Not Your Typical Western

Mar 3, 2017

REASONS TO WATCH JERICHO... 

WHERE ELSE CAN YOU SEE A BRITISH WESTERN 

This is no John Wayne western, even though he was of English, Scottish and Irish ancestry.  Nor is this the spaghetti western of Clint Eastwood's early days.  This is an eight-episode drama about a woman named Annie Quaintain (Jessica Raine - Call The Midwife, Partners In Crime) who must haul herself and her two children to a rough-and-rowdy railroad camp in 1870s Yorkshire. It may be set in Britain, but it’s a Western, and the tension is universal. Annie must, in short, find a way to survive.

 

Jessica Raine as Annie

It has been described as the first ever British western – even though it is set in the Yorkshire Dales. The Deadwood-style Wild West frontier town depicted in the series is based on the community created by the building of the Ribblehead Viaduct in Yorkshire in the 19th century – hundreds died building it.

 

Train crossing Ribblehead Viaduct

The show’s creator Steve Thompson, a writer on both Sherlock and Doctor Who, says the series was partly inspired by the classic 1953 Hollywood western Shane, which depicted a gunfighter’s attempts to settle into homestead life before becoming embroiled in a bitter dispute over land. While there is none of the endless gun-slinging of a spaghetti western, JERICHO does chart the brutal and violent realities of living in a frontier shanty town.

 

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