beautiful. We spent two days on a raft going down the river. Will ends up in the water and I’ve never been so cold!

"We had a day where Liz (Exec Producer), Marnie (Writer, Exec Producer), and I sat down and went through all the episodes. It was sort of about pulling and heightening things that were already there and moving other things to the background, particularly small stuff like Will’s OCD, punching up the trauma of boarding school. Because what we need from the audience is for them to understand why Liv stays with Will. So, it felt very important to build a side to Will that was not a villain but a completely flawed person. They were so collaborative in that. With the crafting, I watched hundreds of documentaries about boarding school and what that does to a kid who’s been sent there so young. I looked into sex addiction and what people are looking for and what they’re hiding. All these elements slowly migrated their way into the script, not necessarily in prominent ways. It’s been an interesting process."

* Oliver Jackson-Cohen previously starred alongside Elizabeth Moss in the 2020 movie The Invisible Man. He’s also been in Lark Rise to Candleford, Will & Kate: Before Happily Ever After (playing Prince William), Mr Selfridge, Dracula, The Great Fire, The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor (see picture below). Oliver is the son of famous British fashion designer Betty Jackson.

Oliver Jackson-Cohen in Netflix horror The Haunting Of Bly Manor.

Oliver Jackson-Cohen in Netflix horror The Haunting Of Bly Manor. (Image credit: Netflix)

Who else is starring in Wilderness?

Wilderness will also star Ashley Benson (Pretty Little Liars) who plays Cara. Trouble brews when Will’s glamorous but vulnerable lover turns up on his and Liv’s road trip with her boyfriend Garth played by Eric Balfour (Six Feet Under). Cara’s good-natured carpenter boyfriend seems relaxed about teaming up with Will and Liv on their travels.

Ashley Benson, who spoke before the US writers' strike, explains: "Cara is your typical rich New York girl. She’s always dressed up head to toe and always wearing make-up, no matter where she goes. I feel like she’s the kind of girl that you either want to be like or hate tremendously. She’s a fun girl and one of Will’s colleagues. She has a boyfriend, Garth, but gets into a situation with Will where they end up having an affair. As you get to know her through the show you see that everything on the outside is very different from who she is on the inside, which is very fun to play."

Eric Balfour, who spoke before the US writers' strike, says: "Garth is a really interesting character. Unlike the other characters, Garth – at least for me, was a victim in all this. In some ways, Garth is the most sincere and altruistic character although he comes from the most checkered background. What Marnie did with the character was to create this man who was truly flawed in so many ways. He had come from a broken home, he’d gotten in trouble with the law, he had substance abuse issues, and he’d really turned his life around. And anybody who’s dealt with addiction or recovery knows that it’s a razor’s edge to try and stay balanced. As the events of the show unfold for Garth, they send him into a tailspin, and he is left sort of broken. And unlike the other characters, he didn’t bring this on himself. He starts out as a strong, confident, secure, and, I hope, charming guy. That was the goal, we’ll see if that comes across. But he starts out in such a strong place as a person. And by the end of it, he becomes so lost and so broken. Getting to map out that journey for him and how it looked physically, how it looked emotionally was really fun. But if this were Shakespeare, Garth is the tragedy. He really is. He is the one who suffers the most and only because of what others have done."

Claire Rushbrook (Sherwoodplays Liv's mum Caryl, Liv’s lonely mum who lives in Wales and is still resentful about the breakdown of her own relationship with Liv’s dad.

Claire says: "Caryl is Liv’s mum. She’s a very loving, loyal, strong, devoted mother to her only daughter. But she has no tools to show it, so she appears to the world as quite hard-faced and uncaring at times. But she certainly isn’t. She just hasn’t found a way to articulate her feelings. Caryl’s relationship with Liv is complicated because they love each other deeply and only have each other in terms of family. Liv’s father left the family and fell in love with another woman. Caryl’s had to navigate the pain of that. And navigate how to love and support her daughter when none of those things come naturally to her. So, the relationship is complicated and painful but with love definitely present." 

Ash, played by Morgana Van Peebles, is a spirited American who is Liv’s friend and neighbour and offers her a shoulder to cry on following Will’s affair. Talia Balsam plays Bonnie, Will’s formidable boss is the hotel’s head of PR and has words of warning for Liv about how to lead her life.

