Thieves of the Wood: Netflix ~ Non-Spoiler Review

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Thieves of the Woods photo montage
Photo credits for Thieves of the Wood: Netflix/Proximus/VTM

🇧🇪 Thieves of the Wood 🇧🇪

Thieves of the Wood is a Belgian miniseries (Flemish Dutch with some French) on Netflix. 10 episodes. Subtitles with closed captioning and also available dubbed into English, Spanish, French and Polish. It is an historical drama.

This show is based on the novel De bende van Jan de Lichte by Louis Paul Boon. Jan de Lichte in the show is not just a highwayman but also a champion of the oppressed lower classes, a Flemish Robin Hood. 

Jan de Lichte ravaged the countryside in the vicinity of Aalst From 1740 to 1748, during the War of the Austrian Succession. 

Thieves of the Woods Cast:  

Matteo Simoni ~ Jan de Lichte

Dirk Roofthooft ~ Burgomeister Coffijn

Stef Aerts ~ Tincke

Anne-Laure Vandeputte ~ Anne-Marie

Charlotte Timmers ~ Héloise 

Cert 18 UK (firm!) Moderate sex & nudity, severe violence & gore (including sexual and torture), moderate swearing, severe alcohol/drugs/smoking, severe frightening & intense scenes. 


This is a slow burner in many ways and it took me a few episodes to really get into, but ultimately I really liked it (albeit in a traumatised way). Visually impressive through the costuming, sets and cinematography, stunts and FX.

The cast are all strong throughout, especially the lead. It explores the class system and politics of the time very well. One of its main themes, for me, is how good people can do terrible things for a variety of reasons (ambition being one of them). 

This is a very violent show about very violent times and in this respect it holds nothing back. Certain parts are harrowing in the extreme. This was an area of European history about which I knew very little before. Not for the faint of heart but if you enjoy historical drama which is gritty, and not overly romanticised, then you may enjoy it.

Netflix trailer for Thieves of the Wood, dubbed into English:

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