The 14th Century is a time of intermittent struggle between the English and the Welsh. The marshlands between the two kingdoms are battlegrounds where the oppressed people of Wales rise up after every deathblow and attempt the impossible to depose their overlords. Set just after the death of Edward Longshanks (King Edward I of England), The Bastard Executioner delivers the action right away with battle scenes set to the sound of electric guitars and fever dreams about dragons coming out of dead comrades. With lively storytelling based on real events, history enthusiast are sure to find the new show on FX a favorable alternative to the acclaimed Game of Thrones series.

‘The Bastard Executioner’ Review

The Bastard Executioner revolves around the story of Wilkin Brattle (Lee Jones). A warrior who wears uniform of England when he is struck down in battle. He sees a divine messenger who convinces him to lay down his arms and become a wandering executioner in Welsh land. By checking out the trailers for the show, we can already tell that Wilkin will be hard pressed to keep his solemn oath to only kill unarmed criminals.

The most important challenges Wilkin will face are the wiles of Annora (Katey Sagal), a healer who has more control over him than he would like to believe; Milus Corbett (Stephen Moyer), a chamberlain with the ambition to accrue as much power as possible for a man of his social status; and Lady Love, a baroness who holds a deep connection with Wilkin.

The Catholic church also has the Medieval world in a grip of its own which nobody, English or Welsh, can escape.

As the attacks against the English rise, King Edward II, who lacks a fierce nickname like his father, must tighten his grip on the rebels. However, Lady Love takes control of the situation and is trusted for her ability to see the plight of the common man “with open eyes and open heart.”

Following the attacks, the English get real pissed off about a problem they experience on a regular basis, and their men saddle up to show the Welsh who is in charge. Much in the spirit of Braveheart, The Bastard Executioner makes an attempt to show what living under English rule was like in The Middle Ages. This means exploiting villagers (women and children) to draw out and gain information about their enemy.

Wilkin’s wife is found dead, an obvious sign that he will no longer be as pacifistic as he has been thus far and he goes into the charred remains of his old home to dig up his swords from beneath the soil. This leads to the first major battle of the series and establishes Wilken as a leader that the Welsh can rely on.

The Bastard executioner is a heart-pounding chronicle to the nature of Medieval conflict. Lee Jones plays the part of a charismatic, yet reluctant, hero that is both relatable and commonplace. The show takes an obscure historical topic and is able to make it interesting and palatable for viewers who may have tastes of a different variety.

Pictured: Lee Jones as Wilkin Brattle

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