Ripper Street stars Matthew Macfadyen and David Dawson are teaming up again for an "epic" drama set in ninth-century England featuring Blade Runner star Rutger Hauer.

Filming has started on the BBC drama, based on a series of best-selling books by Sharpe author Bernard Cornwell, which has already been likened to the hit fantasy show Game Of Thrones.

Dawson, who plays journalist Fred Best alongside Macfadyen's detective Edmund Reid in Ripper Street, will play King Alfred the Great in the eight-part series.

Alexander Dreymon, who starred in American Horror Story, plays the main character - the son of a Saxon nobleman kidnapped by Vikings and raised among them before returning to England to fight them.

Further details about the cast have not been released but it also includes Ian Hart alongside Hauer and Macfadyen.

Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC drama commissioning, said: "I hope The Last Kingdom will expand BBC2's distinctive portfolio of drama. It's an epic narrative with an extraordinary creative team. It will feel like nothing else on television, with all of the scale and intrigue of the best fantasy stories but the reality of fact."

Game Of Thrones, which is made in the US by HBO, is based on George RR Martin's novels set in a medieval-inspired fantasy world.

Cornwell's Sharpe novels, about a soldier in the Napoleonic Wars, inspired a long-running TV series with Game Of Thrones star Sean Bean in the title role.