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Renegade Nell review – The fantasy adventure starring Louisa Harland hits the sweet spot as a period drama full of thrills, intrigue, and hope

All 8 episodes of Renegade Nell have been released on Disney+ Hotstar, allowing delighted fans of the Derry Girls star to binge watch it, aided further by an intriguing plot.

Renegade Nell review – The fantasy adventure starring Louisa Harland hits the sweet spot as a period drama full of thrills, intrigue, and hope
The poster of Renegade Nell

Last Updated: 06.40 PM, Mar 29, 2024


Renegade Nell is a brand-new British period drama brimming with elements of fantasy, supernatural, feminism, politics, and thrilling action sequences. Composed by BAFTA-winning scriptwriter Sally Wainwright, the 8-part series was directed by Ben Taylor, Amanda Brotchie, and MJ Delaney. Renegade Nell is available for streaming on Disney+ Hotstar and features the talented likes of Louisa Harland, Adrian Lester, and Frank Dillane in leading roles.

Renegade Nell story

Renegade Nell follows the adventures of Nell, a notorious and highly feared highwaywoman of 18th-century England. Widowed and presumed dead when her beloved Captain husband died in a bomb blast as she accompanied him, Nell is now back in town. But as she had broken her father’s heart after leaving with “her Captain”, he was a little reluctant to take her in. Thankfully, Nell’s younger sisters, George and Roxy, convince him otherwise.


But when a confrontation with Thomas, the spoilt and lecherous brat of the Magistrate, takes it too far with her family, she gives him a good beating, as she had done with any other dangers on her way back home. Thanks to a strange flying spark of light, or tiny fairy, known as Billy Blind, Nell is invigorated with a supernatural amount of strength, speed, and dexterity in sticky situations.

But when her father is murdered and she is blamed for the death of the Magistrate, skillfully done by Thomas, who wished to have the estate to himself and save his neck, she takes the highway with her small family, Rasselas, the kind Blancheford slave, and Charles, the first highway robber she had defeated and impressed. Now Nell must battle supernatural and mortal enemies while trying to clear her name and protect her family.

Renegade Nell review

Renegade Nell is a solid series with great costumes, wigs, makeup, and set. Everything about the series, from its dialect to its social and political commentary, is accurately and exceptionally shown, mesmerising and immersing viewers in a violent, grimy, yet fantastical world. It is the 1700s and women have little say or role to play but household tasks and meagre jobs.

But the series highlights the various realistic kinds of women back then while contrasting them with Nell. Nell may be wild, immature, sometimes shrewd, and often naive, but her good heart, rough approach, and brave persona is what makes her so endearing amid women ranging from ambitious ladies to innocent maids to unwilling noble brides.

And that is where the show’s virtue lies. In showcasing that though Nell is aided by a supernatural protector, she has to bear the brunt and blows of her actions, it holds women accountable for their choices, whether complicity or active involvement. The show adds a revolutionary touch of a constant search for identity, home, safety, and justice, as even in the 21st century, that is all every female wishes to achieve.

Renegade Nell verdict

The show goes a tad overboard on the fantasy part without really going into any explanation about it. This casual approach both highlights and diminishes the impact of magic, which would have been more balanced with a bit more information about Billy Blind and Nell herself. Otherwise, the show is a highly promising immersive watch, one that men, women, and adolescents must watch.

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