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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jul 19, 2023



‘THE LAST KINGDOM’ is a British period TV series that ran on Netflix for five seasons.

It is based on the series of historical novels, “The Saxon Stories”, by Bernard Cornwell, set in the middle ages of the 10th century, before the Norman conquest in 1066 in the Battle of Hastings.

The series ended in 2022 but fans of the show felt that many strands of the stories are left hanging, so the producers made a full length film, “The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die”, to provide proper closure for the show. 

The movie hit number one when it was aired on Netflix.

If you enjoy watching historical costume dramas like “Vikings”, “Barbarians” and “Valhalla”, you’d also like this one.

We were not able to watch the entire series but we were entertained by the finale movie that concludes it.

If you’ve seen the series, all the more you’d enjoy this film directed by Edward Bazalgette with a sure hand.

The lead character in the series is Uhtred of Bebbanburg (played by Alexander Dreymon, a charismatic actor with a dynamic screen presence), a dreaded warrior who refuses the title of king even if he leads Northumbria.

He hopes to unite England, a fractured kingdom with many leaders of various regions.

The film starts with the death of the King of the Anglo-Saxons, Edward, leaving three sons behind. 

His last wife, Lady Eadgifu (Elaine Cassidy), flees to Bebbanburg with her young son, Edmund (Zac Sutcliffe), to seek the help of Uhtred, who’s an ally of the dead king. 

The eldest son, Aethelstan (Harry Gilby), a Christian, wants to be king and might just kill his two brothers, who are his rivals, to achieve his ambition.

Before he leaves to help the second son, Aelweard (Ewan Horrocks), Uhtred is warned by Ingrith (Ilona Chevakova), a seer who is always correct in her predictions, that before the country can be united, seven of the current kings of the other territories, like Shetland, Orkney, Alba, Scotland, the Isle of Man and Strathclyde, must die. 

The movie then unfolds with numerous back-stabbings, betrayals and excitingly executed battle scenes that give the viewer a strong sense of what life was like in a then war-torn world where men are fighting for power.

Aethelstan treacherously stabs his younger brother to death and his adviser turns out to be Ingilmundr (Laurie Davidson), a recent convert to Christianity.

Uthred discovers that Aethelstan believes so much in Ingilmundr because he is gay and they are secret lovers.

Uhtred tells Aethelstan that Ingilmundr is actually a Danish spy who has his own selfish motives in giving advice to him, but he won’t believe it. Uthred learns the lovers plan to kill him so he quickly returns to his turf. 

More intrigues follow and it all comes to a head in the violent elaborately staged action climax, the Battle of Brunanburh that happened in 937 AD.

The combined forces of Uhtred and Aethelstan are heavily outnumbered by the other kings,but Uthred has devised a plan that will make it appear that they are doing a withdrawal but it’s actually a tactic to trap their foes. 

The battle scenes are well staged and the visuals are splendid.

There are so many characters and various subplots but the spirited storytelling is well done, adequately showing the intense animosity between Christians and pagans. 

The ensemble acting by the big cast is uniformly commendable, led by Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred who is a swashbuckling veteran of many wars.

We won’t be surprised if he’d get more acting assignments in the future.