Television Review: The Last Kingdom

The Last Kindgom 1

The Last Kindgom 2Plot: Uhtred was born a Saxon, but raised a Dane after his father was killed in battle and he was taken into slavery. Adopted by the family, Uhtred grew up to be brothers with his master’s son. When the family is killed and Uhtred blamed, he must discover where his loyalties lie.

If he is to reclaim his homeland – his true homeland – he must convince Alfred of his worth. But the King of Wessex is not so easily swayed and the approaching Danish army means Uhtred is tested time and time again. Can he gain his title and land back?

The Last Kindgom 3

Quote: `Destiny is all.`

 

Opinion: The only reason why I gave this 2.5 stars is that something kept me watching. But the entire way through, I couldn’t work out if I was enjoying it. It was stubbornness rather than any plot device that kept me going and I didn’t care what happened to the characters.

Let’s start with there. Uhtred was annoying. He was stubborn, disrespectful, disloyal to his lovers and moved through them at a fast rate. Perhaps it was because it was split into eight episodes so there wasn’t the sense of passing time. But three lovers in eight episodes meant I didn’t care when one was killed – the chances are he would have moved on anyway.

Although it was based on a novel so Uhtred’s characterisation might have been true, there was no development for him. I can’t care about a character who does not seem to grow. Alfred remained distant and hard to like and everyone else seemed to either be traitors or killed. The only character who survived that I liked was Father Beocca – and that was because he suddenly spoke out in the final episode rather than being ignored.

The pacing didn’t work for the plots. To span eight episodes, not a lot happened. But in not a lot happening, there were a lot of scenes that dragged as they clearly had the time to fill. From an action point of view, it would have been tenser occurring in fewer episodes. There was no progressing story arc other than “Saxons fight Danes”, meaning there wasn’t anything happening between the fights. That is probably the reason why Uhtred got through his lovers so fast.

The acting wasn’t inspiring, but neither did it put me off. I felt the actors did what they could with poor direction and a bad script. Uhtred’s few scenes of showing emotion were done effectively and shown in the right manner to suit his character.

All in all, I did not enjoy this show. Still, as I mentioned before, I did keep watching until the end so it can’t have been terrible, although I’m struggling to put my finger on what I enjoyed.  The tension was finally increased in the final episode which helped, but then wrapped up so hastily any progress was lost. Not one I would bother about, nor will I watch the second series if there is one.

Amazon

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