Netflix is co-producing the second season of BBC Two’s medieval epic The Last Kingdom, the BBC announced Thursday. Debuting in the U.K. in 2015, the series is an “emotionally complex and compelling landscape of revenge, rivalry, hostility, corruption, love, sex, loyalty and friendship” that “forms the backdrop to a gripping adventure based on [Bernard] Cornwell’s novels . . . part of the hugely popular bestselling franchise The Last Kingdom.”
Is this Netflix’s answer to HBO’s Game of Thrones?
This series is inspired by Anglo-Saxon history and encompasses swords and sex, and it could be Netflix’s answer to HBO’s Game of Thrones, a highly successful television drama, suggests Vanity Fair. This massive hit show has inspired several historic television dramas, including Netflix’s own Marco Polo, which can be seen as an expensive critical flop (though it was renewed for a second season).
The Last Kingdom was adapted by Stephen Butchard and based on Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling book series The Saxon Stories. This show won the Best Drama Series nomination from the Royal Television Society, and its first season – with eight episodes — averaged 2.7 million viewers on BBC Two.
The story revolves around Uhtred, who is a warrior on a mission to reclaim his birthright and unite several kingdoms into what would become England. The second season – set in the year 878 – is based on the backdrop that the wild lands of the north have moved into mutiny and chaos. With such a backdrop, Uhtred embarks on a voyage to recapture his ancestral lands of Bebbanburg.
Ongoing battle for original content
Netflix is engaged in a constant battle with Hulu, HBO, YouTube and Amazon to come up with the best original video content. The streaming giant knows original content is the key to success, and thus, it is set to release its latest original series Stranger Things this summer. This series from newcomer writer/director brothers Matt and Ross Duffer will offer eight episodes.
Earlier this week, the streaming giant also announced its first original series from India. Netflix’s first production – a crime drama series – is based on the 2006 best-seller Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra. The series is produced by local production company Phantom Films and will be shot on location in India.
On Thursday, Netflix shares closed down 0.79% at $97.09. Year to date, the stock is down almost 17%, while in the last year, it is up by over 7%. The stock has a 52-week high of $133.37 and a 52-week low of $79.95. In pre-market trading today, the stock was trading down.