I started watching THE LAST KINGDOM (Netflix), a historical series about the Viking invasions of England based on Bernard Cornwell’s THE SAXON STORIES, on a lark, and it’s become a real love. After watching and reviewing Season 1, I moved on to the second and third seasons, and found them even more enjoyable.
In seasons 2-3, Uhtred, a Saxon captured and raised as a Dane only to be thrust back among the world of the Saxons as a young man, has matured into a reputable warrior and a reliable sword in the service of Alfred the Great, king of Wessex, the last major surviving Saxon realm. I won’t spoil the plots, but I can say each season delivers a reliably solid story: likeable hero, terrific secondary characters, fantastic battles, realistic action, and a medieval world that looks lived in and real. It may lack the satisfying complexity of say THE GAME OF THRONES, but it makes a virtue of its simplicity. Each season piles obstacle after obstacle on our hero, but he toughs it out with pragmatism, strength, and just enough compassion and humor, and we know by the end we’re going to get a hell of a catharsis when the Gordian knot is finally cut in triumph. By the end of season 3, I’ve really grown to love these characters.
If you like historical action, I’d recommend this one. It’s a lot of fun.