Cast Set for BBC & Carnival’s ‘Game Of Thrones’-Style epic ‘The Last Kingdom’

I’m excited by this. Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Series is one of my favorite historical fiction series. The Last Kingdom is the first installment. Other books in the series include: The Pale Horseman, The Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, Death of Kings, and The Pagan Lord.

An international cast has been firmed up as shooting begins on The Last Kingdom, BBC America, BBC Two and Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films’ Game Of Thrones-esque epic series. Set in the 9th century, the eight-part historical drama is an adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s best-selling series of books The Saxon Stories, with Stephen Butchard penning the transfer.

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Secrets of the Viking Sword

Secrets of the Viking Sword - PBS - Documentary - Middle Ages History - Medieval HistoryI recently came across the Secrets of the Viking Sword documentary streaming on Netflix. The documentary is very interesting as it details how the famous Ulfberht sword was forged during that period. Unlike any sword of its day, the Ulfberht viking sword was far superior to its counterparts in how it was constructed. The documentary explains why the Ulfberht sword was so much better, and it attempts to demonstrate through a recreation how the forging might have been accomplished given the materials available during that period. Overall, I’d give the documentary 4 out of 5 stars. The documentary is a PBS production.

I wrote another post a long while back also talking about the Ulfberht sword. You can reference it here: http://steventill.com/2008/06/28/the-medieval-sword/

World Without End Mini-Series

As a follow-up to the mini-series Pillars of the Earth, based on the novel by Ken Follett, they are making another mini-series based on the sequel World Without End. It is somewhat of a unique sequel in that the novel was written nearly twenty years after the Pillars of the Earth, so it’s not a direct sequel with the same characters, but instead it follows the lives of the descendants of those characters.

Pillars of the Earth is one of my all-time favorite novels. If you’ve read both, you will likely agree that both books were very similar in characters and plots, as you can read in my review. World Without End is pretty much a recasting of the same story, and nothing about it is too memorable. I doubt I will actually watch the new mini-series, but for those who are interested, World Without End is showing on Reelz.

Medieval History on TV

The Name of the Rose on Netflix Instant:

In this adaptation of Umberto Eco’s best-selling novel, 14th-century Franciscan monk William of Baskerville (Sean Connery) and his young novice (Christian Slater) arrive at a conference to find that several monks have been murdered under mysterious circumstances. To solve the crimes, William must rise up against the Church’s authority and fight the shadowy conspiracy of monastery monks using only his intelligence — which is considerable.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’ve heard from others that it’s one of the more accurate portrayals of medieval life on film. I’ve read the book, and it is very well researched by the author.

Christmas Gift Ideas: DVDs & Video Games

DVDs:

Robin Hood Movie - Russell Crowe Robin Hood (Two-Disc Unrated Director’s Cut)
Russell Crowe
Pillars of the Earth Mini-Series Pillars of the Earth Mini-series
Ian McShane
The Dark Ages - The History Channel The Dark Ages (The History Channel)
RJ Allison
Crusades - Crescent and the Cross The Crescent & The Cross (History Channel)
Keith David
Barbarians History Channel Barbarians 2
The History Channel

Video Games:

Medieval 2 Total War Video Game Medieval 2 Total War Gold Pack
Sega of America
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (Xbox 360)
Ubi Soft
Sims Medieval The Sims Medieval (Pre-Order)
Release Date March 15, 2011
Electronic Arts