Netflix has announced that its epic historical drama The Last Kingdom is set to end with its upcoming fifth season. Yes, the hit adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories novels will bow out with one more run consisting of 10 episodes, it’s been confirmed by the streaming giant and production company Carnival Films.
The Last Kingdom originated in 2015 as a BBC effort before Netflix became its sole distributor from its third outing onward in 2018. Season 4 then landed on the platform in April 2020 and filming on the next run has been held up before now but shooting is finally underway in Hungary, which doubles up for ninth/tenth-century England.
The series stars Alexander Dreymon as Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a Saxon-born Danish warrior. In season 5, he’ll be charged with training up Aethelstan (newcomer Harry Gilby), the first-born son of King Edward (Timothy Innes), to become a warrior. But, according to the synopsis for the new run, “Uhtred’s ambition will have an even higher purpose,” as to achieve his destiny, “[he’ll] have to face down his greatest enemy and suffer his greatest loss.”
Gilby will be taking over the role of Aethelstan from Caspar Griffiths. Also joining the cast for this final run are Patrick Robinson as Father Benedict, a holy man with a troubled past, and Sonya Cassidy as Eadgifu, a smart and open-hearted Saxon. Leading man Dreymon will make his directorial debut this season as he’s set to helm an episode, and the outing will be based on the ninth and tenth books in Cornwell’s 13-part novel series. So unfortunately, The Last Kingdom has been cut short before it could complete the saga.
Executive producer Nigel Marchant, of NBCUniversal, had this to say in a press statement responding to the news: “With such a loyal fanbase, we’re excited to give viewers a chance to follow Uhtred on the next stage of his epic quest, where not everyone survives.” Meanwhile, Dreymon added, “Playing Uhtred for 5 seasons has been a wonderful journey.”
No word yet on when The Last Kingdom season 5 could arrive on Netflix, but sometime in 2022 seems likely. As always, watch this space for more.