Kingdom Come, Kingdom Gone

Sad news from TV-land. Well sad for me and for some others. It may well have you skipping about like a lamb on ketamine, trilling with joy.

Our masters at ITV have decided that there shan’t be a fourth series of the television drama Kingdom. I am sorry because it was such a pleasure making them in my beloved Norfolk. I am sorry because the crew of mostly local East Anglians was so cheerful, professional and delightful to work with: the riggers, sparks, grips and location; the camera, caterers, dressers, make-up and props, production assistants, accountants and co-ordinators, the sound men and the drivers, assistant directors and runners, the security, police and councillors who always tried to help. The cast of local people who cheerfully subjected themselves to the indignities of a background artist’s day. They will all be missed and their memories cherished.

Above all, the people of those Norfolk towns and villages on which we descended for days on end. The citizens especially of Castle Rising, Wells-next-the-Sea and above all of Swaffham who put up with our desire to control traffic (something of a vain, Canute-like hope in Swaffham’s central buttermarket – Norfolk’s Piccadilly Circus). They were kind to us, considerate and understanding. It was a charming and cheerful experience for us all. I am lucky to live there much of the time – for the rest of the Kingdom cast and crew it will be a sad farewell that was never properly said.

All things must pass. That is why we must be so grateful to Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory, and mother of the muses. Heigh ho. Onward and upward.

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233 comments on “Kingdom Come, Kingdom Gone”

  1. Rummbler says:

    It’s such a shame that this series has come to an end. Isn’t there a way to show this topic and it’s replies to the people responsible for this dreaded decision? Surely a series this good cannot go down like this? I’m sad…

  2. reco40 says:

    life is good why worry about a tv show enjoy life as most people only here for 4 score years and 10 these days well till u 80 so live life to the full and always think i been there done that got the t-shirt what will the write on my tomb stone? from nhs nurse

  3. wildemick says:

    What a shame. It was an excellent example of pleasant TV in which to sit down with a coffee and a couple of toasted crumpets.
    Just have to look forward to further projects

  4. girl_frim_mars says:

    How come those people that think they know what makes good telly actually know nothing about good telly ? Or is it the case that the powers that be just want cheap rubbish for the slack jawed generation.

  5. Wobblesocks says:

    So the plonkers leave the audience hanging over whose blood that Peter actually has running in his veins. Charming. Cannot the creator run to some manifestation of The Beeb and at least produce a movie to close the series off? Removing any well-written show from the airwaves — either television or radio — just makes it that much more difficult to get a new well-written one on the air because the audience (in this case, ITV’s audience) will likely watch anything ‘but’ ITV for quite some time. I wish I had the resources to produce it myself: it would be back on ASAP. ITV fools…why does that phrase not sound original…?

  6. ski says:

    We love your “Kingdom” series, which has been broadcast in Denmark. Sadly, we were not able to see all the episodes because of our various travels so the next time I’m able to drop into Old Blighty I’ll be looking out for the DVDs.

    It’s pretty gruesome that the advertising world can so easliy control what gets broadcast and what doesn’t.

    I think Paul Merton should host a new version of Room 101 based on your “Room Lovely” concept. “Kingdom” would definitely be the top nomination!

  7. SimpleThing says:

    So much of what is offered on TV these days is so pointless, and/or tasteless, or so artless and shallow it will actually drain away whatever hard earned knowledge and sophistication one has on hand. This is the main reason I turned off cable TV at my apartment. Thanks to You Tube and a deep affection for good British TV, I found Kingdom. I had been enjoying Jeeves & Wooster (Brilliant!)when I stumbled upon Kingdom, an oasis in the desert that is TV land. Kingdom feeds my heart & head with humor, thoughtfulness, empathy,intelligence, gentleness, manners, and a script that is well written, acted and produced. AND, it has Stephen Fry in it!!!I am very sorry to see it go. Kingdom will be sorely missed. </3

  8. yianna says:

    Shame, shame… but then TV never does know a good thing when it comes along. I lived in Norfolk as a child and love the series not only because you are such a joy to watch but also because it takes me back to places long long left behind…. Yes Steven I have never been back. Left 37 long years ago but you brought all into my present, with this series.
    Will be sadly missed…..
    Why not carry on filming for us fans… we’d buy the DVDs!!!!!

  9. jarvo659 says:

    Oh what sadness dear unassuming one; your forte as a rural Inky Fingers
    nipped at the quill….your posse of inept accomplices fade to distant memory…yet always there as a gem of artisitic creation…a positive disaster….neh a negative for the populace; the great unwashed heaving with remorse at the untimely demise of truly whimsical and delightfull entertainment

    Shame on the Uriah Heaps of ITV as they strive to fill the corporate coffers…may they wring their hands off

  10. Flea says:

    Thats a shame, another good programme bites the dust!

