The trilogy of novels by Bernard Cornwell ‘The Saxon Stories’ was adapted by BBC TV into the series ‘The Last Kingdom‘. The focus of the series is on the relationship between the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons in Britain in the year 866.
In April 2018, Netflix announced that a third season was underway based on the books ‘The Lords of the North' and ‘Sword Song', the new episodes premiered exclusively on Netflix.
Unfortunately, it's been announced that Season 5 will be the final part of this story, with Netflix expected to air the final instalment sometime in 21/2022.
If you're on the lookout for more shows like The Last Kingdom; we have some incredible recommendations that you'll enjoy. My personal favourite of these historical dramas is ‘Vikings‘ on Amazon Prime. However, it was originally screened on the History Channel before moving to the streaming platform. Black Sails is also another great historical drama series available on Prime. While many of these shows may not be 100% historically accurate, they're fantastically entertaining to watch!
We hope our list of ‘Shows Like The Last Kingdom' has given you a taste for some new historical drama. Remember, you can check out reviews of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ series and movies here.
Where Was The Last Kingdom Filmed?
The Last Kingdom's was filmed at the Korda Studios (outside Budapest, Hungary). The studio is primarily used for big period dramas and fantasy shows such as Sky's costume romp The ‘Borgias', the Ken Follett adaptation ‘World without End', and ‘Emerald City', the most recent reimagining of The Wizard of Oz.
The Studios are located 26 kilometres west of Budapest in the wine-producing hamlet of Etyek; hence the media nickname Etyekwood. It is built on the site of a former barracks. The studio is named for Sir Alexander Korda, a British/Hungarian filmmaker.
The show is shot in Hungary as it's more cost-effective to shoot in a “virgin” environment than to digitally remove all of the 21st-century accoutrements after the fact and potentially risk the historical accuracy of the drama by fans spotting a cellphone tower in the background. These locations are tough to come by in the UK, where modern walls and fences break up the scenery, clearly announcing that it's not a ninth-century world. Hungary benefits from having a large amount of un-farmed, and un-bordered grassland which makes it the perfect location for filming the series.
How Many Seasons Of The Last Kingdom?
So far, four series of ‘The Last Kingdom' have been aired. The first season was released on BBC, followed by the second season. Streaming service Netflix dropped Season 3 and the fourth season in 2020. In total Bernard Cornwell's series has 26 episodes, each one being around 1 hour.
When Is The Last Kingdom Season 5 Coming Out?
It has been reported that the Netflix series will conclude with its 10-episode fifth season, which is presently underway in Hungary. But when will Season 5 come out?
Season 4 wrapped in October 2019, and Netflix released the series six months later, according to my research. With this in mind, Last Kingdom's many fans may anticipate a fifth season to debut in December 2021. It should make a great Christmas Day or New Year's Eve binge.
Is There a Spin-off From The Last Kingdom?
There is no spin-off show yet! However, many people have assumed ‘The Last Kingdom' is a spin-off of the popular Amazon Prime series ‘Vikings'. It isn't!
Although it's easy to see why people could come to that conclusion. Vikings protagonist Ragnar Lothbrok is a Viking with ambitions to invade Northumbria and Wessex.
Similarly, the hero of ‘The Last Kingdom' Uhtred wants to take back his native kingdom that was stolen from him as a child. However, he is Saxon and wants the Vikings to leave so they can vie for power and prestige without foreign interference.
Who Plays Uhtred in The Last Kingdom?
Alexander Dreymon stars as Uhtred of Bebbanburg in the show. He was born in Germany on February 7, 1983 and grew up in France, Switzerland, and the United States. He studied in Paris before attending Drama Centre London for three years.
His career only started in 2010 when he landed a role in the movie ‘Ni reprise, ni échangée' and his big break came in 2011 when he starred in ‘Resistance' the alternate history movie set in 1944.
In 2013 Alexander appeared in the anthology series ‘American Horror Story'. However, it was his fantastic performance in The Last Kingdom has catapulted him onto the public eye.
When Dreymon was in the United States he lived in North Dakota, near a family with a horse ranch, He learned to ride horses, which came in handy when he finally got his first career-defining role of Uhtred.
Who Plays Skade?
One of the several characters on the show is Skade, but who plays the one-time lover of Uhtred? Well, the actress is called Thea Sofie Loch Næss and she was born on November 26, 1996 in Kristiansand, Norway.
Skade was a manipulative woman in The Last Kingdom's third season and was notorious for manipulating men, a common theme in Norse mythology. She targeted Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon), and they became close before she cursed him.
In 2015 she starred in the Norwegian film ‘Unge lovende' a movie about the life of three young women who seek love, success and fulfilment in Oslo, Norway.
How Accurate is The Last Kingdom?
The Last Kingdom, like any other historical drama, must strike a balance between authenticity and the demands of storytelling.
The first season of The Last Kingdom was based on the Saxon Wars from 871 to the Battle of Edington. It covered King Alfred's reign from around 871 to the Battle of Edington.
In his first year as king, Alfred fought a number of battles against the Vikings in the series, which is simplified into two fights in the series. This is a common theme during the shows four seasons, political intrigue and real battles are included, but often the timelines are condensed.
The drama condenses these events for a very good reason: the cast's age. Its characters would have had to have aged almost two decades in eight episodes if the series stayed strictly to history.
Uhtred of Bebbanburg is a fictitious protagonist in the series, but his persona is based on the historical figure Uhtred the Bold. Uhtred the Bold, the ealdorman of Northumbria, was murdered in 1016 during a trip to meet Cnut.
The TV series is a doorway to the study of real history, according to author Bernard Cornwell.
What should I watch if I liked The Last Kingdom?
The TV series that I would recommend if you like The Last Kingdom is Vikings. The Vikings show is available on Amazon Prime Video. The show follows Vikings as they raid and conquer different parts of England and Europe. The Vikings series is based on the saga of Ragnar Lothbrok, his family and friends as well as his enemies. Like The Last Kingdom, Vikings uses historical events as a background to the story the Vikings have been adapted slightly for storytelling purposes.
Another fantastic series to consider is ‘Kingdom', a show is set in medieval Korea. The crown prince is their sole hope for survival against a deadly illness that has taken hold of the realm. Imagine The Last Kingdom but with zombies! It sounds strange but it works as a compelling historical drama.
For those who fancy going further back in time from the Viking era, you might want to check out ‘Barbarians'‘. The Battle of Teutoberg Forest is the subject of this six-part series. Learn how a gang of ‘Barbarians' outsmarted and outfought the mighty Roman Empire.
It's made by Netflix in Germany. It's filmed in German and Latin, so you can select English subtitles if you like. I recommend that you watch the film with the subtitles on. While not perfect, Barbarians is a very good historical drama.