The Bastard Executioner, Tuesdays in the US. 1st season is 10 episodes.
The Bastard Executioner is a blood-soaked, medieval epic that tells the story of Wilkin Brattle, a 14th century warrior, whose life is forever changed when a divine messenger beseeches him to lay down his sword and lead the life of another man: a journeyman executioner. Set in northern Wales during a time rife with rebellion and political upheaval, Wilkin must walk a tight rope between protecting his true identity while also serving a mysterious destiny.
Guided by Annora, a mystical healer whose seeming omniscience keeps Wilkin under her sway; manipulated by Milus Corbett, a devious Chamberlain with grand political aspirations; and driven by a deepening connection with the Baroness Lady Love, Wilkin struggles to navigate political, emotional and supernal pitfalls in his quest to understand his greater purpose.
Deadline: With the debut of The Bastard Executioner on FX on September 15 at 10 PM, the Sons Of Anarchy creator has, as my video review above says, crafted a strong show that cuts sharp and deep. Honestly, it is something you don’t want to miss.
In its complex tale of Wilkin Brattle, played so well by Lee Jones, the ethos of Bastard reminds me a lot of the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman trilogy — with its heroic nuance and almost overwhelming sense of sadness. Forced to take on the identity and death-bringing profession of another, Brattle is a man at battle with himself in the court of his most hated enemies. That battle takes place against the often bloody backdrop of the nasty and brutish world, to paraphrase Thomas Hobbes, he lives in – a world, at least from the episodes that I’ve seen, Sutter has fully formed.
Just as that show [SoA] took a while to get in gear, The Bastard Executioner may need time to sharpen its storytelling. But by the second episode, when Brattle is ordered to give a rebellious 16-year-old tomboy the ax and Sagal’s sorceress yanks a demonic snake from the throat of a dismembered corpse, it’s already starting to exhibit signs of developing into a bloody good show. 70%
“The Bastard Executioner” is going to be compared to many other shows, most obviously “Game of Thrones,” but also “Sons” and “Deadwood,” even “Breaking Bad,” “The Sopranos” and, for the violence alone, “The Walking Dead.” The thing is, those are good shows to be compared to. As harrowing, dark and bloody as the premiere episodes are, and as open as the show’s direction seems to be, the comparisons seem apt. This “Bastard” rocks. Grade: B+
The series is packed with intriguing characters and great performances in a mostly untapped period. If only we could tolerate watching through covered eyes, cringing and fast-forwarding through the goriest scenes, we'd probably be in for a rich and rough drama. But with so many fine dramas currently in line, the thoroughly repulsive violence of "Bastard Executioner" may push it to the back of the pack. 50%
Good start, I did like the main character which is always helpful. Supporting characters decent as well. A simple but effective story but not a fan of the supernatural stuff. Weird random buttocks in the opening fight scene.
Kurt Sutter’s 14th century Sons Of Anarchy follow-up The Bastard Executioner has been canceled after its first season. Rather than allow the FX and Fox 21 TV Studios drama to simply fade away after 10 episodes, Sutter has taken the unusual step of helping the network make the decision and buying farewell ads on Deadline and the Hollywood trades to thank his cast and crew — and the network that ultimately had to swing the ax because the show wasn’t generating enough ratings growth quickly enough to justify the cost of a Wales-set period drama.