On BBC America’s “The Last Kingdom” premiere, viewers met Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon), an English nobleman who is raised by the Danes who invaded his homeland. Over the course of the season, he’ll be torn between his heritage and his upbringing, an aspect already on display in the debut episode, which spent nearly half its running time on Uhtred as a boy.
Star Dreymon tells Zap2it that Uhtred’s childhood is important to the story and he wishes they could have shown more of it.
“There’s this constant conflict he has between the duel identity,” says Dreymon “It’s important to understand where that comes from, why he feels so Danish and yet why he knows ultimately he’s English in that conflict. Spending that time with the young Uhtred allows you to [see that].”
“The books spend even longer time on the childhood,” he adds. “I thought that part of the story was really interesting, plus those kids were so good. I personally would like to see more of them.”
The aforementioned books are a series by Bernard Cornwall called “The Saxon Stories,” upon which the TV series is based. Dreymon says the books were rich source material to use as an actor in forming the character.
“I got a lot out of reading the books. I love the research part of my job and sometimes it’s hard to find the good sources and here it was all done for me already,” says Dreymon. “It was a real bliss to have the books and to build the character knowing that the whole story and all the little details we can’t possibly fit in the script.”
“The Last Kingdom” airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America.