Emily Blunt attends The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences official Academy screening Of "Mary Poppins Returns" at the MoMA Titus One on December 4, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for the Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences)

The English: Emily Blunt takes the lead in BBC One’s new high-octane drama

Posted by for TV

Emily Blunt fans, are you ready for an epic tale of love and revenge? Then this new BBC drama is for you…

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 – and hopefully, Covid-depending, that’ll be all of us soon, too.

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?

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 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. 

Emily Blunt to star in The English
Emily Blunt will play a grieving mother hellbent on revenge in The English.

It’s not long before she’s joined forces with Eli Whipp, an ex-cavalry scout and member of the Pawnee Nation by birth. And together they discover a shared history which must be defeated at all costs, if either of them are to survive.

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.

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?

Filming on the series, which is written and directed by multi-award-winning Hugo Blick, has only just commenced, but you better believe that the cast and crew of The English are incredibly excited about their new TV project.

“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.”

Chaske Spencer in The English
Chaske Spencer stars opposite Emily Blunt in The English.

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?

Now hold your horses, everyone; filming has only just begun on The English, so we imagine the show won’t be hitting our TV screens until at least winter 2021 – if not the early half of 2022.

It’s also worth remembering that The English is a joint venture between the BBC and Amazon Studios, so it remains to be seen whether or not episodes will air in the US before coming to the UK, or whether they’ll opt for a global premiere.

To be honest, though, it doesn’t matter; we’re well and truly on board for this one and are more than willing to wait.

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

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Main image: Getty

All other headshots provided by BBC/Amazon Studios

Share this article

Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

Recommended by Kayleigh Dray