  11. arev says:

    That is such a shame, I just watched the “ending” though acutally that is not the right term for it.
    This series would have deserved a well written ending that is appropriate for such a wonderful show!
    I wonder if they wanted to mock us..

  12. ShaunCliff says:

    They would be quite happy to spend money on that reality dribble that floods our TV screens but not quality dramas as Kingdom.
    Norfolk as fond memories for me also, as a child we often went to Great Yarmouth and always stayed overnight in a wonderful place called Kings Lynn.
    I come from Middlesbrough so you can see how a delightful place like Norfolk appeals to me.

  13. whitelippy says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! We JUST received the first episode of KINGDOM here in Aussie. I was only spouting on to my mother about how wonderful Stephen Fry was in this little GEM. By the way Stephen, you were MAGIC in BONES.

  14. MichelleFrost says:

    I am sorry to hear that. I must confess I never watched the show, I watch very little TV. There’s far too much reality and soap rubbish on. I did watch your travels across the USA and your tracing family roots in 2006.

    I must confess I’d never much bothered to notice you till the show in 2006 and that was only because that show struck a very personal never for me. I owe you a thank you for that – I am no-one you will ever know and I mean not a thing to this world, but your family ancestry show led me to a moment of personal revelation that changed my life. So… thank you.

    Sounds awfully flaky, but it’ll have to do. I need to say thank you, even if it makes no sense to anyone beyond myself.

  15. Athywren says:

    Home of Corrie for millenia.
    Home of Kingdom for only three years.

    We now have definitive proof – TV is not an art form.

  16. Faivel says:

    It’s a very sad thing you are writing about. I’m very dissapointed. I haven’t seen all the series because Russian TV wasn’t able to buy all, but i’m sure they were going to.
    Waiting for you on our TV, Olga from Saint-Petersbourg, Russia.

  17. Huginn says:

    It’s too bad that the series was canceled. i rather enjoyed watching it when i got the chance. it was one of the more relaxing shows on tv and i liked that. most shows now usually revolve around being either bad “reality,” tension filled drama, or something else trendy and in; everything all very faced paced and edgy.
    as i said earlier, kingdom was rather relaxing to watch and yet still had some drama that didn’t overwhelm viewers. watching shows like CSI:(x) after a day’s work might be fun but it certainly never relaxed me.
    kingdom put me in mind of the older british shows and it brought back a nice feeling of a time my family sat together and watched british comedy at its finest. can’t do that so much with the modern shows…being away at college probably didn’t help either.
    the drama was much more poignant here, the questions concerning morality didn’t have bad quips or inappropriate attitude like so many other shows. any show revolving about police/detectives/law enforcement, usually has the above mentioned bad habits, with the detectives usually showing their disgust for the suspect, or their superiority over him, or the morality of a situation in the form of bad one liners at inappropriate moments. (the female detective from castle drives me up the wall sometimes with stuff like that) (i know it’s supposed to enhance the drama factor but i can’t help but criticize it. it’s cheap)
    kingdom did have its share of philosophy, morality, and what have you (ie: dress man separation) but p. kingdom didn’t overstep his bounds and his words were more pertinent to the situation, it also didn’t come from a figure that really wanted to make an arrest.
    i suppose what i want to say is that the writing was simply better.

    anyway, while i don’t know if anybody’s even going to read my comment i’ll just end it on a note of applause for stephen fry and i hope you continue to provide us with great entertainment.

  18. anthonyroe1 says:

    It Was a sad day when ITV axed Kingdom it was a superb show with huge humour and Stephen Fry was brilliant in the show playing a solicitor.Sunday nights won’t be the same again.

  19. deniseml2 says:

    Poor Edna. I hope she doesn’t distract you with her tweeting. I am not going to miss the darts (sorry – how British). Good luck with the book.

  20. deniseml2 says:

    Stop reading these posts and get some work done.

  21. Deadly Nightshade says:

    I am so gutted about Kingdom, it beggar’s belief! I have left ITV a rotten email, complaining bitterly of said axing. I am an East Anglian girl originally (Bury Saint Edmunds). Kingdom so reminds me of home, I know the area well. I live in South Devon now but always dream of returning home.
    With all the rubbish they do churn out, to axe Kingdom is not a logical move. Sunday nights are painful and boring and I was looking forward to Kingdom returning. Everything about Kingdom was a winner, the cast, the writing and the location. I wonder what is behind this.

  22. Susie Lockwood says:

    Going to miss your tweets. Can’t wait to read your book.
    Looking forward to the dart tonight….Phil is sooooo cute! xx

  23. peterhill says:

    Another fine decision from ITV,well done!I have emailed my approval.

  24. yazsmum says:

    Saw the final episode in Series One of Kingdom last night here in Australia. Thoroughly enjoyed the series. Quirky, warm and funny. My kind of show… Hoping we get to see Series Two very soon, will miss my Sat night fix of the show until it reappears..

