Preview: The English

The English - Thomas Trafford

In the Powder River region of Wyoming, cattle baron, and English gentleman Thomas Trafford (Tom Hughes) is struggling to maintain his empire against the homesteader ‘invasion’ – despite being the first European to enter the region in 1875.

Outraged at the horrific slaughter of his pregnant cattle, Trafford reports the heinous crime to the local Sheriff, Robert Marshall (Stephen Rea) – but are matters of upholding the law his priority?

Meanwhile, on their journey north, Eli Whipp (Chaske Spencer) and Cornelia Locke (Emily Blunt) encounter a child and a baby, victims of Captain Clegg’s (Jan Knightley) bushwhackers, and take refuge with Native American farmers John (Gary Farmer) and Katie Clarke (Kimberly Guerrero).

Cornelia, a mother in mourning, remains singularly determined to return the children to their wider family: Mennonites, travelling south to claim land once assigned to Native Americans.

This leads to a schism between Cornelia and Eli, who tells of his family’s appalling fate at the hands of invading settlers, and Cornelia travels alone with the children. Before leaving, Eli gifts her a compass so that she can safely find her way back and promises to wait until her return – but is this is a promise he’s able to keep?

The English

Thursday at 9.00pm on BBC Two and iPlayer.

Credit: 2022 The English © Drama Republic/BBC/Amazon Studios.

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