Britannia

svalbard

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Anyone catch this last night? It has divided the critics with one wit describing it as a 'poundcity' GOT.

I am leaning a bit more favourably towards it at the moment although it will need to up it's game in the next episode to keep my interest. A word of warning to those who are going to watch. Park your historical sensibilities in the garage. Otherwise you will end up with lock jaw after watching this through clenced teeth ☺
 

svalbard

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On episode 4 now and I am not sure how much more I can take. The Outcast druid is the only genuinely interesting character in the series. Everyone and everything else is just good looking rubbish.
 

Narkalui

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If it’s a historical drama with the history in the rubbish bin then that’s where the series belongs I’m afraid. I will not be dignifying this with my attention
 

svalbard

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If it’s a historical drama with the history in the rubbish bin then that’s where the series belongs I’m afraid. I will not be dignifying this with my attention

In principle I agree. However when a series like Vikings is done well I am willing to forgive the discrepancies, although the latest episode of that series has me worried.
 

Narkalui

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Vikings is a different kettle of fish though, it’s based on a saga rather than history. So as long as they are staying relatively loyal to the Saga then that’s just grand
 

svalbard

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Ok so I binged watched the whole series on Sky Demand and it grew on me to the point I did not want the series to end. The good looking rubbish turned out to have hidden depths. Treat it as a fantasy and it works really well. Hoping for a second season.
 

Caledfwlch

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I have only seen the advert, but am I right in my assumption from it that every single Briton speaks with a modern English accent, almost certainly predominantly SE England, with a few Yorkshire accents thrown in for the GOT fans? :D

Accent's are one thing that never gets thought about by production teams, which can spoil the authenticity a bit.
 

svalbard

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Correct, Caledfwlch and the Druids speak Middle-Welsh as opposed to Brythonic. There a million things wrong with this show and it is saved by the performance of a few actors(Morrissey is not amongst them.
 

Caledfwlch

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Correct, Caledfwlch and the Druids speak Middle-Welsh as opposed to Brythonic. There a million things wrong with this show and it is saved by the performance of a few actors(Morrissey is not amongst them.

I have seen episode 1, and actually quite enjoyed it apart from the accents!

I actually thought it was Modern Welsh that the Druids were speaking, as opposed to an older variant, mostly because I pretty much understood most of it, (im not fluent anymore, I come from Welsh speaking family but my adventures living and working abroad in the EU, having to pick up Dutch and French, and then spending several years in Yorkshire have damaged my fluency badly :( )

I am not sure Britannia should be judged on it's historical authenticity anyway, as it seems to clearly not be a historical adventure, but a fairly Low Fantasy take on the real history.

Of course the Druids could do and predict many things based on their huge knowledge of nature, herbs, poisons, and especially sleight of hand and so on, but the Camera appears to be showing the "magic" or much of it as low key as it is, to be real - unless we are supposed to be viewing the proceedings through unwitting/unknowing eyes like everyone on screen not a Druid.

Yet, the Outlaw has clearly received visions and seen the Invasion coming, fair enough, he actually said "The Sun wont rise" but I took it for metaphor

- that last day before the Legions arrive is the last true day that the Sun rose over the Island of the Mighty as a place who's population, the Britons were a proud and free people, yes, one day the Legions will withdraw as the Eagle falls all over the known world, but the descendents of the Britons, themselves a shadow of what they once were, their feared & dangerous Druids pretty much long wiped out, will then almost immediately find themselves fighting an unending, unwinable war against the invading Irish and Germanic Tribes, for a couple of centuries, and then, eventually even their very name, will be stolen from them by that Germanic enemy, who over 1000 years after than will start calling themselves "British/Brits". Isn't their a quote about how people can survive most things being taken from them, but not taking their name?

Of course, that's probably reading a bit deep into what is a Sky 1 series!! :D:D
The accents thing does feel a bit like attempting to culturally appropriate Welsh, Cornish & Breton History and the Culture those peoples descended from by English writers. Many of the viewers wont have a huge interest in history, most of them will know little about the Island of Britain's history before 1066, if they even know stuff going that far, and hearing the accents I could well imagine them assuming that oh, the's are English people, or at least our ancestors being shown getting oppressed by those Roman buggers.

A friend of mine who is English is actually concerned, that whilst so far in the episodes he has seen there has been no sub text, it could be seized on by Brexit types as an example for their cause! I think he is worrying needlessly, it wouldn't take more than mere moments to prick that balloon! - it's just the theme of Britons being invaded and brutally/viciously treated and repressed by Europeans that concerns him.

