- The latest hit British TV series from Netflix is “The Last Kingdom,” and its third season dropped on Monday.
- The series first premiered on BBC networks in 2015, and its second season was coproduced by Netflix.
- The third season is an exclusive Netflix production, highlighting the streaming giant’s successful strategy of acquiring British shows and making them available to a wider audience.
Netflix’s strategy of acquiring hit British TV shows and introducing them to a global audience has already found success this year with “The End of the F—— World” and, more recently, “Bodyguard.”Its latest, “The Last Kingdom,” premiered its third season on Monday.
“The Last Kingdom” moved from a BBC series in its first season, to a coproduction with Netflix it its second, and finally to a Netflix exclusive in its third.
Netflix describes the series, which has an 87% Rotten Tomatoes critic score, like this: “As Alfred the Great defends his kingdom from Norse invaders, Uhtred – born a Saxon but raised by Vikings – seeks to claim his ancestral birthright.”
The New York Times said “The Last Kingdom” can fill the gap between now and when the final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” premieres in April.
“If you’re looking for something to fill the ‘Game of Thrones’-shaped hole in your heart until the final season runs next year, consider trying this fictional drama series about the formation of England,” The Times said.
The first season of “The Last Kingdom,” which premiered in 2015 on BBC Two and BBC America, is based on Bernard Cornwell’s “Saxon Stories” series of novels about 9th-century Britain.
The show’s first two seasons each consist of eight episodes, while the third has 10. It highlights Netflix’s confidence in its British TV strategy, and audiences’ positive response to the series so far. The strategy benefits both Netflix, which attracts new subscribers, and British television, which finds new fans it wouldn’t have if limited to British networks.
Executive producer Gareth Neame told The Guardian in April that the series “didn’t break through” until Netflix coproduced the second season with BBC and streamed it to a wider audience.
“Their mission seems to be to back storytellers and let them get on with it,” Neame said.