The Last Kingdom
You need a strong stomach to get through an episode of this historical epic without the odd heave — the blood and body count was pretty high in seasons one and two but the ante has been well and truly upped in season three, which sees Uhtred son of Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon, above) transfer from BBC2 to Netflix.
Much of the violent menace is down to the arrival on the scene of the extravagantly named Thea Sofie Loch Naess as blonde and beguiling monster Skade — her alliance with dangerous Danish warrior Earl Sigurd, aka Bloodhair, puts the wind up Wessex and no mistake. That Bloodhar is played by the excellent Ola Rapace gives the action a bit of extra bite. Series three is available now.
Those of you with a truly iron constitution should try doubling up The Last Kingdom with Vikings, starring Katheryn Winnick (pictured). The axe-swinging Scandi saga with the funkiest make-up on TV returns after ten months away to polish off the second half of its fifth season. We don’t have 25 pages to explain who hates who’s guts and who is spilling them, so just lie back and think of Denmark. New episodes are aired each Thursday.
Farang: Dead Man Running
It’s a golden time for Ola Rapace fans — here’s our man again (pictured) in a contemporary Swedish-made thriller set in Thailand. Rapace plays Rickard, a criminal who’s forced to flee his homeland and pitches up in Phuket’s seedy back alleys where he gets by on his wits. But when his teenage daughter turns up in search of her dear old dishonest dad, his old enemies aren’t far behind. The eight-part series is available now.