Atlantic Crossing (TV Series 2020) Poster

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Well worth a watch, but look up the real story
paypal-5749920 March 2021
As many have noticed, this story takes the "inspired by true events" a bit too far on occasions. But still I recommend watching it as it gives another side of the grim events more than 70 years ago. I find the acting credible and good but as said.. the historical correctness is highly questionable.
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World War II retold for women who love Downton Abbey and love stories
richard-17874 May 2021
I've read that Shakespeare's Hamlet and Macbeth have little to do with the actual historical characters and events on which they are based. Still, I've never met anyone who cared about that in deciding whether they liked those plays.

The same approach should probably be taken to this series, which plays fast and loose with World War II history. But that's hard to do, because we're so much closer to the real events that this series rewrites than Shakespeare's audience was to minor figures in Medieval Scottish and Danish history. (Did they know anything about those fields at all?) It was very hard for me to sit through the depiction of the female lead, the Crown Princess of Norway, inspiring Lend-Lease, for example. I can imagine that Swedes don't particularly enjoy seeing their former king portrayed as a Nazi sympathizer. But if you don't know anything about World War II history, then I guess that wouldn't bother you. Just as I am not bothered, in reading Hamlet, by the discrepancies between the play and Medieval Danish history.

What we are left with is imitation Downton Abbey - lots of nice-looking aristocracy and their homes, not too much concern with unglamorous commoners.

Also a story to inspire timid women: a timid young princess - think Princess Diana - comes into her own and eventually grows a backbone. She even helps to save Western civilization. A story lots of timid women could relate to.

If you're a World War II history buff, or a guy, or a woman who does not need fantasy history to feel inspired to develop her potential, this will probably seem like a long-winded costume drama, which is what it actually is.

But if you're part of the intended audience, you might enjoy it. And so long as you don't mistake what happens for history, I don't know that there is any harm in that. George Washington didn't chop down that cherry tree, after all, yet Parson Weams' tale of how he did but then did not lie about it provided moral courage to countless young Americans of a previous era. If this series helps timid women develop moral strength, that wouldn't be a bad thing.


I just watched Episode 6. When FDR, having learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, goes first to see the Crown Princess to find courage to deliver an address - what becomes the *A day that shall live in infamy* address to the joint houses of Congress - I almost puked. The rest was pretty much the same thing. FDR turns out to be a lover who finds strength and inspiration in an initially timid Norwegian princess. It's sort of like bad old-fashioned Disney applied to World War II history. Bad imitation old-fashioned Disney.
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Reviewers should get their facts right before they comment
jlischka26 May 2021
The historical accuracy of Atlantic Crossing is debatable but comments that there was no TV in the U. S. in 1939 and 1940 are dead wrong. During the 1939 World's Fair David Sarnoff, president of RCA, unveiled the first commercial publicly accessible television broadcast. I know because I was there. During the opening ceremonies of the Fair on April 30th, FDR became the first president to be televised. TV sets went on sale to the public the next day and were featured in NYC store windows.

From May through December 1939, NYC NBC station (W2XBS) of RCA broadcast twenty to fifty-eight hours of programming per month, Wednesday through Sunday of each week. The programming was 33% news, 29% drama, and 17% educational programming, with an estimated 2,000 receiving sets by the end of the year. The coverage area for reliable reception was a radius of 40 to 50 miles (80 km) from the Empire State Building. In June 1940, W2XBS covered the Republican National Convention for 33 hours during a five-day period. W2XBS also began transmitting NBC News with Lowell Thomas on February 21, 1940.
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Wasted Opportunities
chalaowens28 April 2021
This could have been a masterpiece of historical storytelling with a script that focused on the Norwegian peoples' suffering under Hitler and the Royal family's many efforts to free them. But after the first riveting episode, the script becomes stuck inside Sweden's politics, Buckingham Palace and Washington DC with boring storylines that go nowhere. Honestly, I was insulted for the brave Norwegians and their Royal Family. They deserved far better, especially from Masterpiece Theater.
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'Glitch' in historical accuracy
scotkroozr20 April 2021
This may strike other viewers as trivial nitpicking...but it made me wonder how careful the series makers were about other matters. Episode 3 has Norway's U. S. Ambassador greeting the Princess after her transoceanic voyage, to lead her to the press briefing he's set up. He's quite proud to tell that representatives were present from all the press, radio broadcasters, AND TV!! In 1940, what's 'TV'?!
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World War II retold as a tabloid romance novel
private-9050519 April 2021
What are the limits to the catchphrase, "Based on true events"? Cardboard characters with historically-inaccurate personae (Eleanor Roosevelt, to name but one) render "Atlantic Crossing" as a pulp romance that fails to honestly document Norway's royal family during the war years.

