Category: TV


Review by C.J. Bunce

How do you tell the disjointed and gap-filled history of the Vikings in the era of Erik the Red’s son Leif Eriksson?  Much like Vikings series creator Michael Hirst had done for his award-winning series: by stitching it together with good storytelling that’s all in the spirit of the legends and historical accounts.  Leif’s greatest deed in the first season of the sequel series Vikings: Valhalla didn’t really happen in history, but it results in an episode that should count as one of the best strategy and siege depictions in TV history.  The storytelling over eight episodes is so tightly written and the action moves at such a clip that you probably won’t notice the production, costumes, and props are just as authentic and grand as in Vikings.

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Back in 2013 we asked after the first few episodes of Vikings, “Why this is only a nine-episode mini-series?”  The History Channel’s first historical fiction mini-series since the acclaimed Hatfields & McCoys fortunately didn’t stop at the first season, and the rest, as they say, is now history.  Vikings took stunning locations, a powerful score, and a fantastic story steeped in Nordic mythology and created an epic production on par with Braveheart, Rob Roy, 300, and Attila, the only time the Vikings have ever been given a worthy live-action TV or movie treatment (and it rated our pick for second best series of the decade here at borg) With season six finished last year and airing in its final markets this year, legions of fans eagerly await what will now be Netflix’s sequel series, Vikings: ValhallaNetflix has released a new trailer for the series, following the first from last September (we previewed it here).  Check it out below.

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With season six only just released last year, fans eagerly await its sequel series, Vikings: ValhallaNetflix released two earlier trailers (we previewed them here and here).  Now we have the final trailer as we inch closer to the first season debut.  This trailer provides more insight on how the series plans to showcase lead characters Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett), his sister Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson), and prince Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter). Will Vikings: Valhallawith a new showrunner and new characters and story, be as completely believable as the first series and true enough to the ancient sagas of fierce warriors, gods of every stature, and clan intrigue? We’ll find out later this month.  But first, check out this new, and final trailer for Vikings: Valhalla:

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vik

Back in 2013 we asked after the first few episodes of Vikings, “Why this is only a nine-episode mini-series?”  The History Channel’s first historical fiction mini-series since the acclaimed Hatfields & McCoys fortunately didn’t stop at the first season, and the rest, as they say, is now history.  Vikings took stunning locations, a powerful score, and a fantastic story steeped in Nordic mythology and created an epic production on par with Braveheart, Rob Roy, 300, and Attila, the only time the Vikings have ever been given a worthy live-action TV or movie treatment (and it rated our pick for second best series of the decade here at borg) With season six finished last year and airing in its final markets this year, legions of fans eagerly await what will now be Netflix’s sequel series, Vikings: ValhallaAs part of Netflix’s new TUDUM fan event this weekend, we now have the first trailer.  Check it out below.

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The showrunner and cast of History’s Vikings, including showrunner and writer Michael Hirst and actors Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, and Clive Standen, who we saw at their first Comic-Con back in 2013, invaded Comic-Con this weekend with a new preview for the last time.  That’s a virtual invasion, because of course this year it’s San Diego Comic-Con@Home, but as panels go this was just as you’d see at any ordinary SDCC, but without the lines and squinting from the back of Hall H.  Hirst and actors Fimmel, Winnick, and Standen were joined this year by actors Alex Ludwig and Jordan Patrick Smith, to discuss the fates of Fimmel and Winnick’s characters on past episodes, the six seasons of the series, and what’s next.

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Who lives and who dies?

In July we discussed a great summer panel from virtual San Diego Comic-Con discussing the final ten episodes of History Channel’s Vikings series, following the first ten episodes released a year ago (check out our coverage of the panel here at borg if you missed it).  The showrunner and cast of History’s Vikings, including showrunner and writer Michael Hirst and actors Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, and Clive Standen, who we saw at their first Comic-Con back in 2013, provided a brief preview of the final 10 of the season’s 20 episodes.  Now those final episodes will hop networks to Amazon Prime, where they will all be available for binge-watching on December 30, followed later on their original network, History.  Along with the news of the change in networks and streaming date is a new trailer–check it out below.

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Last week we discussed here at borg Titan Comics’ first volume of stories spinning out of History’s Vikings series.  Vikings finished the 10-episode first half of its sixth season and the second half of its final season is expected late this year.  The next graphic novel tie-in fans of the show should check out is Vikings: UprisingThis second book in the series features even more deception, strategy, and bloodshed than in the first.  You’ll want to soak up these characters while you can.  A rumored TV spin-off is expected to come to Netflix in the future, but that show will be a 24-episode series called Vikings: Valhalla, set a century after the original series.  So the characters won’t be the same, but it will look similar as it will be filmed in the same location.  Its focus is adventures of Leif Erikson, Freydis, Harald Hardrada, and the Norman king William the Conqueror.

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As we look back on ten years of the best content we’ve covered at borg, it will be difficult to imagine the History channel’s Vikings not making our list of top television series for its faithful portrayal of historical and lore elements and its exciting drama.  Vikings season 6 has wrapped up the 10-episode first half of its season and as the wait continues for the second half of its final season, Titan Comics has two graphic novels to keep fans’ thirst for more quenched.  The first we’ll cover and preview today is Vikings: GodheadIf you like the characters developed in the show, or haven’t caught the series yet but are called to the Norse stories of axes, swords, and shields, this book is for you.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Deceit, betrayal, glory, destiny.  

At one level the back half of the 89 hours of History Channel’s Vikings series had two key components that kept viewers coming back week after week: the next scene always was completely and terrifically unpredictable, and each increase in stakes for your favorite character was just plain nail-biting.  Like walking a tightrope, at any point every character–no matter how great or small–might get wiped away.  Creator and writer Michael Hirst plucked cultural bits of Norse history and intertwined them with the written histories and mythology of historical figures to make something riveting, compelling, and permanent–the spirit of a historical saga that Viking descendants can be proud of, while also meeting the needs of fantasy viewers for the next swordplay action-adventure.  Primarily a denouement for the long six season run, the final ten episodes have arrived on Amazon Prime, with History Channel to air them at a later date.

The reach of the Norse influence, the survival of the Lothbrok line, the direction of early England and Russia.  It all intersects here.  Does the end measure up to the rest of the series?

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Every single episode of season five left us breathless and anxious for the next.  History’s Vikings is returning in early December to begin its sixth and final season, and the network just released the first trailer and poster for the show, based on the sagas of the Vikings in medieval Scandinavia, England, and France.  For followers of the series it’s goosebump-inducing stuff.  Action-filled, bloody, and dramatic, the series has seen brilliant characters in Ragnar Lothbrok, his sons Bjorn and Ivar, Lagertha, and Floki.  It’s also seen some powerful guest stars with roles taken on by the likes of Donal Logue, Linus Roache,  Adam Copeland, Kris Holden-Ried, and Gabriel Byrne.

Series star Katheryn Winnick has lead the way with her powerful, historical character Lagertha.  Credit goes to creator and showrunner Michael Hirst for his vision and smart writing, getting viewers to this season, and as the trailer reveals, some kind of a resolution between Bjorn and Ivar, for better or worse.  It’s great television, and if you haven’t been watching, you have two months left to catch up.

Alexander Ludwig is back as Bjorn, with Gustaf Skarsgård as Floki and Alex Høgh as Ivar.  Here is the new trailer for the sixth and final season of Vikings:

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