The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself

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The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself
Also known asHalf Bad: The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself
Created byJoe Barton
Based onHalf Bad trilogy
by Sally Green
Directed by
Music by
Country of origin
  • United Kingdom
Original language
  • English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
Executive producers
Production locations
  • London, United Kingdom
Production companyThe Imaginarium
Original release
Release28 October 2022 (2022-10-28)

The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself is a British fantasy drama television series created by Joe Barton, based on the novel Half Bad by Sally Green.[1][2] The series tells the story of Nathan Byrne, a young man discovering his true identity as the illegitimate son of the dangerous witch Marcus Edge.[3] Netflix released the series October 28, 2022, but canceled future episodes despite positive reviews.[4]


Nathan Byrne has been quietly monitored by the Council of Fairborn Witches for the first 17 years of his life. The Council fears the illegitimate son of the "World's Most Dangerous Blood Witch" will turn out like his father. As the conflict between the Blood Witches and the Fairborn Witches escalates, Nathan finds himself the target of a modern-day witch hunt. He begins a life-or-death quest, building alliances with fellow witches Annalise and Gabriel, while learning about himself along the way.



No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1Episode 1Colm McCarthyJoe BartonOctober 28, 2022 (2022-10-28)
Sixteen-year-old Nathan Bryne tries his best to fit in at school and at home, but his father's deadly legacy casts a long shadow.
2Episode 2Colm McCarthyJoe BartonOctober 28, 2022 (2022-10-28)
To prepare him for an eventual showdown with his father, Ceelia coaches Nathan on his fighting skills. Jessica makes an enemy during cadet training.
3Episode 3Colm McCarthyJoe BartonOctober 28, 2022 (2022-10-28)
Soul and a team of Hunter cadets look to escort Nathan to London, but they run into trouble along the way. Annalise grapples with her newfound power.
4Episode 4Colm McCarthyRyan J. Brown and Joe BartonOctober 28, 2022 (2022-10-28)
Gabriel guides Nathan and Annalise through Paris in the hopes of finding Mercury, but a poorly kept secret threatens to end their camaraderie.
5Episode 5Rachna SuriDionne Edwards and Joe BartonOctober 28, 2022 (2022-10-28)
Nathan and Annalise follow Gabriel through the French countryside, where they learn startling new information about Blood Witches from the Ozanne clan.
6Episode 6Rachna SuriHelen KingstonOctober 28, 2022 (2022-10-28)
Nathan tries to get Ceelia to see the truth about Soul and later experiences a chilling vision. Jessica gets promoted and embraces her ruthless streak.
7Episode 7Debs PatersonEmer KennyOctober 28, 2022 (2022-10-28)
Soul and Jessica head to Wolfhagen with Annalise and Ceelia in pursuit. Gabriel tries to convince Nathan to see Mercury instead.
8Episode 8Debs PatersonJoe BartonOctober 28, 2022 (2022-10-28)
Soul goes on a rampage at Wolfhagen, eager to finally hunt down Marcus. Nathan, Annalise and Gabriel race to stop him before it's too late.


An old man famous for his acting standing at a podium
Andy Serkis, executive producer of The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself

A feature-film adaptation based on the first book in the popular British fantasy series was under development at Fox 2000 on 5 April 2013. It was reported that Karen Rosenfelt, who had produced The Twilight Saga, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, and The Book Thief, would be in charge of production, but there were no further updates published by the studio .[5][6]

On 13 December 2020, Netflix announced the production of a young adult television series based on the trilogy.[7][2] The adaptation would be written and executive produced by Joe Barton, who would also act as showrunner. Joining Barton as executive producers would be Andy Serkis, Jonathan Cavendish and Will Tennant, with Serkis' own production company, Imaginarium Productions co-producing the series.[7][2][8] The first season was reported to be eight one-hour episodes.[7][2][9][10]

Netflix tweeted the series title, The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself, on 25 August 2022.[9] On 21 September 2022, Colm McCarthy, Debs Paterson, and Rachna Suri were announced as directors of the series, with McCarthy also executive producing, Phil Robertson of Imaginarium as executive producer, and Adrian Sturges and Steve Clark-Hall as producers.[6][11]


A woman with colorful hat and dress singing pop music
Róisín Murphy joins the main cast as Mercury, making this series her acting debut

Jay Lycurgo, Nadia Parkes, Emilien Vekemans, Isobel Jesper Jones and Karen Connell were announced as leads on 18 March 2022.[10] Paul Ready, David Gyasi, Kerry Fox, Fehinti Balogun, Misia Butler, Liz White and Róisín Murphy also joined the main cast.[12][6][13][14]


Principal photography of the series began on 5 July 2021, with the majority of shooting taking place in London, UK.[15] David Higgs was announced as the series' cinematographer, and Elen Lewis and Tom Chapman as editors.[11][16][17]


Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth of Let's Eat Grandma composed an original soundtrack for the first season.[18] The duo shared in an interview that after reading the initial script they felt it would be compatible with their musical style. They cited various folklore and fairy tales as inspirations, in addition to the soundtracks from Under the Skin and Utopia.[19]


Netflix released a series trailer 13 October 2022,[20] and the series premiered on 28 October 2022.[21]


The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike.[22] On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 93% of 14 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8/10. The website's consensus reads: "A fantasy series full of flair along with thoughtful insight, The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself is an exemplary YA adaptation."[23] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 72 out of 100, based on 4 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[24]

