Anybody with cable bored enough to be watching this?
They are akin to NASA astronauts or the pioneers of Silicon Valley — except they lived 1,300 years ago, and it was the high seas that demanded navigation, not outer space or the Internet.
The Vikings, who like those later explorers were driven by curiosity and armed with the latest innovations, also set out to conquer an uncharted world, the breadth and possibilities of which could not be entirely conceived.
Their struggles, both internal and external, are extravagantly brought to life in “Vikings,” the History channel’s ambitious nine-part drama series from Michael Hirst, creator of “The Tudors.” It has its premiere on March 3. Propelled by the tale of the legendary Norse adventurer Ragnar Lothbrok, his family and his band of followers, the lushly produced, effects-enhanced series dazzles with evocative scenery and dynamic displays of superherolike derring-do and physical stamina…
“They’re always the guys who break in through the door, slash up your house and rape and pillage for no good reason, except that they enjoy the violence,” he said. “I wanted to tell the story from the Vikings’ point of view, because their history was written by Christian monks, basically, whose job it was to exaggerate their violence.”
Not that brawn, brutality and blood don’t play a central role. Well-muscled bodies abound, and battles are frequent, vivid and skillfully choreographed. When the Vikings themselves aren’t being beheaded or gruesomely punished for running afoul of the local chieftain (Gabriel Byrne), Lothbrok (the Australian actor Travis Fimmel) and his men are leading savage slaughters on foreign villages and monasteries. Women in the cast (led by Katheryn Winnick as Lothbrok’s wife) can also handily wield their shields…