Vikings Complete Series 1-4 DVD Box Set
This is for seasons 1-4 (incl. part 1 and 2)
Total 5 DVD sets
Format: Color, Dolby, Widescreen, PAL
Region: Region 4 for Australia
Number of discs: 15
Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD Release in: 2017
Vikings, TV review: As unsubtle as a thwack over the head with Thor’s hammer
In sharp contrast to Stewart Lee, the ninth-century warriors in LoveFilm’s Vikings always say what they mean and mean what they say.
It’s as unsubtle as a thwack over the head with Thor’s hammer. The show’s second season, made available to stream this weekend, has many qualities to recommend it – the exquisite Irish countryside, a theme tune by Swedish oddball Fever Ray, costumes to provide fashion inspiration at every crusty squat party from here to Stockholm, the sparkling blue eyes of former male model Travis Fimmel – but the dialogue certainly isn’t one of them.
As the series begins, Ragnar Lodbrok (Fimmel) has been forced to delay conquering England so he can do battle with his envious and ambitious brother Rollo (Clive Standen). Then princess Aslaug arrives in her longboat, bearing a particularly nasty shock for Ragnar’s wife Lagertha – by the looks of it, she is about six months pregnant.
Ragnar, the dirty beggar, can’t see why they shouldn’t all just be… ahem… friends. “I have heard that similar arrangements exist all over the country,” he said, casually stroking that ancient symbol of lasciviousness, a goat, as if it were only his pet tabby. In Game of Thrones, such a suggestion would no doubt have been greeted by the sound of two chastity belts clattering to the floor, but raunch is one of those other things that Vikings lacks. Don’t get your hopes up just yet.
The other action epic that starred Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis doesn’t have quite the pedigree of the great Spartacus, but is still a rip-roaring adventure tale told with little authenticity whatsoever, but plenty of highly pleasurable grand old Hollywood ham. You’re never quite convinced these guys, although Douglas’ full-blooded and one-eyed tearaway gives it a good go, are the mead-guzzling, maiden ravishing ninth century stalwarts of macho legend. Curtis looks like he’s just come out of the salon most of the time.
Rather than the big scope of traditional epic-making, this is resplendently comic-book, an unsurprising style given the director was Richard Fleischer who cornered the market over the ‘50s and ‘60s in bottling boyhood fantasies as glossy Hollywood product (20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, The Fantastic Voyage et al). He aims to convey a snapshot of olde Viking life, with scenes of well researched shipbuilding and craftwork, and the usual swilling of mead and grasping of thick female thighs, but his psychology is one-dimensional and his actors keep things as broad as possible.
The plot has it that Einar and Eric are blood brothers deep down (some guff involving an amulet is the key) it’s just a question of when they stop squabbling and make up, but Fleischer would rather have them fighting and leering after Janet Leigh’s vulnerable English princess for most the fast-paced picture. No bad thing, necessarily, when the scenery is as gorgeous as this and sword-fighting as thumpingly good as mounted here.