“Maxton Hall – The World Between Us” may play out predictably for most of its season, but its actors compensate immensely for its by-the-beats story.

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Plot Summary

At Maxton Hall College, the children of the elite continue their education as they prep for universities like Oxford – which is where our lead, Ruby Bell, wishes to go. She’d be the first member of her family to go to university, and she has studied long and hard to get the scholarship she needed and the recommendation letters required. However, after pursuing two years of excellence while trying to keep a low profile, she then stumbles upon a scandal.

Damian Hardung as James and Sonja Weißer as Lydia
Damian Hardung as James and Sonja Weißer as Lydia

The scandal, of which one half is Beaufort’s heir, Lydia Beaufort, causes Ruby to lose her nearly incognito status; for now, she is on Lydia’s older brother, James’ radar. He starts off trying to pay her off, and when that doesn’t work, he tries to exert his influence and authority in other ways. Yet, despite starting off as enemies, circumstances, partly forced upon them by the school’s administration, lead to them discovering there is more to the other than their initial superficial take.

Characters and Cast

Character’s Name Actor’s Name
Ruby Bell Harriet Herbig-Matten
James Beaufort Damian Hardung
Lydia Beaufort Sonja Weißer
Mortimer Beaufort Fedja van Huêt
Angus Bell Martin Neuhaus
Ember Bell Runa Greiner
Alistair Justus Riesner
Lin Andrea Guo


Our Rating: Mixed (Stick Around)

Good If You Like

  • College romances
  • Seeing the rich interact with the working class

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Harriet Herbig-Matten as Ruby

Harriet Herbig-Matten as Ruby,
Harriet Herbig-Matten as Ruby,

What drives “Maxton Hall – The World Between Us” is Herbig-Matten’s performance. While the world we’re invited to feels all too familiar, there is an earnestness and vulnerability given through her performance that impedes you from calling the show generic. For whether it is the excitement in Ruby completing a task, how she interacts with her family, or her handling of the hot and cold nature of James, Herbig-Matten gives you a person more than a character.

I especially want to note how she can get you in your feelings as you see her eyes well with tears holding onto you. Then, you will probably join her if they start flowing from her eyes. Because, considering all she is going through, you just want to see her win and maybe get a chance to have it all.

Fedja van Huêt as Mortimer

Fedja van Huêt as Mortimer
Fedja van Huêt as Mortimer

Every show needs a villain, and for “Maxton Hall – The World Between Us,” that is Mortimer. As James and Lydia’s father, the head of their family’s 100+ year-old business, he may show moments of levity, but he is firm when it comes to business. As shown through his kids, this may have made them cunning, but it hasn’t left much room for self-determination or mistakes.

You could also add their negative traits. For example, how James thinks he can buy off Ruby or how he harasses her when that is shown not to be an option also stems from Mortimer. But, as the series goes on, you can see a borderline desperation to maintain the family wealth and not end up like Ruby’s best friend Lin and her family. But, from sexism to how he treats his kids and how he treats people like Ruby, Mortimer will become someone you love to hate.

What Little We Get From and About Angus

Unfortunately, as noted below, supporting characters in “Maxton Hall – The World Between Us” aren’t utilized as we wish they were. However, most do have some form of potential, and one of them is Ruby’s father, Angus. He is paralyzed after an accident but is far from the woe-is-me type or just being a jolly good fellow who is just happy to be alive.

There is some level of balance with Angus. Despite the state of his finances and home, he still has his pride and wants to make Ruby’s mom feel loved, not be a burden, and still the man of the house in some ways. Again, the complexities that could have been explored aren’t, but if you wanted to give the show grace, you could submit season 1 wanted to lay the foundation for the leads before expanding to the various people in their lives.

On The Fence

The Handling Of Supporting Characters

James (Damian Hardung) and Justus Riesner as Alistair
James (Damian Hardung) and Justus Riesner as Alistair

Whether it is James’ queer friend Alistair dealing with down-low men and dating in general, Lydia being professionally brilliant but still a teenager trying to navigate personal feelings, the aforementioned Angus, Ruby’s sister Ember, and many others, “Maxton Hall – The World Between Us” does a bit of a disservice to its supporting characters. I’d even say that one we can’t mention due to spoilers is especially underutilized, considering the role they are supposed to play in setting up the second season.

But, what perhaps is the most frustrating about all this is, again, like with Angus, the foundation is laid to build up nearly every character. Yet, despite each episode being over 40 minutes, we barely get any characters, besides Ruby, Mortimer to a point, and James, being built up to be individual people with their own lives.

It’s Largely Predictable

Rarely, if ever, will “Maxton Hall – The World Between Us” surprise you. It’s very formulaic from how Ruby and James’ relationship progresses, the dynamics both characters have, and even the story of the show as a whole. But, at the very least, the performances do compensate. As noted, Herbig-Matten delivers a more emotional performance than expected. Huêt gives us a villain who isn’t a generic, mustache-twirling type, and there is massive potential in the supporting roles.

But, by playing it safe in the first season, there is a chance that boredom can come about in the rather short 6 episode season. However, its short episode count benefits it, for there is very little fat. The moments and characters who can make you sigh as expected are usually paired with an actor who goes further than required to keep you engaged. Ultimately, leaving you satisfied even if, like an unremarkable horror movie, you find yourself loving the genre staples while feeling like you can predict every bit till nearly the very end.

What I Hope To See Next

  1. “Maxton Hall – The World Between Us” needs to work on its supporting characters. That is its main issue, and that could potentially solve how predictable it is.

Background Information

Network Prime Video
Genre(s) DramaRomanceYoung AdultLGBT+Non-English (German)
Renewal Status To Be Determined
Series Page Maxton Hall: The World Between Us
Character Guide Maxton Hall – The World Between Us: Character Guide and Noteworthy Information

Content Information

  • Dialog: Nothing notable
  • Violence: Family Violence, Blood
  • Sexual Content: Nudity, Sexual Situations (Implied)
  • Miscellaneous: Drinking, Smoking


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Maxton Hall – The World Between Us: Season 1 Review


“Maxton Hall – The World Between Us” lays a decent foundation for where it could go, but for those who don’t like waiting on potential but want it realized, this could be a challenge to sit through.

  • Harriet Herbig-Matten as Ruby - 83%
  • Fedja van Huêt as Mortimer - 84%
  • What Little We Get From and About Angus - 80%
  • The Handling Of Supporting Characters - 73%
  • It's Largely Predictable - 72%
User Review
0 (0 votes)


  • What Little We Get From and About Angus
  • Fedja van Huêt as Mortimer
  • Harriet Herbig-Matten as Ruby


  • It’s Largely Predictable
  • The Handling Of Supporting Characters

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