‘Everything feels huge and cinematic. It doesn’t feel like an everyday piece of television’

Distributor All3Media International
Producer Eight Rooks; Drama Republic
Length 5 x 60 minutes and 1 x 90 minutes
Broadcasters BBC2 (UK); Amazon Prime (US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand)

A stellar cast led by Emily Blunt and Chaske Spencer steer this high-octane Western, written and directed by Hugo Blick (The Honourable Woman).

Produced by Blick’s production company, Eight Rooks, and Doctor Foster indie Drama Republic, the series follows the journey of an aristocratic Englishwoman (Blunt) and a native American ex-cavalry scout (Spencer) across the violent and barren landscape of 1890 mid-America.

The English C

David Swetman, senior vice-president of content and commercial strategy at distributor All3Media International, says there is a “brilliant character story” at the heart of the series, which explores revenge, race, identity, power and love. But it is also packed with action.

“It has all the best parts of traditional Westerns, with classic tropes like shootouts, chases, lawlessness and riding through the desert,” Swetman says.

“What sets The English apart is the scale of the cinematography. The word epic gets overused, but this is truly epic. Until you see it, you can’t fully appreciate the barren expanses of the landscapes. Everything feels huge and cinematic. It doesn’t feel like an everyday piece of television.”

Swetman’s strategy is simple: bring the best of British production to the wider market – and that includes the names involved, from “phenomenal” writer-director Blick to the supporting cast, which includes Toby Jones, Rafe Spall and Stephen Rea.

The English E

“We are not particularly prescriptive about genres or shows, but we are about the people involved and the track records of work they have behind them,” says Swetman. “You can read a script, but fundamentally it comes back to the people who need to deliver. We simply want to work with the best drama talent in the world.”

Swetman expects wide global interest, and says the fact that the series was commissioned by both the BBC and Amazon indicates its potential appeal to linear broadcasters and streamers in all territories.

All3MI has secured a raft of global pre-sales to platforms including Disney+ in The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, HBO Max in Latin America, and streamers in China and South Korea. Mipcom attendees will have the opportunity to attend the first screening.