Bloody crusades and strange magic abound in new TV series Britannia, set during the Roman invasion of Britain in 43AD. Far from a retelling of historical events, the show depicts Celtic Britain as one ruled by powerful druid sorcerers and fierce warrior women. Indeed, the show’s key characters are female and all the main storylines run through them. “It does seem that it was a much more egalitarian society,” explains co-writer Tom Butterworth. “Women were allowed to have many husbands and if you could fight you could be a warrior. A female in their world could be just about anything.”
The lack of documentation concerning what happened during the Roman invasion left the writers free to create their own vision. “It’s not about a pastoral idyll being invaded by the nasty Romans,” says Butterworth. “It’s more like them arriving in a very sectarian and violent place already in a state of civil war.” Enter this cutthroat world with the first episodes of Britannia playing on-board this month.