The Last Post is a drama set during the 1960s in the middle eastern country of Aden.
As Britain's empirical power fades, a detachment of Royal Military Police struggles to keep control of the colonial outpost and their personal lives.
As with most BBC dramas, the acting and production levels are well above average with the core drama of The Last Post revolving around three characters.
They are Alison Laithwaite (Jessica Raine), the high functioning alcoholic wife of a British officer, Mary Markham (Amanda Drew), the base commander's stoical partner, and Honor Martin (Jessie Buckley), the young bride of a newly commissioned officer.
Alison Laithwaite is one of the most unlikeable and likeable characters I've seen in a long time.
Jessie Buckley is fantastic as the naive young officer's wife, led astray by Alison. However, it's Ben Miles and Drew who steal the show as the C/O and his long-suffering wife.
Sixty per cent of the series focuses on the relationship between these three female characters. The other forty per cent is action-packed and full of political intrigue. That's an excellent ratio for a series that will entertain everyone.
It would have been easy for the BBC to produce a hard-hitting social commentary on the British Empire and Britain's Colonial role in Aden.
The BBC's recent track record on covering British history is dubious at best, however, in The Last Post, they have commissioned a drama that gives a nuanced look at colonial rule in the strategically import middle eastern country.
This is a complicated series to pigeonhole. The story is driven by the relationship between the soldier's wives and the men fighting the conflict in Aden.
As a nuanced and entertaining show – it probably won't catch on, but you should definitely give it a chance.
What Is The Last Post About?
Without giving too much away, here is a brief summary of The Last Post…
The story begins when Captain Joe Martin arrives with his wife Honor to replace the outgoing Captain Page.
Things don't start well when it becomes clear that many of the royal military police resent his appointment, believing that Ed Laithwaite should have been given the job.
Honor becomes friends with Laithwaite's wife, Alison, who had been having an affair with Captain Page.
When terrorists try to shoot Captain Page and his driver in an ambush, the Royal Military Police assist special forces on a dangerous mission to capture an insurgent leader, Starfish.
But when they realise they have walked into a trap some very tough decisions have to be made.
Throw in more action, political and military strategy, family relationships, babies, affairs some shocking social behaviour (it's the 1960s after all!) and what you get is The Last Post.
Is The Last Post Worth Watching?
The biggest problem with The Last Post is the setup. I decided to watch it as I'm obsessed with military and political drama.
When I watched the teaser which promised the story of a British army unit fighting a Yemeni insurgency in the Middle East, I immediately thought, this is precisely the kind of show I'd love!
And it's precisely the type that would bore the pants off my partner – so I started watching it alone. Big mistake.
Two episodes in, I quickly realise this series is perfect ‘date night' viewing! It's essentially a relationship drama with a military backdrop.
On the surface, it seems far more militaristic and political than it is. As such, it's probably missing a massive audience.
The Last Post – How Many Seasons And Episodes?
Despite being a beautifully made tv drama, and one that is really great to watch, there is actually only one season of The Last Post.
With just six episodes, each lasting nearly an hour, the story is solid but we all know it could have done with a second season.
Unfortunately, the BBC did not renew the show.
Why Was The Last Post Cancelled?
Despite pulling in some solid viewing figures, it turns out that nearly 6 million viewers isn't enough to get the BBC to renew a show – at least it wasn't with The Last Post.
In a 2018 statement, they said “The Last Post was a fantastic series but we can confirm it won’t be returning.
“We are looking to bring new ideas to BBC1 and tell new stories.
“We’d like to thank Peter, the brilliant cast and production team for all their hard work on the series.”
Where Is The Last Post Filmed?
The era for The Last Post was suggested by Peter Moffat who suggested setting the series in the 1960s at the end of the British Empire.
But of course recreating that period and place is no easy task and producers needed a location similar to the British controlled Aden.
Taking into account that they had to have a coast, mountains and desert with colonial architectural influence, production settled on Cape Town.
A disused British naval base overlooking Simon's Town bay provided the bulk of the location as its size created more authenticity and drama.
Cast Of The Last Post TV Series
Like all good dramas, the cast is essential to fully realising a solid story.
The Last Post is no different, boasting great actors who bring this historical drama to life.
Jessie Buckley as Honor Martin
Jessica Raine as Alison Laithwaite
Amanda Drew as Mary Markham
Stephen Campbell Moore as Lieutenant Ed Laithwaite
Ben Miles as Major Harry Markham
Jeremy Neumark Jones as Captain Joe Martin
Ouidad Elma as Yusra Saeed
Chris Reilly as Sergeant Alex Baxter
Tom Glynn-Carney as Lance Corporal Tony Armstrong
Louis Greatorex as Lance Corporal Paul Stoneham
Richard Dillane as Harvey Tillbrook
Kevin Sutton as Corporal Israel Orchover
Essie Davis (Mindhorn) as American journalist Martha Franklin
Toby Woolf as George Markham
Aymen Hamdouchi as Kadir Hakim (Starfish)
Joseph Kennedy as Captain Nick Page