This is a really well-done series about the beginnings of
England and its history with the Danes (AKA the Vikings).
There are only 8 episodes, although I'm sure that there will
be more seasons if this one is successful.
Nowadays what constitutes a series, or a season, or a
miniseries, is very convoluted. This is cable, where 8
episodes is a normal amount for one season. Still, they're
calling this a miniseries. Whatever. The point is, it's
fairly short (not 22 episodes) but very enjoyable.
The hero of the show is young Uhtred, who's kidnapped at
a very young age and sees his Saxon father slaughtered. He's
raised by the Vikings, and then he sees most of that family
killed as well. He's torn between the two lands, which are
fighting each other for control of England (and for the
natural resources). Uhtred wants to gain control of his
title and fight for the Saxons, yet he still has some ties
to the Vikings. In the meantime, he grew up and fell for the
young Saxon girl Brida, who was also taken from her family
and raised by the Danes. It's a very good story, both
about the over-all history and figures in it, as well as the
story of Uhtred and his ordeals.
It's way better than "The Vikings," but if you like that
show, you might like this one as well. It's not quite as
gratuitously violent and filled with sex as that one. It's
not boring or anything, but it's much classier. The
acting is excellent and you'll see many familiar faces. You
don't want to miss it!
The Last Kingdom premieres Saturday, October 10
at 10/9c. It is a contemporary story of redemption,
vengeance and self-discovery set against the birth of
England. This historical drama comes from BBC America, BBC
Two and the Golden Globe® and Emmy® award-winning producers
of Downton Abbey, Carnival Films.
Adapted from Bernard
Cornwell’s best-selling series of books “The Saxon Stories,”
by BAFTA nominated and RTS award-winning writer Stephen
Butchard, The Last Kingdom combines real historical
figures and events with fiction, re-telling the history of
King Alfred the Great and his desire to unite the many
separate kingdoms into what would become England.
Alexander Dreymon (American Horror Story)
heads up the international cast from eleven different
countries. Emily Cox (The Silent Mountain) stars as
Brida, David Dawson (Peaky Blinders) as King
Alfred, Rune Temte (Eddie the Eagle) as Ubba,
Matthew Macfadyen (Ripper Street) as Lord Uhtred,
Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) as Ravn, Ian Hart (Boardwalk
Empire) as Beocca, Tobias Santelmann (Point Break)
as Ragnar the Younger, Peter Gantzler (Italian For
Beginners) as Earl Ragnar, Adrian Bower (Mount
Pleasant) as Leofric, Joseph Millson (Penny Dreadful)
as Aelfric and Henning Valin Jakobsen (The
Bridge) as Storri.
Set in the 9th century AD, many of the separate kingdoms
of what we now know as England have fallen to the invading
Vikings, only the great Kingdom of Wessex stands defiant
under its visionary King Alfred the Great (Dawson). It is
the last kingdom.
Against this turbulent backdrop lives Uhtred (Dreymon).
Born the son of a Saxon nobleman, he is orphaned by the
Vikings and then kidnapped and raised as one of their own.
Forced to choose between the country of his birth and the
people of his upbringing, his loyalties are ever tested.
What is he — Saxon or Viking? On a quest to claim his
birthright, Uhtred must tread a dangerous path between both
sides if he is to play his part in the birth of a new nation
and, ultimately, recapture his ancestral lands.
The Last Kingdom is a show of heroic deeds and
epic battles but with a thematic depth that embraces
politics, religion, warfare, courage, love, loyalty and our
universal search for identity. Combining real historical
figures and events with fictional characters, it is the
story of how a people combined their strength under one of
the most iconic kings of history in order to reclaim their
land for themselves and build a place they call home.
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