One of the benefits of having the flu is that it gives one time to binge watch.
This series is a wild ride. Ghouls mistaken for Druids, extremely funny and cruel; trips to the underworld; a mess of Gods that doesn’t make sense; Romans finding a Druid stash of interesting psychedelics, and so on.
Not for the faint hearted!
I found it on HBO
In ‘Britannia,’ the empire strikes back, and it’s a bloody mess
Enter Britannia, which lives up to its name with an opening episode that’s a cross between Thrones, the Carry On films and the most debauched year you ever had at Glastonbury.
Set in 43 AD, it’s a time of druids, infighting local tribes – the Regni and the Cantii – and, as we kick off, the Romans’ second attempt at invading, 90 years after Julius Caesar decided the whole island was a bit too mad to deal with and gave up.
Much of the dialogue is written as if we’re more or less in the modern day – “What is your problem?” “How’s it going?” “Things are all a bit up in the air at the moment” and, most British of all, “Well at least the rain held off” – which is a lot of fun, and means we relate more immediately to the characters, but also leads to those occasional Carry On moments, especially from Julian Rhind Tutt’s entertainingly sardonic Phelan, who in another time might have been played by an uptight Kenneth Williams.
David Morrissey’s invader Aulus Plautius is a rock star Roman general who acts like he owns the place, but whose ruthless brutality is businesslike rather than sadistic. Turns out he’s also not averse to trying some of the locals’ stash if it takes him where he needs to go.
Mackenzie Crook’s druid shaman Veran – with his shaved head, facial tats and scars, looking about as far from Gareth out of The Office as you’ve seen him – is the area’s main supplier, and his drugs do work, leading to a couple of interactions with the Romans that leave us wondering how the dynamic between these two sides and the other key players, the warring Celtic tribes, is going to develop.