Tag Archive: History’s Vikings


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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Review by C.J. Bunce

After World War II, in essence a world stunned with death and destruction emerged to try to forge its way into the future after one of the planet’s most trying challenges.  Inspiring tens of millions was the true-life voyage of Norway’s Thor Heyerdahl, a pioneer made of the same mettle as Shackleton and Hillary.  Heyerdahl was a student in Oslo who spent a year in Polynesia, where he developed the idea that peoples like the ancient Incas could have traveled across the Pacific Ocean and settled the area easier than saling from the west.  After a decade trying to prove his hypothesis, Heyerdahl assembled a team of six men, five Norwegians and a Swede, and built a balsa raft consistent with parts and construction the Polynesians would have had available centuries before, which he named Kon-Tiki after an Incan sun god.  His challenge?  To complete the voyage from South America to Polynesia without assistance from modern technology.

Heyerdahl’s 1948 account of the voyage, Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft, became one of the best-selling books of all time (selling more than 56 million copies), his 1950 documentary of the voyage, Kon-Tiki, earned an Oscar, and an impressive 2012 theatrical adaptation, also named Kon-Tiki, was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film.  Both of these films are now streaming on Amazon Prime.

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