Directed by "Didier Le Pecheur" (surname!), you get a real glimpse of the gritty Middle Ages, including lavish doses of sex, not always of the "orthodox" kind, church hypocrisy and anti Semites, and of course, pillages, ignorance, superstition, fear of pestilence and consequently, of "the outside world", conservatism, and all of the (bad) things we know about the period. Not for the very religious or those who want a "sacred" view of the epoch.
Dark, very well filmed and with a tight & intelligent script, it will not be properly enjoyed with poor equipment due to it being shot in night scenes most of the time. The ambient/ "spirit of the times" is perfect, for instance, horse scenes, dresses, castle daily life, barbarians's mix of sheer cruelty and some sort of extreme religiosity, etc.
The Captain Thomas C. is a fine protagonist, even his allure and gait betray his "standing" in the series. Constance is pure beauty. Aygline is a perfect looser in that triangle, only seeing her walk clumsily or chatter is fun but also a bit sad. Géraud is fun to watch as the fun-loving priest, is a man that keeps more than one secret. So is Maitre Elias, a more enigmatic character, who although knows how to cure and read tongues, is nevertheless openly despised by the nobility (reminds me of the poor standing of some university teachers nowadays :(). Anjou is one of the big cast of "baddies" that, being extremely well chosen, succeed into making us believe they are really mean and would stop at nothing to get what they want. Besides being mean, another welcome trait. Hugues d'Avènes is even better, if looks could kill, he'd be a serial :). de Neuville carries his ugly role with grace. Frère Pons is fun as the "pragmatic church", follow torture rules by the book as if he were administering Mass :). Le Breton is the low end of the scale, wildly funny but of course, relentless. de Castenay has a deep, commanding voice that corresponds well to his important role. Paziol, the poor peasant that dared to answer back, is so well chosen one would hardly be surprised to see him walk in the street, him being so natural. Both Beautiful Brune and long suffering Barbe are very credible too. As well as the ladies in the brothel, the peasants, soldiers, priests...
Thanks to "morpion_1" from irreplaceable IMDb for sharing with us the structure of the series: the "big scene" that follows through the 8 chapters, and the individual episodes, dealing with one stock theme of the Middle Ages, like Serfdom, poverty and rebellion, barbarians at the gates, heretics, the Crusades, "God's divine will", religious fervour, specially by the peasants, church hierarchy's cynicism, military preparations, medicine, or the semblance of it, etc.
Worth watching, and highly entertaining even if you have only a moderate interest in historic fiction.
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