Blu-ray and DVDTV

VIKINGS Season One Blu-ray Review

Vikings takes the audience on an epic journey through an ancient world, focusing on some of history’s most brutal conquerors. Vikings is one of The History Channels highest rated The series stars Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen, Jessalyn Gilsig, Gustaf Skarsgård, and features Gabriel Byrne.

The story follows Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbron (Frimmel), whose mission is to fulfill his destiny as a conqueror, alongside his viscous brother Rollo (Standen) and loyal wife Lagertha. On his journey Ragnar faces many temptations and betrayal, all while trying to protect his family and country.

During season one, Ragnar teams up with his boat builder friend Floki (Skarsgard) to craft a new generation of sea vessels that are capable of withstanding the rough northern seas, the stage is set for conflict.

There is plenty of conflict when the Ragnar and his crew sail to England in search of riches. Their first encounter is with a clergy of priests who pose little threat, yet are brutally murdered. With the Viking shields huddled together, the battle sequences remind me of the fighting style displayed by Spartan Warriors in 300. The primary weapon for vikings is the axe, which slashes out from above their shields.

History Channel did a great job of making the series as authentic as possible, so my hat’s off to them. This is partly a result of the costuming and filming on location in Ireland. The cinematography by John S. Bartley. Costume design was done by Joan Bergin and production design by Tom Conroy, which also added authenticity.

The shows character development is very slow at times, but once the series gets underway the development kept me interested through the end. Partly because Frimmel is great as Ragnar. He is rumored to be starring in WarCraft. Gabriel Byrne is a fantastic villain in most of his roles, and Vikings is no exception. Gustaf Skarsgård (brother of Alexander Skarsgård).

My only complaint for this Blu-ray is the picture quality during the numerous darker scenes. I can’t complain too much, especially when I lauded the production design as being historically accurate. It was just a bit difficult to keep track of the storyline at times during scenes shot at night. The score is minimal, but bolsters up the action sequences with cascading drums.

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The best feature is the ability to play each episode automatically. You can skip ahead over the credits easily and will remember where you stopped watching if you need to take a break. I watched the series during a one day period and was so enthralled I didn’t want to stop. Vikings: Season One Blu-ray Special Features boasts over 9 hours of exclusive content including:
  • Includes 9 episodes with extended and alternate scenes.
  • The Armory Of Vikings – an interactive feature that allows viewers to learn more about the history and legacy of Vikings armory and weapons.
  • Conquest and Discover: The Journey Of The Vikings – an interactive feature that allows viewers to learn more about the locations and places Ragnar traveled to in his journey through Season One
  • Warrior Society: Viking Culture & Law – featurette that takes a closer look inside the fascinating system of laws, practices and rules employed by Vikings.
  • Birth Of The Vikings: featurette that provides an all-access look at the creation of VIKINGS.
  • Forging The Viking Army: Warfare And Tactics – featurette that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the process of casting and creating the epic battle scenes of Vikings
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Commentary from Michael Hirst

If you are expecting a copy of Game of Thrones, you are in for a shock. Comparing the two shows does dishonor to both. The only similarity is that they take place during medieval times and they each have great characters and an engaging story. If you have yet to watch Vikings, I recommend you rent or buy it today. Game of Thrones and History fans will definitely enjoy the show!

Vikings Season 1 is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Amazon Instant. 

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The Author

Jim Napier

Jim Napier

Jim has been a self-proclaimed super geek ever since he got his first computer all the way back in 1992– and he has been ‘plugged in’ ever since. Fed by a steady diet of movies as a kid, he has expanded to new platforms to fuel his inner geek! Movies continue to feed Jim’s creative side, while technology is constantly changing and creating new toys that woo and draw him in!