I’ve read a couple of reviews of Vikings and I think it’s fair to say that apart from Gabriel Byrne’s performance as Earl Haroldson the critics don’t seem too impressed. They are very busily comparing it to the mighty Game of Thrones, which in my opinion is a mistake.
Thrones has a stellar cast of every single English actor/actress that ever appeared in anything ever, a budget bigger than most countries national debt, it is based on a hugely popular series of books and it does not shy away from anything… and I do mean anything. Yes, I love it.
Vikings however has a largely unknown cast or at least to me anyway, apart from Byrne, who I freely admit is the main reason I wanted to watch it. No it doesn’t have the almighty budget that Thrones has but if it did then the History Channel probably wouldn’t have been able to afford it and that would have been a shame because that is exactly where it belongs.
What Vikings is doing is offering a no frills, no dragons, look at the life and times of the Nordic Warriors obviously with some drama thrown in for good measure. There is violence, it was a violent time, but unlike Thrones there is no need to disinfect the inside of your television afterwards and it is possible to eat your dinner without choking on it whilst watching Vikings.
I have to say that Byrne is utterly brilliant as the highly unpleasant Earl. Travis Fimmel is very good as Ragnor. I am very much looking forward to the rest of the series.
This has had two seasons in the US already and a third looks very likely. It has taken an age to get to UK television, lord knows why because this is the sort of thing the British audience loves.
Had this lovely reply from the History Channel