Barbarians is Netflix’s latest venture into historical drama. The genre has had a bit of a boom lately, what with The Last Kingdom and Vikings both making waves online. And if you’re one of those who can’t get enough of brutal beheadings and bloody battles, then this show is right up your Roman road.
Set way back in 9AD, this six-parter focuses on the mighty clash between the Germanic Cherusci tribe and the Romans, in the epic Battle of Teutoburg Forest. Ok… we admit, we hadn’t heard of it before, either. But after some thorough googling, we have learnt that this battle was a huge deal because three Roman legions were destroyed entirely, and the shock of the defeat is why the Empire’s north-eastern frontier became the Rhine. Plus, the battle was even more scandalous as it was the first time the fifty-odd Germanic tribes had united after many, many years of bickering, and who was it that united them? A Roman educated solider, Arminus.
Being a Netflix original, the show doesn’t shy away from blood and guts, and it’s gorgeously shot. In fact, it may just have you calling up the German tourism board to plan a trip to the beautiful woodland – here’s hoping there aren’t any Roman ghosts lurking about. Plus, producers skimped on neither the costumes nor the gallons of fake blood. It is worth noting though that the series is German language, so only click play if you’re chill with subs or dubs.
Forbes’ Sheena Scott sums it up by saying, “Barbarians is an excellent series that reveals a pivotal historical event in Europe through a gripping story of love, friendship, betrayals and revenge,” saying viewers will “be itching for the next season.”
First shown October 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here: