‘Britannia’ is a historical fantasy drama that is based on the first Roman invasion of Britain. Britain used to comprise many tribes and kingdoms with different rulers when General Aulus Plautius entered the pictured in 43 AD. Apart from this, the story takes off into fantasy and fiction. Britannia is big on psychedelic elements, borrowing from the ancient druid traditions, rural English and Welsh customs.
David Morrissey plays the ruthless Roman general, Aulus Plautius who is invading Britain on behalf of his emperor Claudius. The tribal queens, Queen Antedia of the Regni and Queen Kerra of the Cantii, do not take this well. Veran the druid leader claims to be 10,000 years old and the second man to walk the Earth; he constantly manipulates the tribes and commands their allegiance.
So far, the show has released two seasons. The second season is set two years into the Roman acquisition of Britannia. In this season, Harka’s introduction wreaks havoc within the druids as well. Harka (also played by Mackenzie Crook) has come to take revenge on his brother Veran who he feels usurped his power. Cait, a young Cantii woman becomes central to the plot as she is tasked with fulfilling the prophecy that can save Britannia from the Roman rule.
Britannia Filming Locations
The show has often been compared to the likes of Game of Thrones and Vikings due to similar aesthetics and cultural references. Britannia has largely been shot in the Czech Republic, Wales and parts of England.
Ten sets were created over twenty locations for filming and parts of the show were also shot using CGI to create landscapes. To maintain authenticity, it was common for the cast and crew to travel to the various locations to shoot. Britannia has been filmed in some of the most picturesque locations.
For Season 1, the sublime ancient landscapes were shot in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. Barrandov Studios, Prague catered to some of the indoor shots, and exteriors were shot in the area around it.
One of the most impressive feats was the creation of Amber Palace. The crew built a replica of the Stonehenge in a field near the small town of Morinka which was used to film the scenes with the druid rituals. It was built in a way so that the setting sun cast dramatic shadows. Mackenzie Crook enjoyed shooting on top of the high pillars despite his fear of heights.
Near the village of Morina, the crew filmed the Regni and Cantii settlements. The stone quarry at Velka Amerika was made home to the Cantii tribe. The old quarry along with the underground tunnel systems in Alkazar was used to house the druids.
Stara Hut which features as the Roman camps was another delight from the Czech countryside. The Tree of Life set used Hruba Skala whereas the woodland scenes were set in Sembera.
Rhosilli Bay makes for some of the most beautiful landscape in the show, situated in the Gower Peninsula. It has also been voted among the top ten beaches in the world and the best in Europe. Rural Wales featured extensively in the show, right from Nash Point in Marcross to Henrhyd Falls in Coelbren.
— Britannia – The TV Series (@Britannia_TV) December 5, 2019
The crew built a village on the cliffs at Nash Point; the most recognizable landmark- the lighthouse was omitted during filming. The Henrhyd Waterfalls is the highest in South Wales and falls in a way that one can actually walk from behind the water flow.
For Season 2, all filming was moved to the UK keeping in mind to not compromise the variety of landscapes. Unspoiled parts of the Lake District and Peak District made the cut. The Regni tents were made on the Broadhaven South beach in Pembrokeshire, which also saw Queen Antedia’s funeral. The new camps for druids were set up in Ashridge, Hertfordshire and Chobham Common in Surrey created the woodlands.
The production team used a ready-made set in Clanfield which is basically a model village set up in the 70s. Parts of Buttermere in Cumbria and New Forest were used for the Roman settlements on the show.
Read More: Is Britannia Based on a True Story?