Fall TV Preview
The Bastard Executioner FX

Bastard Executioner Boss Kurt Sutter on Depicting 'Colorful Brutality' and FX's Decapitation Mandate

Kurt Sutter‘s new period drama The Bastard Executioner might be set in a different time and place from his last FX series, Sons of Anarchy, but that doesn’t mean the two shows don’t have something in common. (Beyond their creator, of course.)

As one might expect from its killer title, Bastard — which focuses on a 14th-century warrior (played by Lee Jones) who begins leading the life of a journeyman executioner — won’t shy away from a little bloodshed. But Sutter insists the violence will serve a higher storytelling purpose.

“There’s nothing wrong with a little colorful brutality,” Sutter quipped Friday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills. “[FX Networks CEO John Landgraf] doesn’t want a show where there’s a head in a basket every week, and I agreed with him.”

In response to concerns that shows like Game of Thrones and Outlander can get away with excessive violence due to their medieval setting, Sutter added, “My mandate, as it was on Sons, is that the violence — as absurd as it could be sometimes on Sons — always came from an organic place. [For] every violent act, there were ramifications. That’s my same mandate here [too].

“Yes, it’s a medieval setting, and the laws in terms of punishment were brutal and heinous,” he continued. “That’s a reality of the world. And there are ways to portray that violence that don’t make it openly gratuitous. Anything that happens — be it a battle sequence, or an execution, or a torture scene — comes out of story. And it always has some ramification.”

The Bastard Executioner — whose cast includes Sons alumna Katey Sagal, True Blood‘s Stephen Moyer and The Americans‘ Matthew Rhys (in a guest-star role) — debuts with a two-hour series premiere on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 10/9c.

Watch a trailer for Bastard below, then hit the comments and tell us: Will you be watching this fall?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  2. smartysenior says:

    It’s my living room and I do not want torture or dark brutality in it. We know they could allude to these things in a more acceptable way but they keep doing the gratuitous violence. Some people want raw brutality slapped in their face but it is not enjoyment to me.

    • shaun says:

      Plenty of shows for the prudes,try ABCFamily or USA.

      • obriensg1 says:

        I like plenty of dark shows, but I can only take so much gore. This coming from a viewer of Game of Thrones, Banshee, and Hannibal (though I’m glad that show is ending). It becomes too much after a while.

    • Sheldon W. says:

      There are somewhere over 370 shows on TV this season, quietly watch one of the many lilywhite options and keep your bitching about shows you aren’t even going to watch to yourself, please.

      • kajar says:

        The purpose of these comment threads is to voice one’s opinion, which everyone has a right to do, yours and Shaun’s blatant condescension notwithstanding. You appreciate the violence, fine. Others are free to elaborate on why they don’t. Deal with it.

        • tvjunkie says:

          So then what you’re saying is it would be fine for people to comment on more tame shows and ask for more violence and sex?

    • Bender says:

      Try this new show called Game of Chairs, starring Grover bluejoy. It might be more your liking.

  3. Mmoten says:

    I loved SON, I really liked True Blood, and I will be watching Bastard

  4. Cara says:

    I expected violence in SOA but i wont watch executions are different. And mideval violence is different being commonplace. Maybe if series had a different name. ..

  5. Eva Covey says:

    Im eger to see how Kurt Sutter puts this one together. I have greatly enjoyed both of his other shows. I even got my 92 yr old mother into watching Sons.

  6. John Frampton says:

    I will certainly be watching!