One of my favorite shows over the last couple years has been The Last Kingdom (Twitter, Official site), originally a BBC production, shown here in the USA first under BBC America, then picked up by Netflix in Season 2. If rumors are to be believed, the show will continue as a Netflix production through season 5. Season 3 premiered this last weekend, and although I’m only half way through it, I’m willing to say I believe it’s the best season of the show yet. Each episode leaves me virtually leaping off the couch in shock at its cliff hanger. It’s the rare show that instills this much excitement in me. And before anyone asks, I can’t simply binge the remaining episodes as I’m watching it with my wife during evening family time. In as much as I would love to secretly watch the rest of the season, I must wait and experience it episode by episode with her.
I suspect many of you would enjoy the Last Kingdom as well, and I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t done so already. The setting is Saxon “England” around the year 900 AD, portraying the life of a young Saxon Lord’s son Uthred (original named Osbert, but renamed Uhtred upon the death of his older brother) who survives a Dane attack that kills his Father. Uthred is taken prisoner and is raised as a Dane, instead of being killed. Headstrong, and more than a bit rebellious, Uhtred thrives within the Dane community. But his life takes another turn many years later as old rivalries amongst the Danes results in Uhtred once again being thrust amongst the Saxons, where he’s neither immediately trusted, nor wanted. Uhtred is tested but eventually establishes himself as a strong supporter of King Alfred of Wessex, setting the stage for most of the rest of the series.
The show features strong character development of Uhtred and a handful of other supporting characters. Though most of it centers on Uhtred and King Alfred. Uhtred is conflicted in emotion and loyalty, never quite fitting completely in either world leading to many strongly dramatic situations peppered throughout theshow. But don’t let me leave you with an impression that the show is a lifetime channel wonder. There’s plenty of gritty action too. There’s Vikings and Saxons, after all. Fighting is what they do, and we’re treated to some beautiful set-piece scenes with hundreds of warriors on either side swinging large pieces of steel and wood at one another.
I would love to say more, but for those of you who haven’t watched it yet, I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you. I give the show a strong 4 out of 5. Would love to hear your thoughts!