  25. jo taylor says:

    Well trust me to start following u at the wrong time!!! Typical of me – have been following u with interest via tv where i learnt of ur keeness to twitter,thereby inspiring me to join (take note i am not one for this kind of thing),if only to read the eloquence with which u write – heres hoping for speedy writing and much sucess in ur forthcoming book and a quick return to the ethernet.

  26. nonoyesyes says:

    Hello. Well I am a fairly new fan of “Kingdom”. It was only introduced onto Australian television in recent times.
    I was immediately drawn to the characters, and began to be involved: a sure sign of a perfect combination of great actors, script writing and presentation.
    I was so disappointed when they aired the `final’ episode recently as I wanted to see more!
    Filmed in a really beautiful location, I shall miss the show and have already been trying to get the box set of the entire series via our local stores. No luck as yet but it’s well worth persisting!
    Thank you for a wonderful show.

  27. mjbirch says:

    started a reply early and somehow lost the connection…


    As my dear dead daddy would say, a day late and a dollar short. How typical of me to join the blogsite precisely when Mr. Fry has gone on writing sabbatical.

    Mr. Fry apparently needs an impregnable womb of solitude to write whereas I write best when I’m supposed to be doing SOMETHING ELSE. (I should be cleaning the house.)

    Mr. Fry (in case you read this) — I was inspired to see if you had a website after skimming “Fry in America.” If you ever give the US another go, try the extreme northern or southern ends of New Jersey — they are wild, lovely, and delightfully unTrumped. I recommend the Pine Barrens and the coastal towns along the Delaware Bay.

    I could not agree more about Donald Trump’s bad taste. I was taken to the lobby of the Trump Tower shortly after it was built and nearly joined the Communist Party on the spot. I cannot say it any better than Bill Bryson, a travel writer, who wrote that being in the lobby of the Trump Tower was like being in the stomach of a person who had just eaten pizza.

    Re: Maryland. I’m sorry you weren’t able to find anyone who had ever heard of Chicken Maryland but I suspect it’s a recipe considered too troublesome for the average restaurant. According to my great-aunt’s copy of Joy of Cooking, Chicken Maryland starts out as fried chicken (cut up, dipped in milk, floured, allowed to dry) browned in hot bacon drippings, then transferred to a covered pan and allowed to bake for a half-hour in a 375-degree oven. This may have been a method to overcome the toughness of an elderchicken — for a younger pullet, I think it would much simpler to just fry it and serve it. (A gravy could be made from the oil or grease used to brown the cut-up pieces.)


  28. alexanderwright says:

    If I can be honest, as one of your biggest fans, Kingdom was one of the less good things i have seen. I think it is in your favour that it has been canned. IMO
    Well done on the NTA tonight.

  29. Defector says:

    Well – now that the NTA awards have confirmed what we already knew i.e that Stephen is ‘THE’ most stupendously talented individual to grace our screens, perhaps the money people at ITV will appreciated how much of a marketable programme Kingdom was.

    BRING IT BACK!!!!!!!!!

  30. Foody says:

    Goodness. I love Stephen Fry, He is so eloquent, so gentlemanly (except for the swear words in the books), very funny and extremely intelligent. I just couldn’t stand “Kingdom”. It didn’t seem to me to be a Stephen Fry thing at all. Anyway, each to his own, eh?

  31. puddleglum says:

    Oh no! I have just read that Kingdom has finished after only 3 series & am so upset I have actually ‘joined a blog’ if that’s the right terminology….I am not up to date on this sort of stuff – a member of the older generation when it comes to that. Anyway – I have only recently discovered Kingdom – Australia is always the last to receive any quality TV…not so slow on the uptake of all the reality rubbish that passes for entertainment unfortunately… and now I learn that it has fallen by the wayside after only 3 series:(
    I am really, really sorry to hear this – it is the gentlest yet most absorbing TV series I’ve had the pleasure to watch in a very long time. SHAME ON YOU ITV!!!!

  32. dholsinger says:

    May, 2010

    Only last month, by a quirk, I discovered and purchased the three series sets available of KINGDOM. My wife and I loved them! We’ve watched a different series each weekend. HOWEVER – last evening when we viewed the last installment of Series three, the entire house shook at our mutual exclamation! WHAAAAAAAAT!?! WHO IS PETER KINGDOM!?!?!

    You’ve got to be kidding? Does anybody know if the writers gave anyone any notion of where they planned to take this series? What a terrible way to end!

    BTW: Great music and opening credit scenes every season!

  33. bphinney says:

    We’ve just finished watching all three seasons of Kingdom (thanks to Netflix streaming via Roku). We love the show. Why ITV canceled it is a complete mystery to us. Ah, television executives – a singularly vacant bunch.

    To you and your fellow actors, the writers, the crew, the townspeople, the town – well done. We’ll miss you.

    Hell of a cliff hanger. Any chance of a few one off episodes (al la made-for-tv-movies) so some loose ends could be tied up and/or story lines continued?

    All the best.

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