The Last Kingdom is an excellent series, revisiting this show is such a pleasure I had to share how much enjoyment this series provides. It has everything you look for in a series of this sort. Starting with genuinely memorable characters along with the looked-for bonus of attention to detail that is the BBC trademark way of doing things.
These folks are masters at their craft and have gotten experienced enough to know the way a production looks is very important along with excellent visuals, excellent writing, and dialogue that is witty and often amusing. The Last Kingdom’s narrative tells an action-packed story of high adventure and fortunes won and lost (loosely based on the history of the British Isles). If you haven’t seen it, that is an oversight you should correct at your soonest convenience; it’s that good.
In case you are not acquainted with the series, here’s what you should know. The Last Kingdom is a British historical fiction television series based on Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories series of novels. The first series of eight episodes premiered on 10 October 2015 on BBC America, and BBC Two in the UK on 22 October 2015. The second season of eight episodes was aired on BBC Two in the UK in March 2017, co-produced by Netflix after the exit of BBC America. There is the possibility a fourth season is on the way
There is little doubt the UK produces many of the people that end up considered the best at what they do on the planet. Likewise, British theater gets held to a higher standard, and as many of us have figured out, that translates well to TV. If you have ever watched a BBC produced historical period piece, then you know that most reputable organization is well known to hold the crown for, and has set the standard in that genre and that its difficult to find an equal to their efforts elsewhere.
That was true until HBO came along with their version of the same thing with a production budget somewhere in the ether beyond the reach of mere mortals. I am here to tell you if you are a fan of Game OF Thrones you should run right out and get this because you’re going to want to watch it more than once. Yes, friends, there is another series just as memorable, engaging, entertaining, amusing, fascinating that is simultaneously a sometimes frightening and frequently disgusting portrait of life in the period it depicts.
The story is set in the late 9th century AD when a divided England is seven separate kingdoms. The Anglo-Saxon lands are gradually attacked, plundered, and effectively ruled by Viking Danes in many areas. The Kingdom of Wessex remains the last major stronghold against the Danes.
The protagonist is Uhtred of Bebbanburg. Several men of that name existed and ruled Bebbanburg (Bamburgh Castle), but there is little currently known of their actual lives. In short historical sections at the end of each book, Bernard Cornwell explains that he is descended from them and decided to invent a history based on actual those events.
There are plenty of vibrant, intelligent, willful, outspoken, and alluring medieval woman and along with that, there’s no lack of frightening, menacing, and thoroughly violent and very villainy villains in The Last Kingdom, and plenty of graphic violence depicted on a regular basis throughout the show but not exclusively. There’s lots of drama with brief moments of humor also interspersed (if you are paying attention), enough to result in a balanced presentation that never succumbs to melodrama; at least not noticeably. As if that’s not enough these characters are joined by the unsavory, unwashed, and stinking masses who are often the unfortunate victims of random violence in nearly every episode
The first series’ storyline roughly covers the plots of the novels The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horseman, although they got condensed for television. The second series covers the plots of Cornwell’s novels The Lords of the North and Sword Song. Season 3 got based on The Burning Land and Death of Kings, but there have been major changes to the plot. This season’s ten episodes were produced solely by Netflix.
That all for now, my heartfelt recommendation. Happy viewing.