The Chopping Block: The Bastard Executioner – Game of (Slit) Throats! The Chopping Block: The Bastard Executioner – Game of (Slit) Throats!
Kurt Sutter is often known as the man who wrote and directed some, if not most, of the best and most memorable episodes of... The Chopping Block: The Bastard Executioner – Game of (Slit) Throats!

chopping block logo

Kurt Sutter is often known as the man who wrote and directed some, if not most, of the best and most memorable episodes of FX’s The Shield (which helped set the standards for adult content regarding non premium cable television shows). And of course, there’s his modern age Hamlet with motorcycles, Sons of Anarchy, which after 7 Seasons had come to an end.

Now from the mad but brilliant mind of Sutter comes The Bastard Executioner.

Here’s the synopsis based on the 2-Hour Pilot: Wilkin Brattle (played by Lee Jones) formerly of King Edward’s knights, becomes disillusioned due to traumatic experiences during an epic battle five years ago. As “Wilky” attempts to live a peaceful existence with his wife and unborn child, a horrific series of events, or shall I say “event” occurs that will change his destiny forever.

The-Bastard-Executioner-Wilkin-Brattle-850x560

Yes, there is that familiar trope about a war veteran that out of personal tragedy is forced to enter conflict however, it is a necessary plot device in order to define the antagonist’s purpose. And it works brilliantly in this episode directed by Paris Barclay of SOA.

There are quite a few noticeable faces not only from the aforementioned Sons of Anarchy (such as Katey Sagal) but other notable series as well. It’s kind of like the who’s who of cable TV most notably, Stephen Moyer of True Blood who stars as the cunning douchewipe Milus Corbett and is certain to be the primary antagonist of the show.

katey-sagal

Yes, Mrs Sutter is in TBX! However one question remains, will she sing during the last 4 minutes of each episode??

 

The fight scenes are very graphic, that will make Braveheart look like Fraggle Rock (Ok, I exaggerated a bit but you get the idea!). And needless to say, TBX does not shy away from “shagging” as there were scenes where for a second I thought I was watching HBO, and speaking of which, most people will immediately compare this to their golden ticket that is Game of Thrones, but it’s far different than that venerable series.

NEl6DBWWz296or_2_b

The locales and setting is more enclosed, the sword battles are not full scale epic, nor is it meant to be. And I give TBX some kind of credit for being original and not being based on some series of novels. This was clearly Sutter’s brainchild and with all the attention GOT has been getting I’m sure he wants in on that medieval money!

The intro is somewhat familiar if you have seen Sons of Anarchy but I really like the outro for its instrumental theme that fits the series overall. Within the 3rd act of the Pilot, there is a big reveal of why the traumatic event that altered Brattle’s persona came to be and I for one can’t wait to see how it further develops.

Prior to that, there were a few flashbacks that were needed to fill Brattle’s backstory during his servitude for King Edward the 3rd.  If you’re looking for a medieval series with copious amounts of blood, sex & magic, and a sprinkle of political intrigue, you can do no worse than The Bastard Executioner.

As the news kid on the “Block” I highly recommend this series!

TBX-01-220x170

Stalks out!

Author Image

Stalkeye

Stalkeye= anagram of Stalker and Snake Eyes. Satirist, Gamer, Artist and Pop Culture commentator- Stalks offers his outspoken views on on most things Geek related as well as WTF is wrong with the world today!

  • This is all new to me. The title could be from an old Shaw Bros. movie.

  • Bop

    This sounds like I should finish the pilot.

  • Stalkeye

    Oh, by all means you should! I arrived at work late because I had to finish the rest of the Pilot yesterday Morning. XD

  • Stalkeye

    Sounds exactly like a title for some Chop Socky, right?

  • Bop

    I was watching yesterday, but got interrupted. 🙁 Now I need to find some time to finish it, among other obligations at the moment.

  • Bop

    I find the title funny. Is he the executioner of bastards or is he the bastard who is executing?

  • Stalkeye

    LOL

  • Stalkeye

    It’s actually the name of the Sword he uses.

