The Vikings are coming!

Coming to NRK this fall is The Vikings, a comedy drama about the everyday life of the Norse people. “Epic and stupid” are the two words the co-director use to describe the series.

Set in the year 790, The Vikings (original title: Vikingane) starts when a Roman actor, Rufus, is taken to the Norse village Norheim, where he starts a life as a slave. With time he finds a fan and equal in the chieftain’s coward brother, Orm. The two takes the village in a new direction, away from pillaging and wars. Now arts and culture is the thing, a thousands years early! Prioritizing the arts before war will prove to be a great challenge for the Viking villagers. And how will Rufus’ great skills in acting like a lady affect the tough Vikings?


(Photo: NRK.)

Meanwhile, Norheim’s greatest warrior Arvid enjoys violent expeditions. As he discuss the situation with chieftain Olav, he realize that he is the only one who does not look forward to coming home. All his friends have something to come home to; a wife, a good farm, children and slaves. Arvid, however, has none of that since he chose to ravage and steal most of his life. Soon Arvid must fight a different battle, and must go from being a hero to being a farmer with a very demanding wife.


(Photo: NRK.)

The Vikings deal with the harsh reality of the Viking age, but not in a serious or spectcular way like some of the more epic and violent Viking dramas as of late. The 6 episode series is basically a comedy with topics such as power struggle, gender roles, love and old traditions. -It’s the story of people from our time, but living during the Viking era. Of course everyday choices have far more dramatic consequences and that makes for great comedy material, producer Anders Tangen said.

Co-director and writer Jon Iver Helgaker said to the newspaper Dagbladet that he got the idea after having watched the vampire comedy What they do in the shadows. Various vampire movies and TV dramas like True Blood had sunk its fangs in our entertainment space, “and that’s when it is natural for comedy to be the next step” Helgaker said. He also saw TV shows such as Vikings and Game of Thrones as signs of why comedy in the same universe would be viable. -Epic and stupid are the two words I’d like to use to describe the series, he concluded, while also mentioning The Office as an inspiration.

(All photos: Copyright NRK.)

An English version of the TV series has been produced for foreign markets. Producer Anders Tangen (Lilyhammer, Dag) believes the “Monty Python meets Game of Thrones” spoof series will have international appeal. -It [also] allows us to bypass the remake option, plus Norwegian actors who speak fluently English can use this as a calling card to boost their international career, he said in a press statement. About the filming of the series, he explained: -Basically we shoot on average four takes for every scene, three takes in Norwegian and one in English, then we take the versions to the studios and work on lip synching to make each version cleaner. If it works, it will be revolutionary. We’re also [shot] 14 days in parallel to make the filming shorter, with two directors, so the cost for the entire series remains very low.

Public broadcaster NRK has already ordered a second season, currently shceduled to air in fall 2017. You’ll probably watch it if you can’t get enough of the urination in faces, drinking of spit and cutting off ears that are some of the jokes in season one. The Vikings is one of very few Viking TV dramas made in Scandinavia and the first since the sitcom Home to Midgard in 2003.

The Vikings, which was filmed over three months at a replica Viking farm at Avaldsnes in Karmøy in Western Norway, stars some of Norway’s most famous actors: Trond Fausa Aurvåg, Marian Saastad Ottesen, Nils Jørgen Kaalstad, Jon Øigarden, Kåre Conradi, Henrik Mestad, Kristine Riis, Ingar Helge Gimle and Silje Torp.

The series has been concieved, written and directed by Jonas Torgersen and Jon Iver Helgaker and will be shown on NRK’s website from October 14 (all episodes) and on TV from October 21.

Trailers and clips:

Vikings renewed

It might not come as a surprise, but the popular historical action drama Vikings have been renewed for a fifth season. Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers joins the cast.


Jonathan Rhys Meyers

It was announced yesterday that History’s drama series Vikings will get a fifth season. 20 episodes have been ordered, and the biggest addition to the cast is Jonathan Rhys Meyers, known from another historical drama series, The Tudors.

-The brilliant writing and depth of historical research and authenticity brought to the screen by Michael Hirst paired with our talented cast and crew, has made this series one of the most compelling, visually stunning historical dramas on television. Vikings has raided the hearts of audiences and we are thrilled that Jonathan Rhys Myers will become a bigger part of the History family after his incredible performance in our upcoming production of Roots, Jana Bennett, president and general manager of History said.

-Vikings continues to be a powerhouse series worldwide. We are excited to have Jonathan Rhys Meyers join our talented cast and watch as this epic story evolves heading into season five, said Mark Burnett, president at Television & Digital Group at MGM Television, and Steve Stark, president at Television Development & Production at MGM, which is the global distributor outside Ireland and Canada.

Season five will begin production this summer with an airdate to be confirmed for 2017.

The series is a top 10 cable drama and is viewed by more than four million followers on Thursday nights in the US alone. The first half of season four is currently airing on History, with the next episode focusing on a betrayal in Paris and Wessex as those whom Odo trusts plot against him. Ecbert agrees to support Kwenthrith in Mercia, but is Ecbert a true ally? Ragnar confides in Yidu his darkest secret.

Ten more episodes us scheduled to air later this year.

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