Saturday, October 31, 2015

Middle Aged

A fair chunk of BBC Drama Danegeld has been spent on The Last Kingdom. Auntie's contribution is put at £10m for the eight-part answer to Game of Thrones, filmed in Hungary, Denmark and Wales. BBC America presumably added more to the pot - they're running it a week ahead of the UK.

The money has bought some big names to the cast - but generally, they seem to last only one show each. Matthew MacFayden, Rutger Hauer and Jason Flemyng have all been and gone, and we're only up to Episode 2.

The UK overnight viewing figures so far are not sensational. 2.02m (10% share) for the opener drifted down to 1.54m (7.7%) for the second. BBC America are not currently making a fanfare about their return on investment.

Carnival Films, who brought you Downtown, are making it. John Lunn, who did the Downtown music, brings you the ululating soundtrack. IMDB puts "Special Thanks to Steven Gerrard" in the production credits. I can't find that on-screen, so presume someone's mucking about.

Next year, in the world of original and distinctive British drama, ITV will bring us Beowulf. Thirteen parts, at an estimated cost of £17m, currently being shot in a former Blue Circle cement limestone quarry at Eastgate in Weardale.

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