David Opie of Digital Spy rated the series 5/5 stars, praised the writing, visuals, and cast performances, especially from Jay Lycurgo and Emilien Vekemans.[25] Jack Seale of The Guardian, gave the series 4/5 stars, praising its writing and visual effects, calling the latter "impressive" and "confusingly beautiful".[26] Jack Taylor of The Telegraph, also rated the series 4/5 stars, similarly praised its writing, visuals and sounds, highlighting the "economic storytelling that made Giri/Haji such a captivating success," though criticizing the action scenes, calling them "dismally loud and boring".[27] Sam Moore of Radio Times gave the series 3/5 stars, criticizing its tone, calling it "uneven" although praising the "snappy dialogue" and "stellar performances" of the casts.[28] Joel Keller of Decider similarly criticized the tone, noting elements of "a typical teen-drama" while praising performances of the cast, particularly those of Nadia Parkes.[29]


  1. ^ Ravindran, Manori (2020-12-13). "Netflix Unveils New U.K. Projects With Sam Mendes, Rowan Atkinson, Andy Serkis". Variety. Retrieved 2022-11-18.
  2. ^ a b c d Fuster, Jeremy (2020-12-13). "Netflix Adds 7 Shows to UK Production Slate With Sam Mendes and Andy Serkis Among Attached Talent". The Wrap. Retrieved 2022-09-24.
  3. ^ "The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself release month, synopsis, cast, and more". Netflix Life. 2022-09-06. Retrieved 2022-11-18.
  4. ^ Petski, Denise (2022-12-09). "'Half Bad: The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself' Canceled At Netflix After 1 Season". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-12-09.
  5. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (2013-04-05). "Brewing A Franchise, Fox 2000 Nabs Rights To Sally Green Witch Novel 'Half Bad'". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-09-24.
  6. ^ a b c Haigh, Josh (2022-09-21). "Titans star leads first look at Netflix YA fantasy show The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2022-09-23.
  7. ^ a b c Ravindran, Manori (2020-12-13). "Netflix Unveils New U.K. Projects With Sam Mendes, Rowan Atkinson, Andy Serkis". Variety. Retrieved 2022-09-23.
  8. ^ Lawrence, Dan (2022-08-09). "Andy Serkis Making Series About The World's Creepiest Statues". GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT. Retrieved 2022-09-23.
  9. ^ a b Netflix UK & Ireland [@NetflixUK] (August 25, 2022). "NEWS: All eight episodes of The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself (FKA Half Bad) are landing this October!" (Tweet). Retrieved 2022-09-23 – via Twitter.
  10. ^ a b Netflix UK & Ireland [@NetflixUK] (March 18, 2022). "A new eight-part drama series is coming based on the gripping trilogy of YA books from Sally Green! 📕 HALF BAD is set to star @jaylycurgo as Nathan, @parkes_nadia as Annalise, and Emilien Vekemans as Gabriel" (Tweet). Retrieved 2022-09-23 – via Twitter.
  11. ^ a b "the bastard son and the devil himself — Rachna Suri". Retrieved 2022-09-23.
  12. ^ George, Crystal (2022-09-06). "The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself release month, synopsis, cast, and more". Netflix Life. Retrieved 2022-09-23.
  13. ^ "Video: "The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself" - Official Trailer - Netflix |". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 2022-10-14.
  14. ^ Starkey, Adam (2022-03-18). "Róisín Murphy to make acting debut in Netflix series 'Half Bad'". NME. Retrieved 2022-09-25.
  15. ^ "Half Bad". Production List. Film & Television Industry Alliance. 2021-06-01. Retrieved 2022-09-23.
  16. ^ Cantwell, Molly. "First look at Netflix's 'The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself' featuring Roísín Murphy's drama debut". Hotpress. Retrieved 2022-09-24.
  17. ^ United Agents [@unitedagents] (2022-09-22). "'The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself', the magically messed up Halloween show you need this year, launches the 28th October on @netflixuk!😨". Retrieved 2022-09-23 – via Instagram.
  18. ^ Fletcher, Alex (2022-09-23). "Half Bad TV series coming to Netflix this Halloween". Retrieved 2022-09-23.
  19. ^ "Let's Eat Grandma on soundtracking 'The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself'". Crack Magazine. Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  20. ^ Squires, John (2022-10-13). "'The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself' Trailer – Netflix's Witch Series Unleashes Bloody Mayhem". Bloody Disgusting!. Retrieved 2022-10-14.
  21. ^ Beaumont, Mark (2022-10-13). "First look: Róisín Murphy in 'The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself'". NME. Retrieved 2022-10-14.
  22. ^ Williams, Sophie (2022-11-02). "The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself fans are all saying the same thing about the show". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  23. ^ "The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  24. ^ "The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself: Season season-1". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  25. ^ Opie, David (2022-10-28). "Bastard Son & The Devil Himself is f**ked up in best way possible". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  26. ^ Seale, Jack (2022-10-28). "The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself review – gory deaths have rarely looked so beautiful". The Guardian. Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  27. ^ Taylor, Jack (2022-10-22). "The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself, Netflix review: an action-packed X-rated Harry Potter". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  28. ^ Moore, Sam (2022-10-22). "The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself review: Netflix series elevates YA fantasy tropes". Radio Times. Retrieved 2022-11-08.
  29. ^ Keller, Joel (2022-10-28). "'The Bastard Son And The Devil Himself' Netflix Review: Stream It Or Skip It?". Decider. Retrieved 2022-11-08.

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