  • Bop

    Ah, ok. Didn’t get that far yet.

  • There is actually The Bastard Swordsman 1&2!

  • Stalkeye

    Is that the Donnie Yen Movie?

  • No, much older.

  • Interesting…
    When will the dragons show up, I wonder?

    Just kidding.

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Will have to catch this this weekend. Sounds very interesting………my main man Stalkeye…….mother fu*k*r tv show reviewer! I have read mixed reviews, but I will take the Stalks word on this.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Great review mang!!! I had never even heard of this. Will definitely check it out as Sutter has a gift for the beautiful and brutal word.

  • Stalkeye

    He done struck lightning again!

  • Stalkeye

    Thanks, FF! I would say, give it a watch and judge for ye self.
    If you like Valhalla rising, (Judging from your Avatar.) you might enjoy TBX as well.

  • Stalkeye

    Looks Great! ah, it brings me back to the good ol days of poor dubbing and cliche revenge plots. (Hard way to Die and The Crippled Avengers.)

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Did not like Valhalla Rising, at all! It started off well, then got extremely boring. It was a missed opportunity to make an awesome film, instead, we got that crap which is Refn. Love Madds

  • Stalkeye

    OK, It’s safe to say, that it’s better than Valhalla Rising!

  • Full Frontal Throttle

    Awesome flick

  • Sagamanus

    Yeah this series can get bloody and they’ll show every bit of it. Including every hole a stabbing weapon makes. I will continue watching thinking it might not rely on that completely, but who knows for how long.

  • Scopedog

    It sure looks that way, Stalkeye. I liked it myself–bloody, brutal, but very well-written and made. Interesting that Sutter went to the past for his new series, but it worked.

  • Stalkeye

    Of all the shows and concepts, I would never picture KS for some medieval related setting. And despite a lil skepticism, he pulled it off!

  • ponyboy_360

    SOLD!
    Damn Stalks, great read!
    You know your stuff, appreciated.
    I’ve been debating as to watch this or not.
    It’s been sitting on my VOD for days now.
    I will get into this tomorrow.
    As per your article, cheers.
    Sounds like a great segue into an impressive Fall TV Season.
    I really don’t give a fuck about “GOT” anymore.
    But, I’ve watched from the jump, so I’ll see it out.
    Grudgingly.
    The way that you describe “TBE”.
    Sounds more my style.
    On the “Valhalla Rising”, Refn tip.
    Violence?!
    Pfffft…Sutter knows story & character, as you know.
    I hear people speaking on how “violent” this is.
    When I hear that, I’m just curious about the visual effects.
    This sounds pretty cinematic.
    I’m also curious about the lead actor, Lee Jones.
    I’m a Sutter fan as well.
    “SOA” & “The Shield”, are part of my select TV collection.
    I’ve respected his career for ages.
    “Ms. Sutter…will she sing during the last 4 minutes of every episode?”
    HA!
    NICE!
    I actually recently received
    “The Shield” blu, all 7 Seasons.
    For $25.00 CDN, that’s a big deal to me.
    Luckily stumbled across a one day deal on Amazon.
    Just need time to do a proper
    re-watch.
    If I dig “TBE” tomorrow.
    & you keep writing about it with this level of enthusiasm & knowledge.
    I’m down homie.
    & will be back to shoot the shit.
    Again, great read.
    Impressed.
    Peace.

  • Stalkeye

    Thanks for the Props, PB.

    You’re a Sutter fan too? Cool!
    The Shield is still my favorite among his resume. I love how Macheviallian it became during the final episodes and I will be doing an homage sometime in the near future.That BD collection is a steal!! Although I’m more into streaming via Hulu,Netflix,Amazon, etc you cant the the special features, extras and especially commentaries that’s mostly found on BDs.

