1. #1

    [TV show] BBC historical drama : The last Kingdom

    Haven't seen a thread about this one yet, and it's for a show I am ridiculously excited about.

    Tonight is the first episode of the new BBC historical drama "The Last Kingdom" based on the Saxon Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. It follows the life of Uthred of Bebbanburg who was captured by the Danes during the great heathen army and is now returning to Wessaexe to reconquer his land. The story follow's his life and the choices he has to make between his Saxon ancestry and his Danish upbringing.

    This show will certainly have heavy spoilers for "Vikings" as this show is placed right after Ragnar's death. But on the other hand; Ragnar probably never lived and this is an actual history show so most likely they won't speak about him at all, his "sons" are featured however.

    So far reviews has been great and what I have seen from trailers it looks very very good, I certainly cannot wait. It's been 10 years after "Rome" so I am very interested in how this will turn out.

  2. #2
    I'm a huge Bernard Cornwell fan and I'm really hoping they make a good job of this series. I bought Warriors of the Storm a couple of days ago (book 9 of the chronicles) and it took me about 10 hours to read.

    I hope they do justice to the forging of Serpent's Breath (Uhtred's sword) as it's one of my all time favourite passages, and I'll be interested to see if they make the battles as grisly as Cornwell does in the books.

    Peeps in the UK get to watch it in a couple of weeks.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Dhrizzle View Post
    I'm a huge Bernard Cornwell fan and I'm really hoping they make a good job of this series. I bought Warriors of the Storm a couple of days ago (book 9 of the chronicles) and it took me about 10 hours to read.

    I hope they do justice to the forging of Serpent's Breath (Uhtred's sword) as it's one of my all time favourite passages, and I'll be interested to see if they make the battles as grisly as Cornwell does in the books.

    Peeps in the UK get to watch it in a couple of weeks.
    Cornwall himself said the series was very good and true to the books.

    I haven't read the books yet, but I might someday. First I have a couple of other things to read though, but if I love the show these books might be pulled forward.

  4. #4
    So i just saw the first two episodes, this show is truly amazing so far. Can't wait for 3.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by zylathas View Post
    Cornwall himself said the series was very good and true to the books.

    I haven't read the books yet, but I might someday. First I have a couple of other things to read though, but if I love the show these books might be pulled forward.
    He has a couple of really good trilogies, the Warlord Chronicles (Winter King, Enemy of God and Excalibur) are a retelling of the Arthurian legend set in a (mostly) historically accurate setting and very similar to the Uhtred tales. The Grail Quest (Harlequin, Vagabond and Heretic) is set during the Hundred Years War (England vs. France in the 15th century) and have an archer in the lead.

    There's also his Sharpe novels, 21 of them set during the Napoleonic Wars (England vs. France again, in the 19th cenury) and 16 episodes of a TV series from the 90's starring Sean Bean.

  6. #6
    I like it. It might be similar to Vikings sure, but it's a different story.


  7. #7
    Mechagnome Paarthurnax's Avatar
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    Watched the first two episodes and i'm liking it allot. The show has serious potential. It's different enough from Vikings that i don't feel people will get bored watching both (i love Vikings as well).

    "I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dhrizzle View Post
    He has a couple of really good trilogies, the Warlord Chronicles (Winter King, Enemy of God and Excalibur) are a retelling of the Arthurian legend set in a (mostly) historically accurate setting and very similar to the Uhtred tales. The Grail Quest (Harlequin, Vagabond and Heretic) is set during the Hundred Years War (England vs. France in the 15th century) and have an archer in the lead.

    There's also his Sharpe novels, 21 of them set during the Napoleonic Wars (England vs. France again, in the 19th cenury) and 16 episodes of a TV series from the 90's starring Sean Bean.
    So many books? Doesn't the series start to feel boring after a while?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by zylathas View Post
    So many books? Doesn't the series start to feel boring after a while?
    With Uhtred yes and no. With them being told realistically from Uhtred's perspective they get a bit samey with lots of wondering what the Danes are up to, making preparations and finally the clash of shield walls. There's an awful lot of repetition involved. On the other hand he can be an amusing bastard, especially when he plays the arrogant pagan around pious Christians, and he's surrounded by colourful characters with ups-and-downs in his social and family life. Then there's the fact it's also the story of epic events that (mostly) really happened, in places I've been to, with a good eye towards making it all feel authentic.

    Personally I think the Warlord and Grail Quest trilogies do a better job of telling a fantasy-style epic in almost-real history, but Uhtred's Saxon stories cover a broader sweep of history and social change.

    The Sharpe books on the other hand stay interesting throughout because we have lots of details about that period in history (often down to the exact times battles started) and the situations both on and off the battlefield have much greater variety.

    - - - Updated - - -

    BTW for those of you who are fans of WH40k fiction, Gaunt's Ghosts was originally envisioned as "Sharpe in space."

  10. #10
    It seems pretty campy. I skipped to the battle scene, barely anyone was wearing helmets and the props on the English army looked very amateurishly done.

  11. #11
    Just watched the third episode, much slower then the first two but I really liked it.

    Can't wait for the rest.

  12. #12
    Just watched episode 2 (because the British Broadcasting Company is telling the story of England to the US first, yes I'm slightly bitter) and damn I'm relieved that I'm enjoying it so much. As a fan of the series I was worried it would be a bit bad, but so far I'm loving it. Just a bit disappointed about the forging of his sword, in the books there's an excellent description of pattern welding used to make the blade.

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