The History Channel. The History Channel runs a show called Ice Road Truckers… what does that have to do with history? It’s all a little ridiculous but having said that, we have to think that History can get back on track and they've started with Vikings, the channel’s first ever scripted drama.
Vikings isn’t based on actual events or characters. The show was created by Michael Hirst and it follows Ragnar Lothbrok, an ambitious young viking who seeks to further his place in life by sailing west and discovering new lands. The epitome of Ragnar and the scene that fits his personality best comes in the first episode. He’s having a conversation with his son about why he does what he does. He talks about Odin, of course the Norse God, giving up his eye for knowledge. Ragnar tells his son that he’d give considerably more. That’s who he is in roughly two lines of the show. The show follows Ragnar as he challenges the Earl of his territory Earl Haraldson and then later on moves up in the viking world in a political system that’s as brutal as it is interesting.
Vikings is an interesting debut show for History because it comes off a lot like a really good HBO show. It’s not as violent and there’s no nudity, but they still manage to pull off some truly shocking moments. It has a decent cast, but the fun part about it is how fast the show moves. The first major storyline wrapped up in three episodes. The show moved incredibly fast for it’s first season. Hirst's past TV experience pays off in big ways on Vikings and he wrote a show that’s fascinating with lots of great characters. The writing is great and the production values are too. The sets and wardrobes are incredibly realistic and the acting is tremendous across the board. Travis Fimmel stars as Ragnar and gives the character a personality that's cocky and confident and unlike any other character we've seen on TV. In addition to Fimmel, Gabriel Byrne is outstanding as Earl Haraldson and the rest of the cast all deliver quality performances. Even though the first season was only nine episodes long, Vikings is set up for a successful run. It's comparable to a lot of premium channel content like Game of Thrones and Spartacus. At big reason for that are the action scenes in the movie. They do an outstanding job choreographic the epic battles and they do a better job pushing the intensity before the fights. Vikings is a trend pus show and I'm pumped for season two. and I'm pumped for season two.
The Blu-ray release of Vikings features a couple of decent commentaries, a batch of deleted scenes with no introductions that are hard to place in the nine episodes. There's also some great insights and interactive features on vikings and some of the history associated with them, As far as extras go, History Channel needs to start giving out lessons on what to include on a TV release.
A great set of extras and solid episodes make Vikings a must-see and a perfect fit for History and your blu-ray collection. It’s hard to say how long this can last but as long as Vikings keeps going, I will definitely keep watching.
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