I have used the (yet to be released) Season 3 of “The Last Kingdom” as an example, but this really applies to all shows and movies that are currently popular or that will be in a few years. Truthfully, there’s never been more opportunity than right now for artists of all types around the world. The internet has changed everything about how we interact with content and there’s no going back from here. It’s made entertainment affordable in many ways and I believe we’re going to see a lot more shows like the Last Kingdom coming out of people who couldn’t do it before, and that’s awesome. But not everyone has the same opportunity.
Shows like the last kingdom
The Last Kingdom is a BBC show about the Saxons and their fight to push back the Norman invaders in England. It’s an interesting time period that doesn’t have much source material from it or a good representation of it, which is why The Last Kingdom was able to stand out amongst other shows and movies set in this era (i.e., Vikings). The show got a big budget and looks great, so there’s an obvious draw for not only the story but also just how good it looks. Here are the best shows like the last kingdom:
Knightfall – A dramatization of the Knight Templar
This is an interesting example because it’s also a show that looks great but isn’t set in a particularly interesting time period. However, the story is interesting as it focuses on a big part of history that doesn’t get talked about much. It also benefits from having an interesting character (the main knight) who’s easy to root for and ties all sorts of different people together. I’ve met some people who dislike this show just based on how “Will” looks and acts, but they also can’t deny how well executed the fight scenes are.
I’m sure there are other historical shows that could be compared to this, like Vikings, for example, but I don’t really care about those because Vikings aren’t based on history and most of its impact will fade with time.
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Britannia – The Roman Invasions of Britain
This is an Amazon show that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but I’m sure it will soon. It’s about the Romans trying to invade Britain during Caesar’s time period. It shows how much more advanced the Roman were than the tribes in England, which can be attributed to a large budget and hundreds of extras. It’s not about a specific person from this time period, but it doesn’t need to be. The story is interesting enough as it is.
The first season is over and I will definitely be checking out the next one, especially since they’ve upgraded their budget even more than they had before.
Vikings – The adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok
Vikings are perhaps the best example out there. While not a historical show, it’s all about Vikings and their culture in the early medieval period. It rose to popularity because of how well made it was and then kept itself afloat by offering great characters that you can easily relate to (the main character’s arc is like a Shakespearean play). It seems as if the producers are banking on Season 5 being their last and there’s no way to know that for sure, so I would definitely watch Vikings right now before it ends.
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Barbarians Rising – The story of Spartacus
This is an example that’s a little different from the others because it follows one specific leader and his rise to power. However, this was made by the creators of The Last Kingdom, so you know they put their heart into it. It isn’t just focused on him, though, as there are a lot of side characters who you’ll be introduced to and grow attached to. Despite being about the Romans, it’s still a good show if you’re interested in this time period, which I assume is why it has 4 seasons out already with a 5th on the way soon enough.
Poldark – A British Revolution
This is a show that follows a specific character, much like the aforementioned Barbarians Rising, but from Britain. This one is set in Cornwall and is about mining. It focuses on him trying to keep his family together and finding his political voice in a world that’s changing quickly around him. This show has 4 seasons out already, but it’s easy to binge watch on Amazon if you can’t wait for the next installment.
Black Sails – Pirates in the early 18th century
This is an example of pirates, but not like you’re used to. It’s set during the golden era of piracy, where instead of just being ruthless criminals looting and pillaging ships, they were trying to form their own countries. I’m sure that won’t end well…but it should be interesting to see them at the height of their power. It’s also got a solid cast and crew and isn’t afraid to be risqué. This has four seasons out already, so you can watch it whenever you want.
There are so many shows like the last kingdom out there and I wanted to make sure that as many were covered as possible. There’s also a lot of shows on Netflix and Hulu that could be added to this list, but the ones above are, in my opinion, some of the best ones out there.