Several great pieces of episodic historical fiction have made it to the small screen, including Band of Brothers, Winds of War, Hatfields & McCoys, Roots, From the Earth to the Moon, and Horatio Hornblower. But we haven’t seen much by way of Vikings in TV or movies other than the BBC’s Ivanhoe, various Beowulf adaptations, the 1958 movie The Vikings with Tony Curtis or Brian’s Song (OK, the last one doesn’t count). Now the History Channel has produced a new TV series called simply Vikings.
Vikings follows Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) in a story pulled from the characters and events in the Nordic epic Ragnar’s Saga. On his path to ruler, Ragnar and his Viking band of brothers face battles with opposing tribes as well as his own lord Jarl Haraldson, played by Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects, Assault on Precinct 13, Excaliber, Christopher Columbus, Lionheart, Shipwrecked, A Simple Twist of Fate).
This series pretty much sneaked up on us–we haven’t seen much by way of promotion but once we did the production values appear to be right up there with similar epic historical works like Braveheart, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Rob Roy, Last of the Mohicans, Beowulf, 300, Dances with Wolves or even Henry V. And the History Channel is the same creative team that put out all the great A&E mini-series like Pride and Prejudice so it brings with it high expectations.
And what great ships and costumes! Check out these previews for the new series, Vikings:
Episode 1 of Vikings airs March 3, 2013 on the History Channel. More information on the series can be found at the History Channel website.