It’s hard to believe it’s been nine years since the highly-acclaimed exploits of Travis Fimmel’s Ragnar Lothbrok and Katheryn Winnick’s Lagertha hit the small screen via a combination of the History Channel/Amazon Prime.
Now nearly a decade later Netflix have unleashed a sequel series – set a hundred years after the events of Vikings – that is pretty darn close to being as good as the much-loved original series.
After Viking settlers in England are massacred on orders of the King, Norseman converge on Kattegat looking for a plan of attack to avenge the atrocities – even if Vikings themselves now clash over their conflicting Christian and Pagan beliefs.
One party that arrives is a group of Greenlanders – led by the brother/sister duo of Leif (Sam Corlett) and Freydis (Frida Gustavsson) – with ulterior motives separate to the Viking cause.
But after warrior Leif is singled out by the future King of Norway in Harald (Leo Suter), they soon become embroiled in an epic journey that will take them across oceans and through battlefields as they try to map their destiny.
Initially the characters may not be as instantly as engaging as the original Vikings stalwarts, but once the eight-episode show opens up – it conveys all the production qualities that made the 2013 series such a fan favourite. And this is without one character from that series (bar a cameo from John Kavanagh’s The Seer) to aid them.
The ending of this series feels a little rushed, but for the most part this is compelling stuff throughout, in what is reportedly the first of three parts (making 24 episodes in total).
And with likeable leads that you actually ‘care about’ – take a bow Leif, Freydis and Harald – this does Ragnar’s legacy justice, and you’ll have a bloody good time to boot.
ESP Rating: 4/5
NETFLIX, OUT NOW
Season 1 – Episodes 1-8, Out Now
Cast: Sam Corlett, Leo Suter, Frida Gustavsson, Laure Berlin, David Oakes, Bradley Freegard & Johannes Haukur Johannesson
Running Time: Approx. 45-60 Mins per episode