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Author Topic: The Bastard Executioner  (Read 2957 times)

Sir William

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The Bastard Executioner
« on: 2015-09-16, 15:45:35 »
This is a new/original FX series, The Bastard Executioner, produced by Kurt Sutter (of Sons of Anarchy fame).  I missed the first 6 minutes, but managed to figure out that it was a medieval-era show, if only because of the language, costumes, horses and tack.  I only managed 30 minutes and the DA: Inquisition started whispering to me so I had to go back to Thedas.

With that said, I set a reminder to check it out Saturday night; I'll give a more thorough review then.  I'll say this though- it reminded me of Pillars of the Earth, that Starz series based on the book by Ken Follett; I do believe they are angling for an authentic-inspired look (if not outright authenticity).  I noticed that there's a lot of maille and didn't see much plate; the Baron and his Chamberlain both wore full hauberks with separate coifs underneath heraldic surcoats (in one scene, it was the three lions of the Lionheart and they were in Wales).  Didn't get a good look at the weaponry as there hadn't been any real fighting to that point, other than the forest scene and it was archers who ruled that contest.  Still, I think its worth a gander.
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Ian

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Re: The Bastard Executioner
« Reply #1 on: 2015-09-16, 17:43:51 »
I DVR'd it last  night but haven't watched it yet.  I've only seen the commercials and read the little synopsis on imdb.  It says Edward III timeframe, mid 14th century, and all the armor I saw was mail and norman conicals, so way off, but if the story is good I'll definitely keep watching it.
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Sir William

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Re: The Bastard Executioner
« Reply #2 on: 2015-09-17, 15:01:22 »
Ok, I didn't catch the part about it being Ed III's era, I figured it was Richard I as king, given the style of the surcoats and armor.  And the maille appears to be the butted, bingo-wing variety, so ugly as hell.
« Last Edit: 2015-09-17, 15:03:17 by Sir William »
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Sir Rodney

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Re: The Bastard Executioner
« Reply #3 on: 2015-09-18, 04:01:31 »
Ok, I didn't catch the part about it being Ed III's era, I figured it was Richard I as king, given the style of the surcoats and armor.  And the maille appears to be the butted, bingo-wing variety, so ugly as hell.

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Sir Edward

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Re: The Bastard Executioner
« Reply #4 on: 2015-09-22, 19:25:35 »
Hopefully my DVR caught it. I tried using the FIOS phone app to set the DVR remotely, while on the road, so we'll see if that worked. If so, I'll probably check it out tonight.

Anyone actually watch the entire first episode yet?
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Re: The Bastard Executioner
« Reply #5 on: 2015-09-24, 18:02:14 »
I watched all of it to date. So far, I am mixed about it. It's set in historical context even if characters are fictional. Story line is weird to me.
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Ian

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Re: The Bastard Executioner
« Reply #6 on: 2015-09-24, 19:00:14 »
I got to watch the first 30 minutes of the pilot until my daughter came into the room, so we had to stop :)
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Re: The Bastard Executioner
« Reply #7 on: 2015-09-24, 20:34:44 »
I watched the pilot through. It starts out very slow, but the last 30 minutes of it really set up the concept for the season. I'm a bit mixed as well. I don't know if it'll grab me or not.

And I'm trying really hard to ignore the costuming problems, and wrong era of armor, and so forth. ;)
« Last Edit: 2015-09-24, 20:35:09 by Sir Edward »
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Thorsteinn

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Re: The Bastard Executioner
« Reply #8 on: 2015-09-24, 21:44:22 »
Is it streamable anywhere?
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Sir Edward

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Re: The Bastard Executioner
« Reply #9 on: 2015-09-28, 00:46:44 »

I'm not sure if it's streaming. It's on FX, so I'm not sure.

I watched both the 2-hour pilot, and the next episode after that. The pilot starts slow, but picks up at the end. So far the story is interesting, but not "gripping" as such. I particularly like the character of the Baroness, as she seems to be justice-minded and quite sharp, but some of the other characters haven't really given us much of a feel for who they are yet.
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Re: The Bastard Executioner
« Reply #10 on: 2015-11-19, 18:16:09 »

So after finishing the whole season, here are some of my thoughts. It may not matter, since I heard it was cancelled and thus not getting a second season, but I haven't verified that.

WARNING: SPOILERS.

My feeling is that it's reasonably well executed, but the story meanders and didn't really grip me. From a historical perspective, it's clear that the script writers only had a "Hollywood" understanding of the period, and didn't do any actual homework on the subject. I liked the characters, mostly.

The one thing that kept gnawing at me though, was I felt like it was designed right from the start to show torture, blood, and brutality, just because they could. It's not gratuitous, in the sense that there is always a story reason for those things. However, the story feels like it was contrived to do so. I mean, a former knight who turned into a farmer to escape his past (and having been betrayed and left for dead), is now posing as an executioner. They could have written him to pose as any role they wanted, but they chose that specifically.

I get the fact that they wanted him to be trapped by circumstances, doing something that caused him a lot of grief and soul-searching, and got him involved in the castle's justice system. But still.

The main story was dominated by he and his friends taking on this role to quietly seek vengeance against those who destroyed their village, and slaughtered their loved ones. That was the thread that bound the entire season together.

And then in the finale, when they have the opportunity to kill the remaining two people they wanted vengeance against, they discover that those men were in fact honorable. The finale is driven by concepts of honor and camaraderie, for the first time all season. The camaraderie was a weak thread prior to that, but we finally see it shine when everyone who was at odds with one another came together for a common cause.

And while the finale wraps everything up in a nice little bow (perhaps too nice), with the main character finally having a romantic night with the Baroness, the crazy fake-wife situation dealt with, peace being made with the revenge-targets, the priest saved, and so on... It was actually the finale that made me want to see more.

So if it really has been canceled, I'm OK with that. But I would have watched the next season just to see how they deal with the threads that were left dangling at the end, such as the story of the Seraphim, the Baroness's fake pregnancy and the fate of her Barony, and the visions of a future child with the main character, etc.

Oh well.
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Thorsteinn

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Re: The Bastard Executioner
« Reply #11 on: 2015-11-19, 20:57:49 »
Yeah it got cancelled. The show runners said it was just too pricey to make given the lack of audience.
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