All 9 episodes of epic new fantasy drama Britannia launch on Sky Atlantic, with the show — which bears more than a striking resemblance to Game of Thrones — hitting Amazon Prime later in the year in America.
Set in AD 43, Britannia stars David Morrissey, Kelly Reilly and Ian McDiarmid, charts the Roman conquest of the Celts, and is chock-full of sex, swearing, drugs and violence. The following being our favourite ‘WTF’ moments from the first episode.
Beware of SPOILERS ahead…
1. The Mutineers
Before the opening credits, Roman General Aulus Plautius (David Morrissey) captures a group of mutineers, and claims he can’t be bothered to have them stoned in the rain. So Plautius offers them an out — cut the throats of the others, and you go free. Antonius (Aaron Pierre) duly rises to the challenge, and off camera we hear the screams as he slices his friends. Nasty stuff.
2. “I Am Rome!”
In the midst of a tribal naming ceremony to celebrate a young tribal girl’s journey into womanhood, the Romans attack. What follows is an orgy of violence as men, women and children are stabbed and killed. Aulus then surveys the scene, and states: “Behold the Gods of Britannia — I am Rome, and where I walk is Rome!”
3. Marriage Woes
In what kicks off joyous, a young bride and groom from opposing tribes meet in a clearing to become betrothed. But during the ceremony, the onlooking Queen Antedia (Zoe Wannamaker) screams: “Scum, coward, I s**t on the souls of your dead. I’ll drink your blood before I let it pollute mine.” She also gives the sign for a priestess to slit said groom’s throat, and all hell breaks loose.
4. Taking a Dump
Following a skirmish, Aulus approaches the visibly shaken Antonius. “Have you taken a dump yet?” he asks, adding: “My first commander told me that you’re not really in the territory until you’ve had a good dump. Let the enemy know you’re here.” Antonius squats and drops in the shade of a tree, and duly gets kidnapped by Druids.
5. Message From the Underworld
The aforementioned Druids — led by the dastardly Veran (Mackenzie Crook) — do something unspeakable to Antonius, then send him back to the Romans with a message from the Underworld. Aulus writes a response on a piece of parchment, stuffs it in Antonius’s mouth, and has him buried alive as soldiers chant: “Long live Aulus Plautius.” As we said, nasty stuff.
Britannia is currently screening on Sky Atlantic in the UK, while it will soon be released on Amazon Prime in the States.