In some respects, this is really the show that FX’s “The Bastard Executioner” should be — awash in blood, gore and sex, yes, but with stronger characters and a more compelling plot. There is also some rather grisly and certainly blasphemous humor, including Uhtred’s rather colorful explanation of the difference between Heaven, as the English see it, and Valhalla.
Mixing history and fiction, “The Last Kingdom” is ultimately a portrait of a collision between cultures, in a period characterized neither by sentimentality nor mercy. And while it’s something of a symbol of the current times that these kinds of shows are now plentiful enough — due in part to the blessings of international financing — to feel as if they’re bumping into each other, after an hour or two, the series has taken on a life of its own, offering a reminder that there’s always room, at least on a niche basis, for another good one.
Reminder: starts tomorrow! Apparently UK won’t get to see it for another 2 weeks.