I wasn’t sure what to expect going into season 1 of Vikings. I had just finished catching up on Game of Thrones so I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy another period piece with a similar feel. I honestly didn’t know if Vikings would be too similar in tone to Game of Thrones, so I tread lightly. I will say though, after watching the entire first season in a matter of a week, Vikings definitely holds it’s own as a great bit of television.
Vikings Season 1 Blu-Ray Review
Vikings debuted on the History Channel in early 2013 and garnered some pretty solid reviews from most people. There are always going to be people that dispute the historical accurateness of shows like this, but seeing as how there really isn’t too much written documentation about how the Vikings lived, I’d say they did alright. I’m glad to see the History Channel putting out something that’s fiction geared towards History, unlike some of these other random shows they’ve got these days.
The story of “Vikings” follows Ragnar Lodbrok, a family man, but a warrior at heart. His brother Rollo doesn’t really see the point in the family life which causes tension between the brothers. But despite their differences, Ragnar and Rollo serve Earl Haraldson. Earl Haraldson tells the brothers that they are to head out on the annual pillage for gold and treasure, but Ragnar has other plans. He proposes that instead of sticking to their normal routine, they head West in search of new lands; Ragnar has become a bit of a navigator these days. Earl Haraldson is having none of it and orders them to continue with the norm and set out in search of treasure.
Ragnar decides that it would be more beneficial to head West to conquer new territory and possibly expand their empire so him and his brother set out and directly disobey Earl Haraldson. The group of Vikings eventually reach the shore of England where they begin to destroy and loot the villages in their path. Word gets back to their village and the people start to praise Ragnar for his new findings, which upsets Earl Haraldson.
I thought season 1 of Vikings was pretty solid. The acting is great, the action sequences are very well done and it seems like the show has some definite potential. After checking out season 1 on blu-ray, I’ll definitely be setting my DVR to record season 2 whenever it starts back up.
As for the blu-ray itself, the video quality is amazing. The show was shot in digital HD, so there are moments when you can tell that it’s not film, but it doesn’t take away from the quality at all. Audio is also superb especially during the action sequences. You can really hear the clanging of weapons as Ragnar and Rollo fight their way through England. The dialogue never gets lost in the sound mix which makes everything clear and concise.
Talk about a set loaded with special features. It took me almost as long to get through the features as it did the entire season. Ok, maybe not that long, but there’s a lot jammed onto this 3-disc set. There are extended versions of almost every episode, along with a few deleted scenes from only a couple episodes. Commentary tracks on 2 of the episodes which are pretty interesting if you’re into commentary tracks. Combine those with 3 featurettes ranging from 12 minutes to 20 minutes long, and you’ve got yourself a pretty solid set of special features to keep you occupied.
So if you’re looking for a show to watch while Game of Thrones is off the air, Vikings is a solid choice and I think you’ll be happily surprised at what the show brings.