8 items from 2016
After three seasons of simmering jealousy, Ragnar Lothbrok’s (Travis Fimmel) rivalry with his brother Rollo (Clive Standen) finally came to a head in a brutal battle in the April 21 epiode — but the long-awaited clash had an unexpected result, with Rollo and his Frankish forces defeating Ragnar and his Viking warriors. The episode then jumped forward several years, revealing that Ragnar left Kattegat after his loss, leaving his sons — Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), Ivar (Alex Høgh Andersen), Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith), Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø) and Sigurd (David Lindstron) to grow up without their father, curious about his fate and (in some cases) resentful of his absence.
- Laura Prudom
The slow descent of Ragnar Lothbrok continues in Vikings season 4...
This review contains spoilers.
It’s been difficult, these last few weeks, to watch the slow descent of Ragnar Lothbrok, not just for us, but as the first couple of scenes this week in Portage make clear, for his ex-wife and Bjorn. The former may defend him, but the latter is at his breaking point, actively calling his father out in a semi-public way by pointing out how weakened he is by the retreat from their first engagement with the Franks. Whether it is this or the temporary respite from the drugs that provokes Ragnar’s moment of clarity at the cliffs is far less important than the fact that he not only restores the spirit of his followers and allies, but apparently mends fences with Floki. We have rarely seen the troublesome man more sincere »
Tonight on Vikings (History, 10/9c), King Ecbert agrees to support Kwenthrith in Mercia, raising all kinds of questions — some of which he lays out in this illuminating sneak peek.
RelatedVikings Gets Supersized Season 4 — With a Twist
Appealing to God, Ecbert (played by Linus Roache) is atypically honest (and a bit vulnerable), copping to being a sinner in the Lord’s eyes. And yet, he argues, he does try. That said, he is most frank about to what ends — and what alliances — he might sink to achieve his “Earthly goals.”
Women, power and ownership are recurring themes in Vikings season 4 episode 4, Yol. Here's our review...
This review contains spoilers.
This season has been a bit of a disappointment thus far for me, in a certain way. If you’ve been following my reviews, you know I’m a tremendous fan of Lagertha’s—primarily of her take-no-shit way of dealing with a world which insists that she is a second-class citizen. And we’ve had little chance to enjoy that aspect of her this season.
What I have loved about the show’s depiction of her is that it doesn’t pull punches about what the price of being that kind of woman is. She’s paid a heavy price for being female and living her life with honour as she defines it (rather than how others might define it for her). It’s meant leaving »
Do the ratings for the Vikings TV show matter to the folks over at History? The series saw another big drop in the ratings last year --- down 28% in the demo and 44% in viewers -- but the cable channel renewed it for a supersized fourth season anyway. Will the numbers keep falling? Cancelled or renewed for a fifth season? Stay tuned.
Vikings takes place in the brutal and mysterious world of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), a Viking warrior and farmer who yearns to explore (and raid) the distant shores across the ocean. The rest of the large cast includes Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen, Gustaf Skarsgård, Alyssa Sutherland, Linus Roache, Alexander Ludwig, Ben Robson, Moe Dunford, Lothaire Bluteau, Jasper Paakkonen, Kevin Durand, Jennie Jacques, Peter Franzen, Morgane Polanski, Amy Bailey, Dianne Doan, and John Kavanagh.
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“Vikings” returns to History on February 18 for an expanded Season 4 (growing from its usual 10-episode order to a meaty 20), and creator Michael Hirst promises a season full of twists, betrayals and even a harrowing encounter with a bear that gives Oscar nominee “The Revenant” a run for its money.
Variety has an exclusive first look at said encounter from Episode 403, which features Alexander Ludwig’s Bjorn coming face to fuzzy face with the fearsome beast — a logistical feat that Hirst promises was in no way prompted by Leonardo DiCaprio’s big screen battle.
“Hand on heart, I didn’t know they were making a movie about someone fighting a bear,” Hirst tells Variety with a laugh. “I remember talking at the end of Season 3 to various people at the studio saying, ‘I need a test for Bjorn. I want to send him into the wilderness. What kind of trials could »
- Laura Prudom
“Vikings,” which will include a bifurcated and expanded fourth season beginning with a flurry of 10 episodes, has become History’s poor-man’s answer to “The Walking Dead.” And based on the opening salvo, success hasn’t spoiled these pillaging Norsemen, with the show essentially picking up where season three left off — after the bloody, protracted siege of Paris — operating on several parallel tiers. Heck, there’s even a “Revenant”-like encounter with an angry bear, as showrunner Michael Hirst distinguishes the basic-cable series as a premium-level commodity.
For starters, Viking leader Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) was badly injured, leaving something of a power vacuum in the early going. Not surprisingly, there is no shortage of aspirants to fill the void, including his wife Aslaug (Alyssa Sutherland) and son Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig), although since Fimmel is the star of the show, nobody should count him out just yet.
The fallout from season three, »
- Brian Lowry
Universal has picked up U.K. and Australian rights to “ID2: Shadwell Army,” the sequel to 1995 soccer hooliganism cult movie “I.D.” by Philip Davis. Venezuelan Joel Novoa (“God’s Slave”) helmed the pic from a screenplay by Vincent O’Connell. The drama is co-produced by Sally Hibbin, the long-time producer of Ken Loach, along with Patrick Cassavetti. Moviehouse Entertainment has kicked off rights sales to the rest of the world at the Berlinale’s European Film Market.
The pic tracks a police officer who goes undercover to infiltrate Shadwell’s revitalized hooligan element, and gets caught up in the political turmoil sparked by plans to build a mosque in the East London district.
Parallax East, Screen Yorkshire and Germany’s Post Republic co-produce.
- Anna Marie de la Fuente
8 items from 2016
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