We Were Soldiers

We Were Soldiers

The first season of Canadian-Irish historical drama «The Vikings» successfully completed

April 28 with high ratings and was immediately renewed for a second season. Now you can surprise someone with simple Scandinavian warriors, when the whole world hooked on «Game of Thrones»? It turned out that, yes. Single-line plot, a fresh cast, no elements of fantasy and intrigue unfolding slowly — «Vikings» did these qualities to their advantage.

For Canadian channel History This project was an attempt to attract a new young audience — the first full series of the original script from the creator of ‘The Tudors’ Michael Hirst was unexpected and risky move for the channel specializing in documentaries. Bold venture a success — Ratings leapt up to unimaginable heights of History. Do not loose overall atmosphere of the documentary channel, «Vikings» nevertheless highlighted the novelty and freshness even amid such recognized historic «flagships» TV screen as «The Tudors,» «Spartacus» and «Rome». This was achieved, finely balancing enthusiastic writers and historical authenticity. Look deeply into the «barbaric» past reveals striking parallels with the modern world and makes peer into the depths of centuries, with increasing interest.

From time immemorial

The series tells the story of the formation and the great accomplishments of the legendary Norse folk hero Ragnar Lodbrok, his family and comrades. In defiance of his Garaldsona Jarl, Ragnar decides to go by sea to the west and find a new land. In this daring undertaking of his brother Rollo support and shipbuilder Floquet, who fashioned Mighty ship specifically for difficult travel. Along with several daredevils they sail in search of unknown lands and open England to northern peoples. The idea of ​​the series about the Scandinavian warriors seem to have long been in the air, however, successfully realize it was not an easy task. The theme of the Vikings as a historical formation of potentially very rich and still very blurred, and the success of such an enterprise is wholly dependent on the angle of view, which will elect the creators. We must pay tribute to Michael Hirst for his fresh perspective. The highlight of the show lies precisely in the most historical epoch, the most distant and difficult to interpret Westerners. As has been repeatedly noticed, the history of ancient Scandinavia was given to Christians and the Christian point of view, and because the Vikings are described as invaders, cruel murderers, rapists and robbers. Michael made this difficult moment in the key concept of the show and tried to present the history of the people in an entirely different plane, so that the audience could learn and understand their customs inside. In another perspective, a kind of code of honor that nation becomes a fascinating subject for study. Conductor and a kind of «litmus test» for the viewer is one of the characters — Ragnar taken prisoner in England monk Athelstan. which falls into a whole new world for him, and relates what he saw with the familiar and understandable measures of our morality. However, with time for it blurred the boundaries concept and way of life of the Vikings, initially seeming alien and illogical, it is perceived as a natural fact. Vividly are parallels with modern life -hristianskie dogmas appear, tap, freestyle and customs of distant strangers Vikings suddenly find themselves very congenial. For example. when the wife of the hero Ragnar Lodbrok batters for his unwillingness to take her — a full-fledged warrior — a hike in the new land, its behavior any modern woman will seem quite logical. Heroes series imagine themselves not slaves of their world, and its kings, and for the time they are of very progressive thinking that arouses sympathy.

Characters show benefit in comparison with almost all of its «colleagues» of the historical series. Writers especially if the actors have left room for movement, and they breathed life into these images and have filled the dotted line sketched contours. The «Viking» heroes live on the screen, and despite the fact that critics use this formula every time praised the characters, here it sounds really legitimate. Usually in any series after careful acquaintance with the characters when they run out of them laid writers reserve «characteristics», suddenly notice that the characters become the scenario tools to leverage pressure on the story — to the detriment of the logic, psychology and spectator love. The heroes of «Viking», on the other hand, if designed to break down stereotypes. They are not like the heroes of series, as well as real live people — stumble at the wrong moment, comes at times illogical, but sincere, and are persistent, though unfortunately, at the moment when the viewer has already recorded their team lost.


