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Britannia - Series Three - Advance Preview + Dialogue Teasers

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Tomorrow sees the return of Britannia, Jez Butterworth’s innovative modern day twist on the early years of the Roman occupation of Britain. The first two seasons have seen the invaders successfully infiltrate their way into some of the local tribes or simply overthrow many of those who have refused to accept their demands to follow the new gods and pay the required taxes. But there are still those who cling to the old lore and rituals, who continue to evade Roman’s grasp, and the longer they hold out, the more dangerous they become.

We’ve always known that General Aulus Plautius (David Morrissey) has marched to the beat of his own drum. He may be there in the name of Emperor Claudius but he has always had his own agenda and goals from the start. The flashback at the beginning of the first episode goes a long way towards explaining the pact he has made with the devil Lokka, and it’s far more sinister than I think many would have guessed. His choices have had far reaching consequences which he still has trouble reconciling in the present, made all the more difficult by the presence of his wife, Hemple, whose antics make Caligula look like a pussy cat.

Sophie Okonedo’s Hemple is a force of nature, descending on her husband’s new villa with her army of devotees’ at the most inopportune moment to demand why he hasn’t completed his mission yet. She and her cult bring a far more hedonistic side of Roman lifestyle back to Aulus’ previously shrewd and systematic takeover of the British countryside. She wields an unspeakable power over him, eventually working her magic on bringing others closer into her web too, all towards bullying her husband nearer his goal. 

Having more or less disappeared for the second season, Antedia (ZoĆ« Wanamaker), former Queen of the Regni, makes a spectacular return in the second episode. Last seen sold at auction – and being peed on – we find out that she’s spent the last couple of years serving an inbred family up in the snowy plains. Due to her habit of biting them when riled up she has been forced to wear a cage around her head and spends long periods of penance down at the bottom of their outside toilet. So, as you can imagine, she has some pent up anger issues to deal with. However, being a Celtic warrior queen with balls, she knows when to make her move and it isn’t too long before she’s exacted revenge and moves her sights back towards her main target; Aulus Plautius.

Antedia knows that she is going to need more than just big ideas if she wants to bring down the whole of the Roman Empire, and being the sole survivour of a clan that no longer exists is going to make that a difficult plan to exact. Teaming up with others is required, even though she has always had trust issues in that department she is often able to take advantage of certain situations too, especially if she relies on her feminine wiles. Pairing her up with another disillusioned character carries her story forward in ways she would never have imagined.

Arguably one of the fan favourite aspects of the show is the relationship between the outcast druid Divis (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) and his student, Cait (Eleanor Worthington Cox). With his mentorship over last season and her rejecting her path as the Chosen One, what does this mean for them going forward? Well, we will still get to see the two of them together later on in the series, as Cox puts it, “He’s like a bad smell! He just hangs around. He always manages to find his way back. There’s plenty more Divis and Cait content this series that people are going to love.” But before that can happen, they both have journeys of their own to make.

Divis has a new novice to take under his wing, Kwunt, the former Prince Phelan (Julian Rhind-Tutt) and newest inducted member to Veran’s group. As you can imagine, having these two misfits interacting on a regular basis is hilarious, and it begs the question why it’s taken this long to bring this pair together. After the trials Phelan has faced already I don’t think there is much Divis can do to get him down, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t try to do so anyway. As we all know, Veran’s Arrow and the true Guardian has to have the upper hand in any relationship, and can never be wrong. Between them they bring a lot of light and humour to what is otherwise a much darker and sober tale this season.

As for Cait, losing her first love, Mallin, still hangs heavy on her shoulders, and it is some time before she finds her way back to her destiny as the one who will lead the drive against the demon Lokka, eventually forcing him and the Romans out of the country. Along the way she meets some faces from the past, loses more people she holds dear, and finds others whom she will bond with closer than before. There is no doubt that this is her season; she is going to be tested beyond her limits and for the first time she is going to choose to take the roads which she wants to travel in order to fulfil the prophesy of the druids.

Britannia is released in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW on Tuesday 24th August, below are a few teasers from the first five episodes to see you through until then. Don’t forget to come back to the site after the series launches and let us know what you thought in our poll and discussion thread.

“Will you ever marry again?”
“Phelan is no more. From this day forward you shall be known by your novice name. From now on, you are...Kwunt”
“You were born in the western hills. You were taken from your home by the druids”

“Then where is she? Twenty moons and not a fucking clue!”
“You may buy all this, but she doesn’t”
“My dad was a salt farmer” “Was he? Well, he must be a better man than me”

“Everyone take a step back. Game’s over”
“You hear that, witch says yay. You’re clear for entry”
“I was at the tavern, saw the whole deal. Took some real balls trying to sell it to our quartermaster”

“Hello pretty boy”
“You do not summon the Veran”
“So he controls you. Then why did you plot to kill him?”

“Why have you come to me?”
“I mean, I smell pretty ghastly but this, phew! This is next level”
“Ohhh, the Cantii are a bunch of scum”

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