It looks like BBC America is no longer content to let HBO, Starz, The History Channel, Syfy, and seemingly every other channel with the slightest amount of original programming hog all the series about dudes hitting other dudes with swords. The Last Kingdom, a new show premiering Saturday, October 10th, looks to rectify that situation. The series is historical fiction, retelling the story of King Alfred the Great’s efforts to unite the warring factions from history into what would eventually become England. Naturally, those efforts include lots of battles, sex, intrigue, and all the other prerequisites for this kind of show as well. (Seriously, it wouldn’t surprise us to learn that every time one of these shows airs, a Renaissance Faire gets its wings.)
The series is based on Bernard Cornwell’s best-selling book series The Saxon Stories, meaning the show won’t be lacking for source material. (Cornwell is at eight published books, with a ninth one on the way.) No doubt BBC America is hoping to bring a little of that blunt force to its ratings, and given the pedigree of The Last Kingdom’s creative team (led by Downton Abbey’s Gareth Neame and Nigel Marchant), the channel is really swinging for the fences. Or, rather, the parapets.