Kurt Sutter’s new series, “The Bastard Executioner,” will be making its bloody debut on FX this fall. And according to the menacing mastermind behind the upcoming historical series, the period drama shares more than just the same network as Sutter’s beloved series “Sons of Anarchy,” which concluded in 2014.
During the 2015 Television Critics Association summer press tour, Sutter revealed that fans would notice some exciting similarities between “TBX” and the motorcycle drama (that followed the storyline of an outlaw biker club operating in the fictional and crime ridden town of Charming, California) – like how each series both have complex protagonists.
Sutter divulged during the “TBX” panel that FX chief John Landgraf had one initial concern with the epic drama when the showrunner pitched the chilling series: “He didn't want to do a show that's just a head in a basket every week, and I agree," Sutter said. That’s when gruesome genius unveiled that his impending series would have a complicated lead character just like Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) from “SoA.”
"It's always about character and relationship," Sutter explained, adding that “as it was with ‘Sons’... The outlaw motorcycle club became the backdrop to a very conflicted hero and the relationships around him. I think he got a sense that that is what will happen for [‘Bastard Executioner’ ]. The period, the job, I hope that will become a backdrop for what will be an interesting character struggle and complex relationships."
Lee Jones will be taking on the medieval version of Jax, portraying Wilkin Brattle, a former knight in King Edward I’s army who puts down his sword after being “broken by the horrors of war” – that is, until violence finds the slayer once again, forcing him to swing his blood-stained weapon. Ultimately the retired knight will be asked to take on the most daunting and gruesome gig: the executioner.
"There's nothing wrong with colorful brutality," Sutter said during the “TBX” panel, suggesting audiences should anticipate for Wilkin to do his fair share of, well… executions.
"My mandate, as it was on ‘Sons,’ is that the violence — as absurd as it could be sometimes — always come from an organic place," he said. "To every violent act, there are ramifications. Yes, it's a medieval setting, and the laws, in terms of punishment, were brutal and heinous. That's a reality of the world. There are ways to portray that violence that don't make it openly gratuitous. Anything that happens, battle sequences or torture... always has some ramification — be it emotional on a character or somehow impacts the narrative."
“The Bastard Executioner,” which also stars “Sons of Anarchy” actress Katey Sagal, will air its two-hour series premiere on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 10 p.m. EDT on FX.