Written by on Sep 16, 2015. Posted in On Location

Bastard Executioner creator drawn to Wales by castles and filming incentive

The creator of new TV drama The Bastard Executioner was drawn to film in Wales because of the country’s historical castles, and by the UK’s TV tax credit. Kurt Sutter is most famous for the California-set biker drama Sons of Anarchy, which ran for seven seasons.

The Bastard Executioner is set in the 13th century and follows a knight plying his trade as a travelling executioner in the aftermath of the death of King Edward I, also known as Edward Longshanks.

Sutter told Deadline he had originally planned to set The Bastard Executioner in the Northumberland region of northern England. The showrunner had a change of heart when he saw the scenery and castles of Wales.

“We went to Wales because there are more castles per capita than anywhere else in Europe, because of Longshanks,” Sutter commented to Deadline.

“He built these monolithic structures all over Wales, mostly for intimidation. They would paint them with limestone to preserve them, but Longshanks also did it because they would almost glow white in the sun.”

Wales’ castles and historic buildings have been a major asset for the country’s production industry over the past few years and also helped secure the historical fantasy Da Vinci’s Demons.

The Bastard Executioner is currently filming a full first series in Wales with a base at Dragon International Film Studios near Cardiff. Fox 21 Television Studios has in fact arranged a long-term lease of the Welsh facility, which could help it recover from several years of spiralling debt.

(Image: Ollie Upton/FX)

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