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Episode 1 is the first episode of Britannia. It aired on 18th January, 2018 on Sky Atlantic and was released online on the same day.

Synopsis[]

In 43AD, a nation is rocked by the arrival of an Empire. David Morrissey stars in this spellbinding Sky Original Production.

Plot[]

In 55BC, Julius Caesar attempted to invade Britannia, seeking to profit from the island's tin deposits. His armies were turned back by the Druids. Nine decades later, in 43AD, the Roman Empire returns.

On the coast of Gaul, General Aulus Plautius commands a force of 20,000 Roman soldiers and 400 ships. On the eve of sailing for Britannia, Aulus and Lucius stand judgment over four deserters who were caught in the act. The punishment for desertion is death by stoning, but Aulus has no intention of unloading his troops from their boats in torrential rain. Instead, he offers them a choice. If one man kills the other three, then that man will be spared. Immediately, three of them beg to be the one that is given the knife, but Aulus focuses on the deserter who has said nothing. Antonius acknowledges his mistake and is prepared to face his punishment. Aulus offers the second chance. Antonius kills his fellow deserters, and the entire army puts to sea, heading for Britannia.

At the Cantii settlement of Locerly Cross, Cait and other girls prepare to go through the naming ceremony on the eve of the Solstice which will mark their passage to womanhood, and the taking of a new name. Although forbidden to speak in the run-up to the ritual, Cait accidentally blurts out "stop" while playing with her sister, Islene, who has already undergone the naming ceremony. Islene assures Cait that she won't disappear because she spoke, unlike what she has been taught. The two have a conversation about their deceased mother and still-living father, and what it is like to be a woman.

The Outcast Druid, Divis, demands an audience with Veran. For weeks and months, Divis has been having visions and is convinced that the sun will not rise the day after the Solstice. Veran seemingly ignores him, while Willa tells Divis that if he ever returns, she will eat his eyes. Despondent, Divis mixes herbs for another vision and sees skeletons, destruction, and Aulus Plautius.

At Locerly Cross, Cait undergoes the naming ceremony, but it is interrupted by the arrival of Roman soldiers before Cait can reveal her new name. The Roman forces put the settlement to the sword, slaughtering everyone. Islene leads Cait away from the carnage but is killed by Antonius. Divis, watching in the forest, rescues Cait and pulls her to safety. General Aulus proclaims that wherever he walks is Rome.

40 miles inland, at the border of the Cantii and Regni lands, King Pellenor and Queen Antedia meet with retinues to seal a marriage pact between the two tribes. However, Antedia has no intention of seeing it through and orders the Druid to kill the Cantii groom, who is also the King's nephew. A battle erupts; Lindon secures Ania for the Cantii, but is knocked out and captured himself. King Pellenor flees the ambush, with his daughter, Princess Kerra, covering him from the treeline with her bow.

Cait wakes up on the coast hoping that the previous night was a dream. Divis is less than sympathetic, wondering if there are any valuables in her village that were hidden. Cait finds her grandfather dead in his home.

At Crugdunon, the Cantii's citadel, King Pellenor tells his son, Phelan, that is was too soon to even try for peace with the Regni. He also berates his daughter for leaving the citadel without his permission, blaming her for the conflict with the Regni in the first place and forbidding her to leave the citadel again. Prince Phelan tells his wife, Amena, that Lindon is missing and was ordered to hold the field. He gleefully tells Amena that he ordered Lindon to stay behind.

Divis performs a burial ceremony for Cait's grandfather. Cait blames herself for the Romans invading because she spoke with her sister. Divis takes Cait to a secluded cave where he hopes they will be safe.

At the Roman camp, Aulus find Antonius feeling guilt over his part in the massacre of Locerly Cross. With some wise but stern words, Aulus recommends that Antonius take a dump so that the locals know he arrived and as a way to unburden himself. While off answering the call of nature, Antonius is kidnapped by the Druids.

In the forest, Lindon overcomes his Regni captor and escapes, almost being discovered by a marching Roman army. He returns to the Cantii citadel and tells King Pellenor and his court what he has seen. Amena tries to ingratiate herself with Kerra, but only succeeds in annoying her and implying that they both seek the death of her father.

At the Roman camp, Lucius reports to Aulus about the disposition of his landing forces. Antonius' disappearance has been noticed, but the army begins to move inland with slaves including Cait's father, Sawyer.

Cait and Divis cross the country. Divis tells Cait of the Romans, and that they are the servants of the demon Lokka. After Divis reveals that he had been to the underworld, Cait wants him to take her there so she can say goodbye to Islene and her grandfather. Divis still refuses and they state their mutual dislike of each other.

Antonius awakens restrained in the Druid's camp. General Aulus leads his forces to the main Roman camp. In conversation with Lucius, he points out that there was no resistance waiting for them, unlike there was when Caesar attempted to invade. Lucius sees Aulus' point; the tribes are divided. Aulus believes their arrival was a complete surprise.

Veran interrogates Antonius over his beliefs and why he, a Numidian, serves the Roman Empire after they conquered his lands. Antonius initially admits to praying to the Roman gods, but Veran soon gets him to admit he still believes in his own deity. Veran makes him forsake his god and give his body and soul to the Druid.

At Crudgunon, Phelan reports on the Roman strength to his father. Phelan breaks up a love-making session between his wife and her other husband, Lindon, the son of a Gaulish chief whose union was ordained by the Druids. He then seeks out the captive Ania. Their conversation touches on the subject of his wife's second marriage, and whether or not she is to be executed.

Cait asks Divis why he is an Outcast and he explains that he is the Outcast. He believes he is the only one who can stop the Romans in Britannia, and after that he must travel to Rome to kill the Emperor, then face the Earth demon Lokka. They are discovered by two bandits who attempt to rob them. Divis uses his Druid powers to bewitch them and get them to reveal what they have seen before sending them away.

The Druids carve cuts in Antonius' unresisting body before sending him over a waterfall. At the Roman camp, Aulus and Lucius discuss their strategy going forward and the Emperor's reasons for sending them to Britannia in the first place. Their conversation is interrupted by Antonius' return to the camp. Standing before Aulus, Antonius claims to be an ancestor of the general who died in battle. He brings warning to Aulus that he has committed sins and should return home to offer a sacrifice in order to make amends. Seeing the Druids watching, Aulus has Antonius buried alive with a written answer shoved in his mouth. His men chant his name.

Cast[]

Starring[]

Other cast[]

  • Callie Cooke as Islene
  • Jodie McNee as Willa
  • Aaron Pierre as Antonius
  • Daniel Caltagirone as Brutus
  • Zaqi Ismail as Philo
  • Rhys Yates as Julius
  • Karl Johnson as Cormac
  • William Valerian as Finian
  • Oengus Mac Namara as Eavan
  • Jennifer Preston as Regni Elder
  • Jed O'Hagan as Celt
  • Francene Turner as Celt 2
  • Abigail Rice as Elder 1
  • Peter Hosking as Elder 4
  • Rupert Lazarus as Roman Deserter 1
  • Gerard Monaco as Roman Deserter 2
  • Jay Taylor as Roman Deserter 3
  • Jakub Laurych as Druid
  • Ivan Mareš as Slaver
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