Patrick Robinson has joined the cast of The Last Kingdom for season 5, portraying a travelling priest named Father Benedict who struggles with an unhealthy gambling habit.


The actor, known for BAFTA-winning Windrush drama Sitting in Limbo, is the first person of colour to be featured in a principal role on the semi-factual drama series.

Set in the 9th and 10th century, some fans of the show questioned the historical accuracy of Robinson's casting when it was first announced, but in fact, Father Benedict is inspired by a real religious figure recorded to have lived in Canterbury.

Saint Adrian was born in North Africa in the 7th century but would go on to travel across Europe, first serving as an abbot of a monastery in Naples, Italy, and later arriving in what we know today as England.

On the instructions of Pope Vitalian, he was made abbot of Saint Augustine's in Canterbury, where he lived and taught the Bible for approximately four decades.

He is estimated to have died in the year 709 and was laid to rest in the grounds of the monastery where he spent most of his days, later being canonised and given the feast day of 9th January.

While Saint Adrian and The Last Kingdom's Father Benedict are not intended to be the same person, the context is helpful to know as it demonstrates that there were people of African descent present in early England.

Therefore, accusations that the Netflix drama has become implausible with the introduction of this new character are inherently false.

Speaking of his new role, Robinson told and other press: "He's had his ups and obviously his downs, and that's why he ends up in [lawless town] Rumcofa; because he owes money.

"So this is sort of a ministry that he couldn't really afford to say no [to]. And this is where we discover him at the top of season 5, doing his thing in Rumcofa for the queen."

In addition to introducing the show's first Black character, The Last Kingdom season 5 also features the first deaf character to have a prominent role in the long-running series.

The Last Kingdom seasons 1-5 are available to stream on Netflix. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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