Since Game Of Thrones ended last year, there has been a glut of fantasy shows featuring unpronounceable kingdoms squabbling over forgettable magical objects. None, of course, have lived up to the exceptional standards of HBO’s Emmy-winning phenomenon.
Set in a fictional world, and hoping to be your next big, medieval blockbuster binge-watch, Netflix‘s The Letter For The King follows a group of diverse would-be-knights as they fight to make the world a better place. In the lead role is Amir Wilson (Will in His Dark Materials), who plays a young squire haunted by magical visions. Midway through his training, he’s asked by a dying man to deliver a letter, stolen from the merciless and possibly evil Prince Viridian to Viridian’s father, King Unauwen. Along the way, he’s helped and hindered by a collection of fledgling heroes, including the resourceful Lavinia (Ruby Ashbourne Serkis – who’s famous dad, Andy, also makes a cameo) and Iona (Thaddea Graham), a ruthless apprentice who pursues Wilson’s Tiuri across the picturesque landscape (New Zealand, of course).
As the show launches on Netflix, we caught up with Wilson, Graham and Ashbourne Serkis to find out why The Letter For The King is the perfect series to binge-watch while you self-isolate from the coronavirus – and take your mind off how much loo roll you’ve got left…
Why should self-isolators binge The Letter For The King?
Thaddea Graham: “Because it’s so epic. It’s a really exciting show. It’s a journey of self discovery by young people trying to fix a broken adult world. There’s something in there for everyone.”
Amir Wilson: “It’s a family show about young people discovering themselves.”
Ruby Ashbourne Serkis: “I think it’ll be nice if families are isolating. It’s something they’ll all be able to watch together, so they won’t feel as alone. It’s very much suitable for all ages.”
Is TLFTK Game of Thrones for teens?
TG: “I think there’s undeniable parallels. We are a medieval show, but it’s a show for everybody. Anyone of any age can see a little bit of themselves in these characters. They’re so complex and the world is so vast that there is something there for everybody.”
What memory stands out most from your time filming TLFTK?
TG: “I have this really lovely memory of being in Queenstown, which is in the south island of New Zealand – and we’d wrapped for the day and base was about a 10 minute drive away, but we were on horses and I asked our horse master if we could ride back, so Islam [Bouakkaz – who plays fellow knight-in-training Arman] and I rode back to base instead of getting in the car. It was so surreal to be in costume, in that landscape just riding back. It was really beautiful.”
AW: “One time Ruby let me fall on to the floor. I was meant to fall off the horse into her hands and I just went straight through her hands and onto the floor. That was my main memory of shooting. I think I lost memories because of that!”
Ruby, tell us about working with your dad, Andy Serkis, on the show?
RAS: “I was very excited. It was a great opportunity to be able to work opposite him. Not many people have been able to [work on screen with their dad]. It was bizarre because I’ve grown up visiting his sets, and this is the first time he’s come onto one of mine. I knew everyone and I’d been there for months already, then he came in and didn’t really know what was going on. I was like: ‘It’s fine, I’ll show you the ropes dad.'”
What’s your go-to fantasy film or TV show?
AW: “Harry Potter? That’s fantasy is it not? Yeah, Harry Potter.”
TG: “I grew up reading The Famous Five books, which I don’t know if they’re fantasy but I always wanted to be a part of them and go on those mysterious adventures with them.”
RAS: “I’m not gonna lie, I’m a bit of a Twilight fan.”
TG: Are you?! Would you be a vampire or a werewolf.”
RAS: “Obviously a vampire.”