The Last Kingdom

 

Directors: Brian McGinn, Rod Blackhurst (2016)

Country: United States

Duration: 92 minutes

4/5 

BBC (2015-)

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: Two seasons/16 Episodes

4/5 

The Dark Ages is a period of history thus named because it is largely unknowable to later Western historians. After the fall of the Roman Empire, very few written records were kept, and little remains of the archaeological record for what was quite a tumultuous time for the lands formerly occupied by the Romans.

The Last Kingdom attempts to animate this murky epoch by dramatizing the life of a displaced Anglo-Saxon prince, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, raised by Danish invaders who kidnapped him as a boy. He lives in an England radically removed from the country we know today. In the 9th century AD it was divided up into seven kingdoms ruled by varying Saxon, Danish and Celtic powers. Uhtred himself becomes divided in his loyalties to his Saxon heritage and his adopted Danish identity.

Very gripping viewing, but be warned, it does not shy away from depicting the extreme violence of the era.

 

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