Matthew Macfadyen has begun work on the TV drama "The Last Kingdom." He is pictured here at a film festival Sept. 7, 2012. Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | License Photo
LONDON, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Production has begun in Hungary and the United Kingdom on the small-screen adaptation of Bernard Cornwell's best-selling The Saxon Stories series of books, BBC America announced.
Eight one-hour episodes of The Last Kingdom are to air next year.
Set in the 9th century, the series will star Alexander Dreymon, Rutger Hauer, David Dawson, Emily Cox, Matthew Macfadyen, Ian Hart, Tobias Santelmann, Thomas W. Gabrielsson, Peter Gantzler, Joseph Millson and Alexandre Willaume.
"Cornwell's Saxon novels combine historical figures and events with fiction in an utterly compelling way," executive producer Gareth Neame said in a statement.
"In the hands of Stephen Butchard, we believe it will make original and engrossing television drama. In part the epic quest of our hero Uhtred, it is also a fascinating re-telling of the tale of King Alfred the Great and how he united the many separate kingdoms on this island into what would become England. Our cast has been drawn together from eight different European countries, providing us with the unique opportunity to create a truly international show, tap into a rich seam of talent and bring them to a new global audience."