As the episode begins, we’re given a brief history of Julius Caesar invading Britannia. After running into the Druids, Caesar turned his armies around and went home. Nine decades later, the Romans have returned. Soon, we see a man, Divis (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), perform a ritual. It seems to warn him about the Romans. Meanwhile, Aulus (David Morrissey) takes steps to punish a handful of deserters. He spares the life of Antonius (Aaron Pierre), but forces him to kill the other three prisoners. Meanwhile, Cait (Eleanor Worthington-Cox) plays on the beach. Meanwhile, the others at Locerly Cross prepare for the upcoming rite of passage. It is the eve of solstice. The girls are told that they’ll no longer be girls after the ceremony. Cait speaks with her sister on the beach, despite being told not to. Her sister tells her about the ritual and promises that everything will be fine. Next, Divis visits the Druid camp.
He requests to speak with Veran (Mackenzie Crook). His request is denied. Instead, he speaks with Willa (Jodie McNee). She threatens him and sends him on his way. Then, Divis performs some type of ritual and jumps off of a cliff’s ridge. He plunges into the water and enters the underworld or something. Moments later, he washes up on shower. Meanwhile, the Solstice ceremony begins. Cait is up. She speaks with her father, while her sister craves something into her stomach. Before too long, the Romans attack. Cait’s sister is killed and her father is taken captive. Divis arrives and hides Cait. Next, two tribes join one another at the Regni Tribal Borders. A woman watches from a distance with her bow ready. Phelan (Julian Rhind-Tutt) watches as the marriage ceremony is prepared. King Pellenor (Ian McDiarmid) and Queen Antedia (Zoe Wanamaker) exchange gifts.
During the ceremony, the boy from Pellenor’s side is killed. His army manages to capture the girl belonging to Antedia. One of Pellenor’s men is also taken captive. Divis wakes up Cait and asks for her family’s valuables. They visit her home, but everything is already gone. Pellenor places the blame on Phelan. He insists that the war with the Regni will continue for generations. He also scolds the bow and arrow lady. Phelan is ridiculed by Amena (Annabel Scholey). He tells her that Lindon (Stanley Weber) has gone missing. Cait blames herself for the attack. Divis insists that it is all about him and not her. He offers to help her cross the river. She has no choice, but to accept his offer. The Roman prisoners are marked. Also, Aulus gives Antonius advice. Antonius is captured by the Druids. Lindon manages to escape. He spots the Roman army. He reports it back to camp. Aulus plans to advance deeper into the country.
Divis tells Cait all about the Romans. She also learns that Divis went to the underworld. She demands to be taken there. He refuses. Antonius wakes up alongside the druids. Aulus learns about the tribes being divided. Veran threatens Antonius. He gives his soul to Veran. Lindon sleeps with Phelan’s wife. She insists she is strengthening the bond between the tribes. Phelan speaks with the young girl they took captive. She insists he saved her. They speak about Lindon. The girl wants to know what the plan is for her. Phelan admits he doesn’t know. Cait and Divis continue their journey. Cait insists Divis was forced out by the Druid, because they thought he was insane. Divis doesn’t agree. Then, Divis begins speaking about his mission. He explains that he has to send the Romans home. They’re attacked by two people. Divis agrees to let them take Cait. He notices the man and recognizes him form his past.
He continues rambling on. He convinces the man to drop the sword. He does the same for the woman too. He learns about the Roman army with prisoners. The couple leaves moments later. Meanwhile, the druids carry out a ritual on Antonius. Aulus and his army stops and rests. He discusses his plan. He isn’t sure which tribe he should speak with first. Antonius returns to the Roman army. He tells Aulus that he is the father of his grandfather. He brings a warning from the underworld. He tells Aulus to return home and make amends. Antonius is taken captive. Aulus writes a reply and puts it in Antonius’s mouth. They bury him alive.
Despite liking most of the actors and actresses in Britannia, I sure couldn’t get into the first episode. The scenery is gorgeous. I thought the storyline with Divis and Cait was fairly entertaining. Other than that, the episode was depressing. The dialogue is atrocious. I also believe it was a bad choice to make David Morrissey a lead. I find him to be hit and miss. At this point, there is really nothing urging me to continue watching. The first episode was dismal. I may watch it, if I get bored and have nothing else. Otherwise, I won’t even bother.
The episode scores a 5 out of 10.