Here’s your first look at Emily Blunt in the BBC’s thrilling new 1800s Western

Emily Blunt is starring in the BBC’s thrilling new Western drama The English, and we just got a first look at her gun-toting aristocratic character.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: westerns are proving to be the televisual genre du jour, and for good reason. After all, they’re all about people stepping out into a brave new world and learning to reckon with a new normal – as we all are, actually, in the wake of the pandemic.

Is it any wonder, then, that BBC One and Amazon Studios have joined forces with phenomenally talented actor Emily Blunt to bring us an epic tale of love and revenge set in the mythic mid-American landscape in the year of 1890?

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Here’s what you need to know about The English.

What’s the plot of The English?

Unlike so many other westerns, The English is focused on an aristocratic Englishwoman – not an all-American cowboy. And an Englishwoman who’s hellbent on revenge, no less.

That’s right; as per the show’s official synopsis, the series sees Cornelia Locke arrive into the new and wild landscape of the West looking for the man she believes responsible for the death of her son. 

The English: Emily Blunt as Lady Cornelia Locke

It’s not long before she’s joined forces with Eli Whipp, an ex-cavalry scout and member of the Pawnee Nation by birth. Together, they “cross a violent landscape built on dreams and blood”, and discover a shared history which must be defeated at all costs if either of them are to survive.

“They must face increasingly terrifying obstacles that will test them to their cores, physically and psychologically,” the synopsis continues. “But as each obstacle is overcome it draws them closer to their ultimate destination, the new town of Hoxem, Wyoming.

The English: Emily Blunt as Lady Cornelia Locke and Chaske Spencer as Eli Whipp

“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.”

Who stars in The English?

As mentioned already, Blunt – who has dazzled us time and time again, thanks to her standout performances in A Quiet Place, Mary Poppins Returns, The Girl On The Train, and Your Sister’s Sister – takes the lead in this drama as the vengeful Cornelia Locke.

The English airs on the BBC this November

Twilight’s Chaske Spencer, meanwhile, will star opposite her as Eli Whipp. And that’s not all for this star-studded cast; Rafe Spall, Tom Hughes, Stephen Rea, Valerie Pachner, Toby Jones, Ciaran Hinds, Malcolm Storry, Steve Wall, Nichola McAuliffe, Sule Rimi, and Cristian Solimeno all have important roles to play in this story, too.

What are people saying about The English?

Written and directed by multi-award-winning Hugo Blick (The Honourable Woman), the cast and crew of The English are incredibly excited about their new TV project.

The English: Emily Blunt as Lady Cornelia Locke

“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,” says Blick.

“If not, a thrilling, romantic, epic horse-opera is heading to your screen sometime next year, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

The English: Emily Blunt as Lady Cornelia Locke

And Greg Brenman, CEO of production company Drama Republic, has added: “Hugo Blick has created a compelling, modern love story set against the epic landscape of a western. The English is a true adventure that will tell us as much about the times we live in today as the period in which it is set.”

When will The English be available to watch on BBC One?

While we don’t have an exact release date just yet, we do know that The English will be hitting our TV screens this November.

The English airs on the BBC this November

As a joint venture between the BBC and Amazon Studios, the series will premiere on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer in the UK and Prime Video in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

We’ll bring you more details as and when they become available.

Main image: Getty

All other headshots provided by BBC/Amazon Studios

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