Tag Archives: Matthew Rhys

A Bastard Invasion

 

Following on from what must have been a well received edit of the its pilot episode, the execs at FX Networks (link does not work outside the US) have commissioned a 10 episode first season of The Bastard Executioner.

The TV series, from the team that created and produced the Sons of Anarchy (SoA), is set in medieval Wales will be filmed in locations across Wales and specially created sets to bring the action to life.

The lead role appears to have been bestowed on Lee Jones, although despite his Welsh-sounding name hails from Australia.

Other notable cast members are Katey Sagal, Kurt Sutter and Timothy V. Murphy, who all played parts in SoA; and Stephen Moyer (True Blood) and Matthieu Charneau.

In amongst this lot is an abundance of Welsh acting talent, including Matthew Rhys (Brothers and Sisters, The Americans), who like Rhys Ifans, Michael Sheen and Ioan Grufydd, has demonstrated to the US TV and film makers that Wales is can produce international stars.

Its not just the acting that has brought Hollywood to the valleys. On the back of BBC Wales productions such as Doctor Who, Torchwood and Sherlock; a whole new and exciting media industry has grown in South Wales and is breeding make-up artists, special FX specialists, camera crew, and all the other many skill sets it takes to make a TV programme or feature film.

Also the support of the Welsh Government was instrumental in attracting investment such as that made by Pinewood Studios, who have also announced that the re-make of The Crow will be shot in the country.

This investment will surely be repaid once the high definition images of Welsh scenery will adorn cinema and TV screens across the world, and more people will want to visit this magical country.

#TBX, as The Bastard Executioner is referred to on social media, is not the first major oversees production filmed in Wales; but from my memory, this will be the first that will be set in Wales, filmed in Wales, and featuring a cast made of mainly Welsh talent.

The #TBX cast and crew are quite active on Twitter and it was great to see regular updates and photos from the set of the pilot.  There is also quite a large fanbase growing on social media creating quite a lot of buzz.  This has mainly risen from the millions of people who were addicted to SoA, and are looking forward to this new project from its creator Kurt Sutter.  The only frustration, is that the teasers and interviews that have been uploaded to YouTube by FX Networks are not available outside the US and Canada.

Sutter has already vocalised about his love of history and theology, so there is no doubt he will be true to Welsh mythology and folklore, to the point where his fictional storyline will allow. He has adopted the use of traditional medieval character names and has announced that the episode titles will be published in English and Welsh.

I for one am very excited about #TBX and the future of the Welsh media industry, together with a revitalisation of the Welsh Tourist industry.  I just have to hope that one of the UK broadcast companies pick this up and hopefully transmit to a similar schedule as the US.