How to watch revisionist western drama The English in New Zealand

It’s billed as “an epic parable on race, love and power” but that makes Emily Blunt’s new series seem a bit dour—it’s also a hyper-violent roaring rampage of revenge. How can it be both? You can find out for yourself as every episode of the sweeping western The English is now streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

Emily Blunt stars as Lady Cornelia Locke, who has left the safety of England for the harsh frontier of 1890s Kansas to seek out the man responsible for the death of her son and extract at least one pound of flesh, and preferably a lot more.

En route to her reckoning she encounters Pawnee former Army Scout Elip Whipp (Chaske Spencer, familiar from Twilight and Banshee), who is being tortured prior to execution for having the temerity to try and claim the land that was promised to him for his military service. Several dead bodies later, the odd couple find their fates intertwined, carving and frequently killing their way across the lawless land they find themselves in.

The English comes to us from British writer and director Hugo Blick (Black Earth Rising), who has assembled an impressive supporting cast to accompany our leading duo on their picaresque journey into the heart of colonial darkness. Stephen Rey (The Crying Game) crops up as sheriff Robert Marshall, Rafe Spall (Prometheus, Life of Pi) does villain duties as the murderous David Melmont, as does Nichola McAuliffe (The Man Who Fell to Earth) as Black Eyed Mog, and we also get the great Toby Jones (The Mist) and Gary Farmer (Dead Man, Reservation Dogs) in smaller roles.

The English has at least a few parallels with Jennifer Kent’s harrowing The Nightingale, both thematically and narratively. Will it be as bleak? Hard to say, but there’s only one way to find out…