“Britannia III” (2019)
Created by: Jez Butterworth, Tom Butterworth and James Richardson
Featuring: Kelly Reilly, David Morrissey, Zoë Wanamaker, Mackenzie Crook, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Eleanor Worthington Cox
“When I look over my shoulder (what happens then?)
What do you think I see? (Mm)
Some other cat looking over (shadoop, shadoop)
Over his shoulder at me” – Season of the Witch, Donovan
Released recently on DVD is the third season of the English show “Britannia” (2017-present) set in AD45, the first season received mixed reviews so it is surprising that a second season went ahead. It could come down to the fact that there are a surprising amount of A list television actors appearing in it.
The series follows the Roman conquest of Britain. Celtic rivals Kerra and Antedia must work together to fight off the Roman invasion led by Aulus Plautius.
The show is shot largely on location (in England, Wales and the Czech Republic) and makes decent use of the verdant countryside, but Sky’s budget is a fraction of HBO’s and there are no CGI-enhanced vistas to provide a sense of scale. Equally, for a story about conquest, battles are few and far between, and largely limited to feeble pushing and shoving in the woods.
“Britannia” does have an unusual tone it veers from odd to serious to sometimes funny but the series is not one long joke. There is a use of popular music throughout which sets an odd tone but it can suit scenes that those songs appear over. None of this really matters of course as like some other shows this show is something that audiences just go with, don’t think too hard and everything will be alright.
In the third series of Britannia, we see the Romans struggle to maintain their hold on the island of Britain, as they face opposition from various Celtic tribes. The series also explores the personal conflicts within the Roman army, as well as the internal struggles within the Celtic tribes.
One of the highlights of the third season is the introduction of new characters, including Amena, a powerful Druidic leader, and Emperor Claudius, who arrives in Britain to assess the progress of the Roman campaign. These characters add new layers of complexity to the show’s narrative and provide fresh perspectives on the ongoing conflict.
However, some critics argue that the third series of Britannia suffers from a lack of character development. Many of the characters feel underdeveloped, and their motivations are often unclear. Additionally, the show’s plot can be confusing at times, which may make it difficult for viewers to fully engage with the story.
Despite these criticisms, Britannia remains an entertaining and unique series that combines historical drama with elements of fantasy. If you enjoyed the first two seasons of the show, the third season is definitely worth watching to see how the story continues to unfold.
The Return of the Chosen One: Aulus has built himself a smart villa overlooking the new town of Verulamium. But underneath, Druids and Celtic tribes still resist power.
The Moon Tree: Aulus struggles to remain in control now that Hemple is on the scene. The Druids are splintered by the betrayal of the Chosen One.
War Chest: Aulus hears Widicus’s concerns about the behaviour of the new arrivals. Cait and Antedia continue their partnership.
The Big Vision: Aulus returns from his trip to the Underworld. Willa reveals that if Cait secures the Spear of The Silver Dawn then the tribes will be united.
Hemple’s Machinations: Cait and her band of travellers strike a deal with Hella. Still under Hemple’s hex, Ania returns and leads the gang on a dangerous path.
A Precious Asset: Cait is shocked by the revelation that a traitor is in their midst. Hemple, still with Amena at the Villa, plans another feast to satisfy Lokka’s hunger.
The Viaduct: Cait and her band continue their quest to reach Lucius because of his knowledge of the Spear. Hemple is furious that Veran seems to have got the better of her.
Vae Victis: Still searching for Lucius and his knowledge of the Spear, Cait takes the fight to the redoubt, and to all those who are waiting for her.