And why is it, that whenever, even in something at least mostly set in the real history of our world, involving a culture dominated by a caste who wield, or at least claim to wield magic, and have the Ears of the Gods, that caste, regardless of any evidence to the contrary, or any evidence backing the look up, always have messed up bodies, eyes all blacked out like Demons in films, and a massive fetish for scarification, and I forget the name for it - it's a thing again, amongst hipster types, except they use rubber, or whatever fake breast implants are made of pieces, rather than presumably, wood or bone, but inserting stuff under the skin, to raise it, create shapes etc.
I suspect the way Bernard Cornwall describes how Merlin and Nimue look is far more likely to be what even the 1st century Druids & Witches looked like.

My final complaints both involve the Geographic region that in 2017 we call the French Republic. :D
The Outlaw Druid and a Warrior with the Canti are clearly supposed to be Gauls (Well, I think the Warrior is actually referred to as being brought over from Gaul) they speak in French accents, admittedly those accents are being kept very mild, and it actually took me a whilst to realise that was the accent of the Outlaw Druid, I actually thought he was West Country English for a while. The French Accent of course, is caused by Speaking French, or Frankish as it's ancestor was, a Romance language that evolved amongst the Germanic Tribe known as Franks, the invaders of Gaul, and other former parts of the Empire in what I suppose could be called the Barbarian Age, a few hundred years after this is set, a language in 1st Century AD AFAIK, NOT being spoken in Gaul. o_O

And of course, one of the Canti gives a riposte to another about making friends with the Gauls to effect communication with the Bretons.....
People who's ancestors are currently sitting back in the Land of their Fathers, the Island of the Mighty, wondering who the hell those scary dark chaps in all the armour and big shields with the discipline and scary looking massive wooden weapons kicking their doors down are. NOT across the Germanic Sea in Armorica founding Brittany....

Despite all that, I did enjoy it, it wasn't half as bad as some of my friends were saying. I am certainly watching the rest, many tonight!!
 

svalbard

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I thought he was the weakest link. Actually the depiction of the Roman's in general is the weakest link of the series. I wanted more of the tribal politics and druidic mysticism.
 

Caledfwlch

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They do appear to be radically departing from history, in a very major way, in episode 4 last night!!

Spoiler
Unless I misheard, it was reported that Vespasian had been killed in an ambush or raid, at the specific time this is mentioned, he is merely Legate of the Legio II Augusta, but in 30 years will be slightly more of a big cheese over in Rome, thats not adjusting history to fit tv show dynamics or logistics, it's a radical and very major alteration to known history that could have all sorts of massive consequences just within the timeframe on screen, never mind the future.
 

Caledfwlch

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I am actually looking forward to Series 2!!

I am a bit baffled with the Druids - Veran appears to be an incredibly important figure, with his claims to be the "Second Man" for example, someone so special and important, would surely be in the British "Vatican" up on the Island of Mona in what is now Ynys Mon/Anglesey, North Wales?

I am also confused as to where Divis, the outlaw druid is supposed to be from - the Actor is Danish, he appears like other Gaul characters to be putting on a very mild French accent (which is utterly wrong) - he certainly isn't a Briton, yet he appears to suggest at one point that he's not a Gaul either, yet he is clearly not Irish, it seems unlikely the Druids would ever have allowed in a non "Celt".

Mackenzie Crook has gone up massively in my appreciation - once I realised it was actually he playing Veran, possibly the best Actor in the show, and of all the various actors speaking Welsh at various points, he makes the best fist of it, actually sounding like he maybe met a Welsh person and made an effort to learn how to pronounce the words - Divis I think is possibly the next best pronouncer.

A person who has never heard, and not been given any training at all in how to pronounce Welsh can actually make even simply phrases sound like an utterly different language. The opening Song to Guy Ritchies Arthur: Legend of the Sword (The Politics & the Lift) is in Welsh, and perhaps because I have studied a bit of Breton and Cornish, I was able to click that the words being spoken in the lyrics were Welsh quickly, despite my Welsh not being 100% Fluent, but my mate Marian who is utterly fluent even now cannot recognise what is being spoken as Welsh, because the English Folk Singer who recorded the song is not only mispronouncing the words, but putting emphasis in the wrong places, or where none should be.
 

tcrown333

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Correct, Caledfwlch and the Druids speak Middle-Welsh as opposed to Brythonic. There a million things wrong with this show and it is saved by the performance of a few actors(Morrissey is not amongst them.
The Druids speak in 'modern,'
totally accessible Welsh that I, as a fluent Welsh speaker can understand perfectly.
 

svalbard

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Think I read in a Jez Butterworth article 3 years ago that it was Middle Welsh.
 

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