REVIEW: Epix's Billy The Kid shines a human light on the legendary outlaw in this gripping historical series.
So much has been said about Henry McCarty, aka William H Bonney, aka Billy The Kid, over the 140 years since he passed at just 21 years old. Through books, folk tales, comic books, radio programs and movies, the legend of the outlaw has spun tales of murder, mayhem and crime that have mythicized the man. But who is that man behind the myth? Epix Billy The Kid explores the life of that man with a well written, gripping new drama debuting Sunday April 24th.
The 8 episode series begins with Billy as a child in New York City, having just arrived with his mother Kathleen (Eileen O’Higgins), his father and his brother as they arrive in America from Ireland. Eventually, they make their way West which sets in stone the events we all know are to come. This back and forth between adult Billy (played amazingly by Tom Blyth) give a rather unique twist on how his early life so heavily influenced his later years. These tender and often sad moments of his youth serve to humanize the monster we all have heard stories about.
The lead cast is rounded out by Jesse Evans (Daniel Webber) who takes Billy under his wing, sometimes begrudgingly on both sides. It is in this space that we really see how one's choices can affect their lives longterm and it's a creative choice that Showrunner and creator Michael Hirst boldly makes that pays off for the viewer. Hirst, creator of Vikings, clearly finds the relationship between the two is ultimately what turned Henry McCarty into the outlaw we all know.
With a terrific cast, beautiful cinematography, a tight throbbing story and plenty of historical accuracy from Hirst, Billy The Kid is a unique take on a man whose been written about for nearly 150 years. To keep the concept interesting, the series humanizes the myth we all know, giving us an emotional investment into the man, rather than the legend.
Billy the Kid airs exclusively on Epix beginning Sunday April 24th 2022.