King Hakkon VII, Crown Price Olaf and wife Martha are largely portrayed as ineffectual, all too easily overwhelmed by parliamentary government and storybook emotions. In reality, their strengths leading up to, and following Norway's declaration of war against Germany, including the monarch's heroic preservation of Norwegian democracy, are far more decisive and admirable than the treatments given here. "Atlantic Crossing" simplifies its characters into good or evil, carelessly shaped by innuendo and gossip of their day. Screen 2017's feature film "The King's Choice" for a far more truthful telling.
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Good back story
pgooden27 April 2021
I am enjoying this as the back story is interesting. KM portrayal of FDR is ridiculous- FDR comes off as a total buffoon - The cinematography is exceptional and the Crown princess comes off realistically according to historical documents.
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Great Acting; Script Needs Work
theshinybeetle16 April 2021
So much of this story is genuinely interesting, especially to an American audience that most likely is not aware of Norway's history during WW II. Or knowledgeable about the friendship that developed between the Crown Princess and FDR. The sets and locations are great (except the production team seems to think it snows a lot in WDC, which it doesn't), the costumes have been done well and, as I mentioned in the title, the acting is superb. However, if someone were to watch this and not know much US history they would think all FDR needed to run the country was one advisor, one girlfriend, his wife and the Princess who got together at cocktail hour for a laugh. The way he is depicted borders on the ridiculous (and I'm not referring to his roving eye). Our country was in the middle of a depression and, eventually, at war and all we see FDR do is eat, drink and be merry as if he had no responsibilities or a care in the world. I've just finished E.6 and we've seen FDR in exactly one Cabinet meeting (that lasted a nano-second). I think the moment that really strained credulity was FDR being driven 30 minutes out of WDC to see the Princess on the evening of Dec. 7, 1941. Really?! The US is attacked by the Japanese that day and FDR is having drinks with his lady friend instead of being in a cabinet meeting?! I realize the focus of this limited series is more human than political (although we're seeing an awful lot of political meetings in Norway and London) but the 'lighter' side of FDR should have been balanced with at least some gravitas. He didn't win four elections because he knew how to flirt and drink Scotch. Where are the producers at Masterpiece?! Am I the only one seeing how this one-dimensional depiction of our wartime President diminishes the whole series.
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Twice as long as it should be, the characters are like caricatures
SunshineUnit-3011120 April 2021
Surprisingly many episodes for a story that could have been told in half the time.

Although it is based on true events a lot of the plot is made up to the extent that Norwegian national broadcast NRK felt the need to set up a web page explaining what was actual real events, and what was made up for the sake of dramatic effect (and it really was a lot). Knowing that most of it is not actually true to the real story (which could be a good story without the stiff acting performances and without the overly dramatic additions of suggested romance) it was hard to watch.

