Get Your First Look at Emily Blunt In Prime Video Western 'The English'

Emily Blunt in "The English" (Photo: Prime Video)

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As Americans, the idea of the Old West is foundational to our national mythology. Images of cowboys, sharpshooters, prospectors, and Native American tribes lept into the world's collective imagination. That can-do frontier spirit is as much a part of our idea of ourselves as a country as Betsy Ross and her flag. 

Popular recent television programs like Deadwood, Hell on Wheels, 1883, and Godless have explored the period in varying levels of detail, wrestling with ideas of expansion, immigration, and opportunity. But, for obvious reasons, it's not a setting that British period dramas often tackle. 

However, that seems set to change with the arrival of the upcoming Prime Video and BBC collaboration, The English

Emily Blunt in "The English" (Photo: Prime Video)
Emily Blunt in "The English" (Photo: Prime Video)

Set in 1890s middle America, the six-episode series stars Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place) as an aristocratic Englishwoman named Lady Cornelia Locke who joins forces with a Pawnee ex-cavalry scout named Eli Whipp (Chaske Spencer) to cross a dangerous and unforgiving landscape built on dreams and blood.

As they travel, the pair will face increasingly terrifying obstacles that will test them to their limits, both physically and psychologically. 

Joining Blunt and Spencer are Stephen Rea (The Shadow Line) as local sheriff Robert Marshall and Valerie Pachner (The Kings Man) as young widow Martha Myers, a pair of residents in the Wyoming town of Hoxem. They are investigating a series of horrifying cold case murders that shed light on Locke and Whipp's shared history.

Chaske Spencer in "The English" (Photo: Prime Video)
Chaske Spencer in "The English" (Photo: Prime Video)

Described as "an epic chase Western," the six-episode series is written and directed by Hugo Black (The Honourable Woman) and aims to explore themes of identity and revenge while telling a story of race, power, and love. 

Its official description reads as follows.

An epic chase Western, The English takes the core themes of identity and revenge to tell a uniquely compelling parable on race, power, and love. An aristocratic Englishwoman, Lady Cornelia Locke (Blunt), and a Pawnee ex-cavalry scout, Eli Whipp (Spencer), come together in 1890 mid-America to cross a violent landscape built on dreams and blood.

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 limits, 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, The Shadow Line) and young widow Martha Myers (Valerie Pachner, A Hidden Life) 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.

Emily Blunt and Chaske Spencer in "The English" (Photo: Prime Video)
Emily Blunt and Chaske Spencer in "The English" (Photo: Prime Video)

The ensemble cast of The English also includes Rafe Spall (The Salisbury Poisonings), Tom Hughes (Victoria), Toby Jones (Marvellous), and Ciarán Hinds (Kin).

The series is produced by Wolf Gait Productions Ltd, a joint venture of Drama Republic Ltd and Eight Rooks Ltd, in association with All3Media International.

All six episodes of The English are slated to premiere on BBC Two and Prime Video in November, but a firm release date has yet to be announced on either side of the pond.


Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Twitter at @LacyMB