Underground Railroad

Watch Underground Railroad

  • TV-MA
  • 2013
  • 1 Season
  • 7.5  (8,111)

Underground Railroad is a compelling historical drama series that premiered on PBS in 2021. Created and directed by Barry Jenkins, the show is adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Colson Whitehead. Set in the 19th century, the series follows the journey of Cora Randall (Thuso Mbedu), a young woman who escapes the confines of slavery on a cotton plantation in Georgia and embarks on a perilous journey to freedom. Along the way, she meets other escaped slaves and allies who help her navigate through the dangers of the Underground Railroad - a network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves to escape to freedom in the North.

The series tackles significant themes such as slavery, racism, love, and survival with an unflinching eye. The show's writing is masterfully done, offering viewers a glimpse into the complex and emotionally charged world of slavery in America during the 19th century. The cinematography is equally breathtaking, capturing the beauty and darkness of the American South with breathtaking precision.

Thuso Mbedu delivers an outstanding performance as Cora, a young woman who embodies both the vulnerability and resilience of the human spirit. From the moment she steps onto the screen, she commands a sense of attention that never wavers, and her portrayal of Cora is nothing short of exceptional. Chase Dillon plays a young boy named Homer who was taken from his family and treated as property. His character is pivotal in the story, and Dillon delivers his lines with a sense of urgency that is chilling.

Joel Edgerton, known for his roles in The Great Gatsby and the Star Wars prequels, plays Arnold Ridgeway, a slave catcher tasked with tracking down Cora and bringing her back to her owner. His character is a complex one, and Edgerton's portrayal is commendable in its depth and nuance. Throughout the series, we see him grapple with his beliefs and values as a white man and the reality of what slavery truly is.

The supporting cast is also excellent, with prominent roles given to actors such as Aaron Pierre, Sheila Atim, and Justice Leak. The show regularly highlights the humanity in those enslaved, the hope that spurred them, and the violence that continually threatened it.

One of the most distinctive aspects of Underground Railroad is its nonlinear storytelling technique. The show jumps between Cora's present-day and past, to her ancestors, and to the stories of other escaped slaves. This approach enriches the viewers' understanding of the world in which they inhabit and helps humanize the enslaved people.

In addition to its gripping storytelling and outstanding performances, Underground Railroad's production design is superb. The world of the Underground Railroad is brought to life with impeccable skill, with every detail executed to perfection. The sets, the costumes, and the cinematography all work together in harmony to create an immersive world for viewers.

Overall, Underground Railroad is a fantastic series that stands as a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit. It is an important story that demands to be told, and director Barry Jenkins and the cast and crew have done a fantastic job in bringing it to life. While difficult to watch at times, it is a series that needs to be watched, with its messages remaining relevant today and always.

Underground Railroad is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (9 episodes). The series first aired on February 15, 2013.

Underground Railroad
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Chapter 10: Mabel
10. Chapter 10: Mabel
May 14, 2021
In this tale of motherhood, the beginning is the end is the beginning... for both mother and daughter.
Chapter 9: Indiana Winter
9. Chapter 9: Indiana Winter
May 14, 2021
Cora's presence as a fugitive ignites tensions amongst the Valentine community. Just as she was beginning to make this her home, chaos reigns.
Chapter 8: Indiana Autumn
8. Chapter 8: Indiana Autumn
May 14, 2021
Royal brings Cora to Valentine Farm, a thriving Black community and vineyard on the bountiful Indiana frontier. Carrying the scars of her journey, Cora struggles to find peace in this new home.
Chapter 7: Fanny Briggs
7. Chapter 7: Fanny Briggs
May 14, 2021
Let the fire burn.
Chapter 6: Tennessee - Proverbs
6. Chapter 6: Tennessee - Proverbs
May 14, 2021
For Arnold Ridgeway, a journey home reveals that "the past is not past." And a chance encounter with a freedman named Royal gives Cora new hope.
Chapter 5: Tennessee - Exodus
5. Chapter 5: Tennessee - Exodus
May 14, 2021
Captured by Ridgeway, Cora is forced to travel across the barren inferno of Tennessee. She shares the perilous journey with Jasper, a noble runaway filled with inner-strength.
Chapter 4: The Great Spirit
4. Chapter 4: The Great Spirit
May 14, 2021
A young Arnold Ridgeway comes of age while testing his belief in The Great Spirit.
Chapter 2: South Carolina
2. Chapter 2: South Carolina
May 14, 2021
Griffin, South Carolina
The William Still Story
1. The William Still Story
February 15, 2013
William Still was determined to get as many runaways as he could to Freedom's Land, so he smuggled them across the US border to Canada.
Where to Watch Underground Railroad
Underground Railroad is available for streaming on the PBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Underground Railroad on demand at Amazon Prime, Vudu and PBS.
  • Premiere Date
    February 15, 2013
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (8,111)