For me the best thing about it were the well made costumes and scenery. Beautiful to watch, a shame the rest didn't live up to it.
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Good to watch, but someone owes Martha an apology
authenticsarah13 April 2021
Warning: Spoilers
WARNING - MAJOR SPOILERS ----The story is great, and there is certainly a lot of tension - the Norwegian royal family escapes the Nazis, Martha and the kids bum rush Swedish border control to get out of Norway, the King of Sweden (her uncle) has to disinvite her to protect his country from the Nazis, meanwhile King Haakon and Olav make it to London while Martha and the kids manage to get on a US transport ship to America where they live under the protection of FDR for the duration of the war. There are 2 foiled kidnapping attempts. Martha comes into her own, learning diplomacy and how to lobby on behalf of her country, developing a presence and public speaking skills with the help of Eleanor Roosevelt, taking Norwegian veterans into her own home, rebuffing the advances of FDR, and all while raising 3 children and trying to maintain their family's culture and traditions in a far away land without the support of her husband who she repeatedly begs to join them. It was riveting. But what do the filmmakers give her for all of this? A petty, self centered Olav who is jealous and suspicious of her relationship with FDR (at one point punishing her for breaking off contact when he specifically asked her to do so), allows himself to take the credit for her work in bringing about the Lend Lease Act, and ultimately threatens to take the children away from her. Tobias Santelmann does a fantastic job, I wanted to slap him in the face myself, which thank goodness Nikolai took care for me. I know some of this is done for dramatic effect, but it was unkind to Olav, and extraordinarily unkind to Martha. And after all that, the filmmakers couldn't even bother with an apology from Olav - just joining her early on the boat ride in, and creating an office for her in their home. It left me feeling flat, like the story wasn't entirely resolved. Yay, they're together again, but why should Martha trust Olav? If the filmmakers could put Martha and Olav through some invented marital strife, then surely they could invent the words to atone for the pain they went through.
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An unknown story for most viewers?
esakolsok23 November 2020
There has been a lot of controversy with this series about whether the events are historically correct. What was said between the princess and Roosevelt is not known. Most of the series is based on rumors and speculation. The Norwegian royal family was related to the English royal family when Haakon's wife was an English royal. It was therefore natural that they would support England, but the Norwegian people were more divided on whether they should support Germany or England. Most chose to be indifferent. As a historical series, I think it is exciting and emotionally engaging. Much better than others Norwegian series that have described the war, which are mostly heroic epics. We could need more World War II series about those who sided wrong, and why they acted as they did?
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Atlantic Crossing(2020-2020)
robfollower7 June 2021
"Atlantic Crossing," a prestigious Norwegian period drama starring Sofia Helin ("The Bridge") as Crown Princess Märtha, and Kyle MacLachlan ("Twin Peaks") as U. S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Atlantic Crossing an interesting time in history revisited. PBS Masterpiece Theatre , always excellent programming worth watching!! The story is great, and there is certainly a lot of tension .Atlantic Crossing is not a documentary and should not be viewed as one. As a historical series, it is exciting and engaging. This is wonderful TV entertainment and a fantastic period piece that Masterpice Theatre is so good at. It was an engaging character study of Crown Princess Martha superbly acted by actress Sofia Helin .She portrayed the character very well as she matured throughout the series from a somewhat naive soul maturing into a determined leader . Tobias Santelmann, Kyle MacLachlan rounded out the superb cast excellent in their respective roles. I thoroughly enjoyed Atlantic Crossing well worth my time.

The limited series, written by Eik and Linda May Kallestein ("Wisting"), sheds light on Martha's journey from Norway to the White House where she sought refuge and became close to U. S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Crown Princess tried to convince Roosevelt to save her country and Europe from Nazi Germany at a time when American voters were strongly opposed to being drawn into another world war.
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Thorougly enjoyable
aandfo-5562815 December 2020
Atlantic Crossing is not a documentary and should not be viewed as such. Nevertheless I was drawn into the drama of the exiled Norwegian Crown Prince and Princess, a family that were separated during the Second World War, due to duty and circumstances. Whilst living in seperate host countries and having absolutely no political influence and power, the drama portrays how the prince and princess, in very different ways, did everything they could to contribute to the war effort. The ultimate cost of their efforts placing an enormous strain on the royal marriage. Atlantic Crossing is well worth watching, but perhaps for a more mature audience.
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So much research, so much wrong
kmhowie28 April 2021
Much has been made of how much research the producers conducted in making this series. Yet they also go out of their way to point out that it is not a documentary and that it is only "inspired by actual events". Why, then, do they get so many simple details wrong. During the speech announcing the Lend Lease program we see the president's advisers listening on a large vacuum tube radio. So far, so good. But we then see a crowd of people watching the speech live through the windows of a store well stocked with what appear to be high quality television sets. This was 1940 and TV sets were nowhere near the mass produced product this scene depicts.
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Stilted acting & poor script
Portobella5 February 2021
Arggh, disappointed about this one, since I usually enjoy watching Sofia Helin and Tobias Santelmann. But there is too much stilted acting (mostly from minor characters) and 'theatre acting' that should have been amended by the director. That and the questionable historical 'facts' make you wonder WHY this film project? If you want to know about this particular period in Norways history go watch The King's Choice instead with wonderful Danish actor Jesper Christensen as the aging King.
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Good Interesting Series
conway300024 May 2021
I thoroughly enjoyed Atlantic Crossing! I know it was not historically accurate. It was well acted and entertaining! The story of the Norwegian Crown Princess and FDR is not a well known story. Even though it was a slow burn at the beginning, the story was well worth my time.
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boring AND ahistorical
viewer135 May 2021
The basic premise of this series could have been truly interesting. If the writers hadn't drifted into third-rate soap opera, forgotten every rule of editing and narrative structure, and decided to make up their own damn "facts." It's hard to evaluate the quality of the performances considering how ridiculous the script is, but Kyle MacLachlan's FDR comes across as a simpering horndog with an astounding amount of spare time on his hands for someone supposedly busy rescuing America from the Depression and masterminding one of the largest and most complex military efforts the planet has ever seen. Eleanor Roosevelt is played as a Bizarro Opposite World version of her real-life self, and Harry Hopkins is a bland drip, utterly wasted here. Anything potentially worth knowing about Scandinavia's role in WWII is glossed over or grossly simplified. And the injury to actual historical truth goes WAY beyond the bounds of what's reasonably permitted by the "inspired by real events" sort of artistic license. I'm stunned that PBS wasted time and money acquiring and airing this utter piece of garbage.
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Don't listen to the history-nerds
david-be-good25 January 2021
Yes, the series might have some incorrect historical events or incidents. But if you love great adventure-drama, this is a good production. And TV-series dosent have to be perfectly accurate according to history anyways. It's set during the second war in Norway, following the royal family. Acting and writing is in good quality. I would rate it 8/10, but give it a 10 - because of the unfair rating people give only based on some fake events.
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Ridicilous, unconvincing story.
jtukko13 December 2020
Warning: Spoilers
You can't save bad script with good actors. And these series have good/ok actors, but not great. After 5 episodes I was just thinking that this stupid, ridiculous series. Only good thing was that Swedish king was seen as an nazi. Because he was a nazi. NRK just can't make good big money series. They try to be so Hollywood, but it always ends up to be weird disaster. I give 4 stars because I see that they're trying.
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Fake history
sirtorch7 December 2020
Fake history and the reluctance of the director and writers to take responsibility is deeply unsettling. This cloud have been an interesting story, however, as the major historical events are fake, it strands completely. I assume it is to once again write in women as more prominent in history, but as this "fake history" controversy is unfolding in the media in Norway, it not only fails but will question marks with all so-called historical series in the future.
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good filming and detailed presentation of a central story from the war
Scatmann00915 November 2020
The TV-show are pretty good, and overall the story is detailed and has a good flow trough it.

