Friday, October 9, 2015

"The Last Kingdom" Premiers This Saturday!

This one snuck up on me, but thanks to friend of the blog Bill Brockman I've learned that the television adaptation of Bernard Cornwell's The Last Kingdom will premier this Saturday on BBC America!

Young Uhtred
For those that follow this blog, you know that Bernard Cornwell is my all time favorite author of medieval historical fiction. The Last Kingdom is the first book in his Saxon Chronicles about Alfred the Great who prevented the Vikings form nearly conquering all of England. Here is an excerpt from The Wall Street Journal about tomorrow's episode:
BBC America’s powerful new historical drama “The Last Kingdom” tells the story that made England possible, and with it the flourishing of Anglo-Saxon culture and law that underpin America as well. The series is set mostly during the ninth-century reign of Alfred the Great, the Saxon king whose realm of Wessex—roughly covering the lands south and southwest of London—was the last holdout against the Danish Vikings who had conquered the other English kingdoms. After several years of “Vikings” on the History Channel, it’s nice to root for the home team instead.
I truly can't wait for this one. At a time when we're still waiting for the debut of Season 3 of Da Vinci's Demons and the return of Vikings (not to mention Outlander, Black Sails, and Game of Thrones), we get this to entertain us through the fall. Good times indeed!

** Photo courtesy of BBC America


Bill said...

Bernard Cornwelll, on his website, emphasizes that he sold the rights to this, and has nothing further to do with it. I don't get that he says this with anger or regret, just the facts. He seems plenty busy enough, and is constantly disappointing readers who want him to write about this or that period in history.

The TV series based on the Sharpe novels was much the same, I believe.

Looking forward very much to this.

Bill said...

I think the first episode shows promise. The Uhtred character isn't quite how I always pictured him in the books, but that's hardly surprising. Showing the violent background young Uhtred has overcome should help to explain his later actions.

Joseph Finley said...

Bill, I did too. I was a bit surprised at how much they accelerated the young Uhtred's life and that Ragnar did not survive the pilot. I think they could have lingered in Uhtred's early life for a while, but I imagine they wanted to get their star actor into the mix as soon as possible.

Bill said...

Indeed, Joe. They don't know if they'll get renewed for a season 2. If it turns into another "Vikings" or Game of Thrones" they may regret the missed possibilities.

Joseph Finley said...

I thin there have been quite a few missed opportunities. For one, I wish they would have had the old Uhtred narrate portions of it, like the books. This would help quickly download some history and set up the revenge plot line from the start. This works in "Outlander," and the writers should have done it here. Also, I'm only halfway through episode two, but did they just deviate from the plot with the scenes in St. Edmund's Bury?