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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

TV Historical Dramas Preview - Part 3

One of the untapped channel line-ups for me is BBC America. I have watched the occasional show when I happen to come across something, but it is not one that I regularly remember that I have (too many channels I guess…). But there are some fantastic historical drama shows on this channel too!

On BBC America

The Last Kingdom – Premiered October 2015 and 2nd season has been ordered
The Last Kingdom is a British television series, an eight-part adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s historical novels series The Saxon Stories. Set in the late ninth century AD, when what is known as England today was several separate kingdoms. The Anglo-Saxon lands are attacked and, in many instances, ruled by Danes. The Kingdom of Wessex has been left standing alone.
The protagonist Uhtred, the orphaned son of a Saxon nobleman, is captured by Viking Danes and reared as one of them. Forced to choose between a kingdom that shares his ancestry and the people of his upbringing, his loyalties are constantly tested.
The first series' storyline roughly covers the plot of the original two novels, The Last Kingdom and The Pale Horseman although condensed for the purposes of television.
I’m excited to watch this one as I have loved all the Bernard Cornwell books that I have read and I have read the first two books in this series, so I’m all set for the first season. It would be interesting to see how this plays out against The History Channel’s The Vikings. Anyone watched both?

Ripper Street – Premiered January 2013 and 4th season started in January 2016
Ripper Street is a British TV series set in Whitechapel in the East End of London. It begins in 1889, six months after the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. The streets of Whitechapel are the haunt of Detective Inspector Edmund Reid and his team of officers, who aim to maintain law and order in a place once terrorized by Jack the Ripper.
I have always found the Jack the Ripper story to be fascinating and historical novelists seem to love this too – most likely because the murders have never been “solved” so there is a lot of room to play. This show seems to have had a slippery slope in terms of viewership and success, I would love to hear from those of you that have watched this.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – Premiered June 2015 – 1 season (ended)
Set in England during the Napoleonic wars at the beginning of the 19th century, the series presents an alternative history where magic is widely acknowledged, but rarely practiced. Living in the rural north, Mr Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey is able to make the statues of York Minster talk and move. His manservant John Childermass persuades him to travel to London to help in the war against France. While there, Mr Norrell encounters a leading member of the government and makes magic respectable in the realm when he conjures a fairy, called the Gentleman, to bring the minister's fiancée back to life. Meanwhile, Jonathan Strange meets Vinculus, a street magician, while attempting to find a respectable profession, as demanded by his love Arabella. Strange is told by Vinculus that he is destined to be a great magician and so he begins to study magic.
An alternate history/historical fantasy style series – something my husband could get in to (he read most of the book, but it sits unfinished on the bookshelf currently). While the genre and description don’t necessarily sound like my style, it came out to rave reviews.

The Musketeers – Premiered January 2014 and has been renewed for a 3rd season
The Musketeers is a BBC historical-action drama program based on the characters from Alexandre Dumas's novel The Three Musketeers. In 1630 Paris, Athos, Aramis and Porthos are a group of highly trained musketeers commanded by Captain Treville who meet d'Artagnan, a skillful farm boy with hopes of becoming a musketeer. The series follows them as they fight to protect King and country.
While I haven’t read the book, I have read many books based on the original story of the Three Musketeers or seen movie/tv varieties. This is something I could get into!

Any other great shows on BBC America that I am missing out on? Please let me know!!

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