But there are some bad acting, some unrealistic and inappropriate remarks - that do not fit in for the time of world war 2 in Scandinavia. In some parts of the serie, in some scenes, they are not portraying properly how people was during World War II, they are sometimes on the wrong track - cultural and in terms of communication . They mix modern style, actor-lines and attitudes into the wrong time-period, which makes the tv-show seem less authentic and less realistic, and perhaps more politically correct for the time we live in now, -than the actual time they are trying to imitate. Had some of the scenes been more appropriate for that time being, and had some of the actors acquired the role better in some scenes, -by living more into that time and the complex situation in terms of realistic communication and cultural expressions, -this would have been a better and more realistic TV-show.
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Masterpiece parody?
jimbenben17 May 2021
Well, I've watched all eight episodes. I'm not concerned about possible historical inaccuracies. It's a docudrama after all, and it's refreshing to have a "Masterpiece" from somewhere besides Britain. But the series is really quite terrible. The script often comes across as a grade school historical pageant, with actors orating bombastic lines. There is rarely any sense of real people with real emotions having actual conversations. It's as if the Norwegians decided to outdo Masterpiece Theatre by throwing in every cliche of the genre. The result is a parody that had me rolling my eyes and laughing out loud.
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Ersatz 'history' designed to collect $$$ from PBS
how-cool3 May 2021
This series is historical fantasy, Norwegian-style. Obviously made specifically to be sold to PBS to collect all that cash from North American audiences.
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Simply a slog....
copacetic-7612223 April 2021
Don't know about the historical accuracy but this is about a boring as it gets.
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Expected an Epic but Got a Soap Opera
tcmaniac-258-55915326 June 2021
I gave 3 stars for the first few promising episodes which cover the extraordinary escape of the Norwegian Royal family after the German invasion. I recommend the award winning film, The King's Choice, for a better retelling of this event (this suspenseful film told in real time will have you feeling all the terror this family felt). Atlantic Crossing goes downhill after the Princess escapes to America. The last half devolves into a tired melodrama with the Crown Princess reduced to an object of obsession for FDR, and a source of jealousy for both Eleanor and FDRs secretary. Despite the film disclaiming its fictional script, these one dimensional characterization were insulting to these great historical figures. I don't imagine Eleanor being so Basic or FDR being so easily distracted from his responsibilities. If you removed the scenes of the princess nervously reacting to FDR gawking you could reduce the 8-episode series in half. As a WWII buff, I am intrigued with the story of Norway's resistance to the German aggression. I'd hoped the lengthy series would be a political thriller on how the royals and politicians involved navigated this crucial period to save Norway. But instead I got a soap opera.
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