Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Vikings: Back For Season Two

The Vikings are back for a second season of mayhem, betrayal and lust.
This ambitious Canadian co-production returns to History Thursday night at 9 and it's a pretty solid return on all fronts.
First of all there's the majestic visual splendor of the Norse country even if this miniseries was largely filmed in the fjords of --Ireland.
The creator, Michael Hirst, resists the obvious chances at parody and has a big picture vision in his account of betrayal, family unity, and an emerging nation that is about to be challenged by the forces of Christianity.
Don't forget Hirst also created The Tudors which had the same bold themes as its structure.
Starring is the weathered Travis Fimmel, once an Australian model with perfect features, now a seasoned actor who leads a cast through many emotional ups and downs in the first new episode.
New this season is Alexander Lidwig (The Hunger Games) as Ragnar's growing son Bjorn. Also new: Linus Roach who last starred on U.S. TV in Law & Order --he plays the ambitious King Of Wessex, determined to stand up to Ragnar in all matters.
In terms of old and new shows returning with new episodes one critic has dubbed February as the new January
Meaning the Vikings has a lot of competition to garner its anticipated audience.
Time certainly has advanced with Season Two --the plot segues right into an epic confrontation between brothers Ragnar and his king (Donal Logue) arraigned against Ragnar's physically huge brother Rollo (Clive Stanton).
Canadian cast members include Katheryn Winnick as first wife of Ragnar named Lagertha. She has fought in the shield war beside her husband and brothers and now must face his infidelity.
But she is strong in her own right --her decision of how to respond is powerful and determining --much like all that she does.
Other Canadians in the cast include Jessalyn Gilsig (as Siggy) and Donal Logue (as King Horik).
Canadian directoers include Ken Girotti, Jeff Woolnough and Kari Skogland,
And the Canadian executive producers include Sheila Hockin (Queer as Folk) and John Weber (The Tudors) for Canadian film company Take 5 Productions.
The pedigree may be complicated but The Vikings should hold your attention with its outstanding outdoor photography and complicated, nuanced story telling.
MY RATING: ***1/2.

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