Motley cast includes representatives of different nations, but the necessary «ethnic balance» is also observed, and ligature poetic Scandinavian names in the credits of unusual catches the eye. Team principal cast consists entirely of fresh faces, which has not won back stuck the images, and it was for the new series only solution. Artist starring Aussie Travis Fimmel, can boast an impressive track record: the most famous in his luggage — a duet with Patrick Swayze in the TV series «The Beast», which ceased to exist in connection with the tragic death of the primary star. Fimmel person could become familiar only to those who have followed the advertising campaigns of Calvin Klein, in which Travis had to withdraw in his youth, during his modeling career. The «Viking» fresh face Fimmel had handy, and a bright appearance opened and decent acting talent, able to draw attention to himself, to charm and persuade the viewer to empathize with the Braves Ragnar. Canada’s Kathryn Winnick, who plays his wife Ragnar -Lagertu also a very pleasant and «Scandinavian» Physical and performer of Rollo — Clive Standen — and all seemed to come down to what some medieval tapestries, and behind him a great experience (TV series «Robin Hood» «Camelot»). For the full success of the casting was necessary in the face of a strong infusion of any Matera star — in this role was made by Gabriel Byrne. playing authoritarian leader Garaldsona. Well, what could be a project of the Vikings without a representative names Skarsgard? In this series for them Gustaf Skarsgard that. unlike his father and older brother, he does not have the characteristic of ethnic appearance, but dilutes the pathos excellent «choleric» hint of his character Flock.

Any fan series have a desire to compare the «Vikings» from «Game of Thrones», and although such a desire is wrong, the creators have tried honorably to defend its position. And they did it brilliantly simple — on all counts «Vikings» are almost the exact opposite of fantasy HBO project. Start with the fact that an element of magic in the series is missing completely. The chief Norse god Odin, shrouded in mist, is only a couple of times in visions, and in no way affects the plot, and the rest of the gods «alive» only in stories and prayers heroes. The very same plot centered around the protagonist, the thread of the narrative is one in the series and it seems, is not going to branch. «Age» elements that will show. It is used most sparingly. Unlike many rich on the blood and the frivolity of the TV series, «The Vikings» did not flirt with sex, violence and nudity. And play too what else this show just once — the speed with which events unfold in the series, will appear other historical show supersonic.

Careful approach

According to rumors, the budget of the series was 40 million dollars — a huge sum for the History Channel. To its credit, the creators, they ordered it over sensibly, and at the same time does not appear that show openly boasted of funds spent on the creation of a plausible picture. Almost 90% of the filming took place «on location» — in the natural expanse of Ireland. Decorations and household items have been recreated for the series of the few extant sources, in most cases, the creators had to improvise and even thinking the missing pieces to create a holistic picture. Many of the props were brought from India, where, oddly enough, the market can find dishes and furniture, roughly corresponding to a timing interval. A ships 56 feet long, was built in the Czech Republic on the request. And if picky connoisseurs may turn up discrepancies in the interpretation of costumes and everyday objects, the eyes are usually the viewer is able to note only that with what zeal and love created the characters, their clothes and weapons, houses and ships, and all of this together creates a unique atmosphere .

As reluctant to recognize historians, having the fascinating facts from the past, conflict, intrigue, and individuals whose personality is not able to create from scratch, even the most sophisticated writer, you should still be able to correctly apply this wealth of material, and even the most ambitious documentaries and transmission cycle still suffer from dryness and not being able to catch the audience for a long time. This is exactly the case when the talent of Michael Hirst at the right time and in the right channel. On historical basis, he created a strong and viable drama with vivid characters and a rich potential. The result was a spectacle that can even — terrible to say! — To awaken interest in the history of the youth. The series seemed imbued with the spirit of documentary reconstructions, but the decor, the location and the general surroundings do not retard the attention, but instead creates a muted backdrop against which everything else is playing with bright colors. The selected creators rapid pace of narrative pulls behind him, and just 9 series viewer together with the main characters is where it is not supposed to find ourselves at the beginning of the season. «Vikings» are not exchanged on the little things, not building plots for too long and did not pick up the wounded — the only way to achieve victory Scandinavian. In an era hipsters when the very notion of postmodernism hopelessly out of date, straightforward and courageous story alive in a modern progressive heroes suddenly becomes interesting to any arrayed artfully artistic intrigue.

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