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The Last Kingdom Episode 3 (BBC-2 5 Nov 2015)

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AIRDATE: Thursday 5 November 2015 at 9.00pm on BBC Two

Season 1 Episode 3 (of 8)

Uhtred wins the protection of Alfred, but his commitment to the new king costs him his relationship with Brida.
Uhtred and Brida are in prison as Father Beocca brings news of a Saxon victory at Asec’s Hill. With the battle won, Uhtred is released and he forces his way into Alfred’s rooms to confront him about his imprisonment, only to discover a quiet and unresponsive prince. Alfred’s brother, King Aethelred, is dying and Alfred will succeed him because his 15 year-old son Aethelwold is too young to be crowned.

Alfred confides in Uhtred that he is afraid of the responsibility. He asks what he should do with the king’s son, and Uhtred tells Alfred he must kill him – Alfred, who sees violence as a last resort, spares his nephew and creates an enemy within. Alfred is crowned king.

After Asec’s Hill the Danes have retreated but Uhtred assures Alfred that they will be back. Appreciating Uhtred’s advice and knowledge of the Danes, their bond is seemingly re-established. Brida remains sceptical of the alliance and finds the Saxon court a dull place compared to life with the Danes.

Alfred makes a gift of armour to Uhtred and asks him to formally ally himself to England by marriage. Uhtred rejects the invitation, but after proving himself in dangerous peace negotiations with Ubba, Uhtred agrees to give Alfred his allegiance for one year – his ultimate goal remains reclaiming Bebbanburg. Brida, now secretly pregnant, despairs of Uhtred’s allegiance, and the rift between them grows.

A clever tactician, Alfred has secured Uhtred’s loyalty knowing that Uhtred is a man of his word, but equally he understands that he is headstrong and needs to be broken. So Uhtred is sent to Hamtun (Southampton) to train his troops in fighting a shield wall with straight-talking Saxon warrior, Leofric. Leofric refers contemptuously to his charge as ‘Arseling’ but they nonetheless become great friends.

In Hamtun Uhtred and Leofric hear of a Danish raid on the coastline, and come face to face with Ragnar the Younger. Uhtred convinces his adoptive brother he is innocent of killing their father Earl Ragnar. Ragnar the Younger believes him but is disappointed that Uhtred’s commitment to Alfred means he won’t join forces in revenge. Instead Brida, who has since miscarried Uhtred’s baby son, sails into the distance with Ragnar.

The emotional price Uhtred has paid for his commitment to Alfred is clear. Uhtred now has no reason not to accept Alfred’s offer of a Saxon wife to cement the commitment.

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Episodes

Hazell: Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost (ITV 31 May 1979, with Meg Davies)

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Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost

In Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost our intrepid hero pays a visit to the seaside when an accountant, Peter Harlow, calls him in over a cottage he has been left in a will. He has no idea why he has been left the cottage but since he has taken over ownership more than a few strange things have been happening.

Hazell stays at the cottage for a few days and manages to find no small amount of comfort when Harlow’s wife Stephanie turns up (Harlow himself is in New York). Although there is clearly something spooky going on it’s definitely man made and it doesn’t take Hazell too long to work it out.

The episode was a rare outing outside of London for the series, it was filmed in the East Anglian village of Walberswick and surrounds. Although all the interiors were filmed in studio of coure.

classic quote
I may be common but I’m not stupid

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 31 May 1979

Writer: Richard Harris / Production Design: Philip Blowers, Peter Elliot / Director: Mike Vardy

Series: Hazell Season 2 Episode 7

cast
Nicholas Ball as Hazell
Michael Gaunt as Peter Harlow
John Woodnutt as Vicar
Desmond Llewellyn as Bell
Richard Simpson as Weaver
Meg Davies as Stephanie Harlow
Desmond McNamara as Tel
Peter Woodward as Gregory Summers
Joy Steward as Mrs Summers

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Blake’s 7: Breakdown (BBC-1 6 Mar 1978, with Julian Glover)

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Blake’s 7: Project Avalon (BBC-1 27 Feb 1978, with Glynis Barber)

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