    I’m looking forward to more eps of TBX and of course, there’s The Knick’s second season. (0=

  • ponyboy_360

    No probs Stalks.
    I always give credit where credit is due.
    & you did a great job.
    I always knew you were a Sutter fan from waaaay back.
    & yes, much love for “The Shield”.
    “The Shield”=Walton Goggins, for me.
    I love Det. Shane Vendrell.
    I own a Robert Duvall film called,
    “The Apostle”, that’s were I first noticed Goggins.
    Plus, I just saw him in
    “American Ultra” recently.
    He was GREAT as always.
    Apologies, this will be a long post.
    I wish I could just phone or something & leave a message, rather than hog a thread with my post.
    Alright.
    As it’s getting close to Fall, we spent the day at the dog park, 22 C, beautiful day.
    Hung upside down on my inversion table, smoked 2 fat bowls, & decompressed on my ice-packs.
    Put on wireless earphones.
    Was very excited to get into “TBE” pilot Episode.
    Immediately, was drawn in, from the introduction.
    What caught my attention from the first shot, was how much all the colours popped!
    A very digital look.
    You could tell Sutter & Barclay tweaked with the DI in the editing process.
    Sutter, in his commentaries, always said.
    That the project isn’t done after filming was wrapped, it was in the editing room.
    I liked it, it seemed fresh.
    Violent, yes, but nothing that was worth people bitching about.
    I liked how it is more “intimate” than compared with the scope of “GOT”.
    I feel we’ll get into the characters & world faster.
    What I didn’t like, was the gay
    Jamie Lannister.
    Not because he’s a gay character.
    But mainly because the actor,
    Stephen Moyer, “True Blood”, looks EXACTLY like, Jamie Lannister!
    I suppose I’ll get used to it.
    I did think that lead actor, Lee Jones was a little weak in the beginning.
    But he became the character as soon as he got his hair chopped off.
    At that point, he was more believable & impressive to me.
    I think as the Series progresses, he’ll get stronger.
    They spared no time eliminating characters, which was fun to watch.
    This Series could go anywhere.
    Lots of “clues” or implications of things to come.
    There was a line, “I need a man with the heart of a dragon.”
    There was some kind of beast in his dreams/flashbacks.
    Thoughts?
    I hope NO dragons.
    Sagal was fine, I’m intrigued with her bandaged friend…..Kurt Sutter!!!
    I could tell it was him, just looking at his eyes.
    I wonder if people caught that.
    & NO 4 minute Sagal singing!!!
    I have to mention the Sound Design.
    With my earphones, I could pickup every whisper, clash of weapons, splash of blood, wind & every bit of minutiae.
    With great clarity.
    I like that attention to detail.
    “TBE” was a fun ride.
    I will continue & watch the full
    10 Episodes.
    & come back here to discuss.
    Just to address the commentaries on all 7 Seasons of “SOA”.
    Kurt Sutter is incredibly smart, & only cares about his audience & putting out a good product.
    I’ve listened to the commentary of all 7 Seasons of “SOA”, twice.
    Over the years.
    Sutter is all about having the cast & crew become a family.
    “TBE” was a wise choice, I think, for Suttter.
    The thought of an “SOA” prequel Series, sounded alright.
    But I’m glad Sutter did something out of his wheelhouse.
    Again, apologies for the long
    “ponyboy” post.
    But I just finished watching, & wanted to let you know what I thought.
    Peace Stalks.

  • ponyboy_360

    I did not know you were a fan of “The Knick”.
    I was into that amazing Series before it premiered!
    I love Soderbergh & everything about that Series.
    Clint Mansell!
    Sweet, something else to talk about.
    Cheers.

  • Stalkeye

    Thanks, man! No apologies needed for the long post.(It’s actually a review within a review. Good perspective!) I respect your passion of Film and Television. I had no problem with Moyer’s “reveal” either as a matter of fact, i thought it was funny as his aid was making homophobic remarks only to fast forward to the scene of his Shagging. LOL Glad to see Moyer back and to be honest, we were very disappointed in the last 2 seasons of TB. It felt as if the series ran on autopilot and went off the rails.

    Only ones who would catch the “No Katey singing during the last 4 mins” are true SOA fans.( I would laugh my ass off if Kurt Sutter read my review since i added him on Twitter.) I love the intro and especially the outro Music. This is another great new series from the Mad Mind of Sutter.