Season 3 of this Canadian-Irish co-production, shot in gorgeous Ireland, debuts on DVD & Blu-Ray today.
To this date, I hadn’t seen seasons one or two, there just never seems to be enough time in the day. But when Season 3 was delivered to me, I was more than happy to dive into the series, and now, am hoping to catch up.
Series creator Michael Hirst penned the entire season, and while it required a bit of foreknowledge, it was fairly easy to dive into, and favorite characters started to emerge for me fairly quickly.
The season has a number of storylines, from the intimate and personal all the way up to the incredibly epic, and the show has the writing, the visuals, and the acting to pull it off. I was simply stunned by the picture on the screen, as Ireland was transformed into Wessex, Scandinavia, and towards the end of this season, the walled Francia city of Paris.
At the center of everything is Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), king, and those who surround him, friends, enemies, allies, and political rivals, amongst them is Katheryn Winnick as Lagertha, Clive Standen as Rollo, and Gustaf Skarsgard as Floki.
This is serialized television at its best, so diving into season 3, without seeing the previous seasons was a little daunting, but it was very easy to get caught up in it. There are so many things going on in this series, the continual expansion of the Viking culture across the face of Europe, the political games played within and without it, and thrown in on top of that, is the growing rise of Christendom.
Hirst puts his cast and viewers through their paces as he drives the story frenetically, each episode seemingly upping the ante of all that has gone before, with friends and foes falling in battle, with mystical visions warning or promising of times to come, betrayals and machinations at work, and the struggle for glory and being worthy of entering Valhalla.
To single out any particular cast member would be to do an injustice to the rest of them, there is not a miscast, or misstep in this entire production, and if you, like me, haven’t been watching it, make the time. Yes, its violent, and bloody, but those were the times, and it never sacrifices story or character because of it.
The assault on Paris is point in case, there is so much going on character-wise, and yet the action sequences are nothing short of brilliantly orchestrated, well-crafted, and simply amazing to watch.
Watching the show, it’s easy to see why it has garnered so much praise and taken home 9 awards, and been nominated for 33 more! I burned through the ten episodes of Season 3 in record time, it was a case of ‘just one more’ each time an episode ended.
Smart, gorgeous cinematography, fantastic costume and weapons, a fantastic cast, and incredibly strong writing tell me that this show is going to be around for a while, and is well worth your time. Find a way to fit it into your schedule, or do what I plan to do, watch the seasons in one sitting…
Vikings, seasons 1, 2 and 3, are now available on DVD and Blu-Ray! Check them out!