Marsha Stephanie Blake (Orange is the New Black) is Detective Rawlins, a dedicated and talented cop has to make a shrewd assessment of events when Liv crosses her path. Jonathan Keltz plays Detective Wiseman, who is Rawlins’ colleague who works well with her, but he has very different views on how they should treat Liv. Crystal Blint (The Fall of the House of Usher) plays Liana, Natalie Sharp (The Flash) is Marissa, Geoff Gustafson (A Christmas Proposal) is Zach and Jake Foy (Designated Survivor) plays Anton. 

Ashley Benson as Cara in Wilderness.

Ashley Benson as fellow trekker Cara in Wilderness. (Image credit: Prime Video)

Wilderness star Claire Rushbrook as Claire Rowley in Sherwood.

Wilderness star Claire Rushbrook as Claire Rowley in Sherwood. (Image credit: BBC/House Productions/Matt Squire)

Ash, played by Morgana Van Peebles in Wilderness.

Ash, played by Morgana Van Peebles in Wilderness. (Image credit: Prime Video)

Wilderness episode guide and recaps

Here's our brief guide to each of the six episodes of Wilderness...

Episode 1: Happily Ever After
Deliciously twisted thriller starring Jenna Coleman. Liv and Will seem to have it all. A rock-solid marriage. A glamorous new life in New York. Until Liv learns about the affair. Enter the American road trip she’s fantasised about.  For Will, it’s a chance to make amends, for Liv, it’s a very different prospect – a landscape where accidents happen all the time. The perfect place to get revenge.
* Wilderness episode 1 recap: revenge plots and road trips

Episode 2: The Other Woman
Liv and Will have made it to Yosemite, but Liv's plot is thrown off course by the shock arrival of the other woman, Cara, which brings the deceit of the past very much into the present. As Liv and Cara's rivalry intensifies, more revelations emerge, and with Liv's marriage hanging by a thread, revenge becomes the only option.

Episode 3: Repent At Leisure
Liv wakes to the crushing realisation of what she has done. The need for an alibi is crucial, but as a search mission begins, there is a nightmarish surprise waiting at her door. 

Episode 4: Home Sweet Home
In Las Vegas, a troubled marriage is locked into a toxic pact. On return to New York, can Liv escape the horrifying consequences of the trip as Detectives Rawlins and Wiseman begin to close in?

Episode 5: Like Mother, Like Daughter
Liv's mother, Caryl, arrives from Wales and brings with her some difficult questions just as the police are closing in on Liv.

Episode 6: Where White Knights Go To Die
In a chilling conclusion, Liv's toxic pact reaches boiling point with the stage set for a dark showdown nobody could have expected.

Oliver Jackson-Cohen (on right) as Will during a trek in the forest.

Liv and Will during a trek in the forest with Cara and Garth. (Image credit: Prime Video)

Behind the scenes, locations and more on the thriller Wilderness

Filming for Amazon Prime Video's Wilderness began in June 2022 in the UK, United States and Canada. They filmed the famous National Parks, including The GRand Canyon in Arizona, plus there were shoots in Las Vegas, New York, Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler Olympic Park and Banff Springs Hotel.

Cinematographer Kat Westergaard explains: "So and I knew from the start we wanted to capture the beauty of our natural locations - the vastness of the desert and the height of the forest and also have our characters feel small and inconsequential in these locations in order to create some uneasiness. At the same time this is an intimate character study and we knew we would be doing a lot of close-ups on Liv and would attempt to give her an increasing amount of power in the frame as she gained agency from episode to episode. With these ideas in mind, I knew right from the first location scout we should shoot with the large format Arri Alexa Mini LF. I wanted to be able to get the camera very physically close to Liv so it felt like we were almost reading her thoughts - and the full frame sensor is perfect for this. Jenna Coleman who plays Liv gives such a subtle and beautiful performance that our approach to her coverage really paid off."

Wilderness is produced by Firebird Pictures, written and created by Marnie Dickens, directed and executive produced by So Yong Kim and executive produced by Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Marnie Dickens.

Marnie Dickens explains "Who doesn’t know someone who’s been cheated on? That gut punch on discovery, the trail of paranoia and suspicion it leaves behind, the difficulty of trusting again. It’s enough to tip anyone over the edge. And that’s where we meet our heroine, Liv, as she’s lied to over and over by the man she loves. Of course she wants revenge, and I, for one, hope she gets it.”

Shooting Wilderness took place in the National Parks of United States and Canada.

The shooting of Wilderness took place in the National Parks of United States and Canada. (Image credit: Prime Video)

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.