Yes, I said “scripted”. The History Channel is getting into the fiction business. (Mind you, the History Channel has been out of the “just the facts” business a long time ago. See: The Godawful “Ancient Aliens” and the gazillion ridiculous Reality TV shows currently mucking up their dial.) On the other hand, a purely fictional show about Vikings sounds pretty damn cool.
While VIKINGS is filled with conflict, warfare and bloodshed – for these were extreme times – it is a family saga at heart. It follows the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel, The Beast, Baytown Outlaws), a curious, compelling man who is always looking to break through barriers and discover new worlds to conquer. A young farmer and family man, Ragnar is deeply frustrated by the unadventurous policies of his local chieftain, Earl Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment, Usual Suspects, Millers Crossing), who continues to send his Vikings raiders east every summer, to the Baltic states and Russia, whose populations are as materially poor as themselves.
VIKINGS will chart Ragnar’s ambitions to discover civilizations across the great ocean to the west as well as his inevitable conflicts along the way. With the help of his jester friend Floki, (Gustaf Skarsgard, The Way Back), they build a new generation of boats – faster, sleeker and more beautifully crafted than anything else on the sea.
The series will also delve into how the Vikings – the last pagans – worshipped ancient gods like Odin, Thor, Freya and Loki. Ragnar claims to be a direct descendant of the Norse god Odin, who, as well as being the god of warriors slain in battle, is also the god of curiosity.
“Vikings” will star Travis Fimmel, Gabriel Byrne, Jessalyn Gilsig, Gustaf Skarsgard, Clive Standen,
Katheryn Winnick and George Blagden, and was created and written by Michael Hirst.
Look for it on the History Channel on March 3, 2013.