TV Club: The Bastard Executioner: “Pilot, Part 1 & 2”

On paper, it makes a lot of sense that Sons Of Anarchy showrunner and creator Kurt Sutter would be attracted to a 14th century historical drama built around an executioner. The controversial showrunner has a propensity for violence and wordy scripts, two things perfectly suited to not only the contemporary historical drama genre, but also to FX, the network Sutter calls home. In the age where seemingly every network needs to get in on the gritty historical drama game, it’s smart of FX to give Sutter free reign over this material. For anyone familiar with Sons Of Anarchy, Sutter’s fingerprints are all over the two-part, two hour pilot, both for better and for worse. As is often the case with his shows, tonight’s extended premiere is overstuffed and in need of focus, but also, by episode’s end, propels itself towards a premise that easily builds intrigue …

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