Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Last Kingdom: Episode 6

The Last Kingdom
Episode 6
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Average)

In A Nutshell

Things start off this week with Uhtred and Mildrith bickering like a pair of ... oh, they are married, right? Well, anyhow, it's hard not to feel sorry for her, as Uhtred does another one of his random personality changes and this week is the obnoxious one once again, ignoring duty after last week's embarrassment, and joining up with his mate Leofric to raid Cornwall. After five days of raiding, disguised as Vikings, they find nothing of any value. I could have told them that myself, and I live in Cornwall. It's the scenery we're here for, not Gold Uhtred! Anyhow, whilst they are making their way down the original A30, they come across a priest and some Cornish soldiers (if you can call them that) who offer him a gift and ask him to visit their king, who needs their help to take back his fort that's been taken by some "Britons". 400 pieces of silver and a virgin queen later, and Uhtred is happy as Larry to do this for the Cornish King, until he sees that it's some Vikings who have taken the fort. Quite how the Cornish could protect chickens or build that fort is hard to believe, or that the king has so much hidden treasure, as we find out. Anyhow, we're along for the show.

For no real reason, other than a storyline change, the Viking leader suggests to Uhtred that they double cross the Cornish King to save anyone loosing any men. Alas, that's how it goes down, but the Viking doubles crosses Uhtred and makes off with the silver. But, wait. The shadow queen, come virgin, come sorcerer, knows where more silver is ... which is just outside the door under some hay. Right, and no one else even thought there was a ruddy great chest under there? Sigh. For some other reason, perhaps her beauty, Uhtred is really taken by her, even though she's done little but stroke his ear and tell him that he's the one. The one for what? No one knows. Uhtred doesn't care. He returns home with her, ditches his wife (after using some of the silver to buy off his/her debt to the church) and then heads back to Winchester in no time at all.

Sadly for Uhtred, what awaits him is essentially a kangaroo court. He's invited in to speak to Alfred, but then gets read out a whole wealth of charges based on his illegal plundering of Cornwall, and a few other things that young Odda makes up on the spot, thanks to the angry Cornish priest swearing it did happen. Uhtred is sentenced to death, thanks to his pal Leofric seemingly spilling everything. A few shouts and rants later, and it's turned into a fight to the death between him and Uhtred, with whoever wins having the backing of god.

What I liked

Usual top production values, and great background music, decent CGI.

Thanks to Aethelwold for providing the entertainment this week once again..

What I Didn't Like

Yet another skirmish that was over in seconds between Vikings/Cornish/Uhtred's men.

Uhtred is besotted by the sorcerer in record time. She's hardly said a word.

As ever, this show seems to be so woolly and random, and the kind of randomness is Uhtred seems to change his mind, personality and opinion like the wind.


Alfred is probably trying to work out the last five minutes of the show and how it ended up with a fight to the death.
Can't think why the Cornish were defeated in the first place, what with those weapons ...
"My Mind to your mind" ... Nah, wrong TV show.
And Finally

It's not that Uhtred isn't likeable, he's just impossible to figure out. Since episode one, it's been impossible to work out his motives and logic. He really does seem to be making things up as he goes along, which would be ok if we were not short on episodes left. There's no feeling that this is building up to anything or that Uhtred himself is developing as a charector. He's just plain random and consistently inconsistent, as well as obnoxious. Once again, any real tension in this show from the trip to Cornwall is over so quickly, and unexpectedly, that it's hard to feel like it was worth us going on the journey with him.

Rating: 5 out of 10 (Average)

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