Trailblazing trio take on the American Wild West in new BBC series

Emily Atack, Ruby Wax and Melanie Brown

Three trailblazing women – Ruby Wax, Melanie Brown and Emily Atack – come together to re-trace the footsteps of intrepid Victorian explorer, Isabella Bird, whose exploits have largely been lost to history.

At a time when most explorers were men, Yorkshire born Isabella was a trailblazer. Being prescribed mountain air to cure her malaise, in 1873 Isabella set off on her travels across the globe to find exactly that.

Travelling alone, she crossed the lawless American Wild West, riding 800 miles on horseback through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

She befriended outlaws, climbed mountains and faced grizzly bears, in what was a restrictive era for women in Britain.

In the footsteps of trailblazing Isabella Bird

Using her original 1873 book A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains as inspiration for their own historic American adventure, Ruby, Mel and Emily want to pay homage to this forgotten pioneer.

They explore the people, places and curious customs of an ever-changing America, while reflecting on the changes in Western society over the last 150 years and their own experience of womanhood.

Trailblazers (3×60) is made by Studio Ramsay. The Executive Producers are Jo Bishop, Lisa Edwards and Gordon Ramsay and Series Director/Series Producer is Jill Worsley.

It was commissioned by Catherine Catton, Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment and the BBC Commissioning Editor is Max Gogarty.