The latest season of The Last Kingdom premieres today, April 26, on Netflix, BBC Two, and BBC America – around the globe.
Known as the history buff’s Game of Thrones, the show has slowly come up as the next big thing on the streaming platform.
A historical fiction looking at the events preceding the birth of the United Kingdom, the show is based on author Bernard Cornwell’s novel series The Saxon Stories.
Premiere & Trailer
Headquartered out of California, Netflix aired the show at 12 midnight California time on April 26. Here is a list of timings it will premiere in various countries around the world.
Watch The Last Kingdom Season 4 trailer here:
What happens in Season 4?
As fans of The Last Kingdom would know already, each season covers two volumes of the literary series. This season it is The Pagan Lord and The Empty Throne.
In the previous installment, Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon) had to flee Wessex with his brother Ragnar (Tobias Santelmann) after accidentally killing a holy man in the presence of King Alfred (David Dawson).
One of the show’s major characters, Ragnar, also met his end in the third season. He was killed by Alfred’s nephew Aethelwold (Harry McEntire).
According to the season’s official synopsis, the death of Alfred causes the alliances between kingdoms to fracture.
It is now that Uhtred decides to challenge his uncle Aelfric (Joseph Millson) and take back his ancestral home, Bebbanburg.
However, unexpected events lead Uhtred to realize that his destiny is tied to Alfred’s dream of a united land. And he is driven back into the politics that could easily break out into a war.
Who’s behind the camera?
Andy Hay has reportedly directed episodes 5 & 6 of season 4.
David Moore, who has worked on Outlander, Shetland, and Jericho has directed episodes 7 and 8.
Sarah O’Gorman, who is also working on the second season of The Witcher, has also directed a couple of episodes in the series. (IMDb)
Why should you watch The Last Kingdom
If you are new to the world of Saxons, here are a few reasons you should watch it.
The show is almost entirely created in the image of Bernard Cornwell’s historical fiction. And a good book adaptation is automatically a must-watch, for me at least.
Cornwell is a passionate history buff himself, and the novels are the result of his dives into his own ancestry. That is how he realized how few people truly understand how England, one of the largest empires of the modern world, came to be.
The series is placed during the period right before the birth of the United Kingdom as we know it. When it comes to the reign of Alfred the Great, the show has proven to be reasonably historically accurate
However, a mix of real historical figures has become the basis for its main character, Uhtred.
“It’s (the series) about the origins of England, how these different kingdoms come together, and it is told through the eyes of this fictitious character, bringing in ideas of revenge, identity, and quest, mixing that with real history.”In Oct. 2015, Cornwell told The Guardian.
It can encourage viewers to delve deeper into the birth of England without turning itself into a history book. If you are looking to watch something that is equal parts informative and entertaining, then this is the show for you.
Meanwhile, even if you are a Game of Thrones fan looking to salvage the pain of the international show’s rather disappointing finale, you can do so with The Last Kingdom.