Vikings: Season One (Blu-ray)

October 31, 2013 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

It seems that everyone’s getting into original programming and with Vikings; The History Channel has entered its own series into the fray.  Granted, this is indicative of other shows like The Tudors, Reign and of course Game of Thrones, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still be entertained.  If you like your heroes tattooed, your women unwashed and clamor to hear the clashing of swords then this just might be your show.  The first season is now in the books, so here’s a brief synopsis of what to expect.

Earl Haraldson (Gabriel Byrne) leads the way as the corrupt Vikings leader who will do anything to hold on to what he got. He gathers a small group of warriors and sets his sights on the west. The treasures that the Vikings find in a small monastery give Ragnar Lothbrok a small perspective to the fortune that the west has to offer. This voyage opens the door to the uneven able conflict between the earl and Ragnar. After exchanging blows during the first half of the season, Ragnar prevails and kills the Earl. Ragnar Lothbrok becomes the new earl a sets his sights on the west once again. During their second voyage The Vikings plunge the English king by showing great initiative tactically, which was strange because The Vikings are a group of barbarian goons but when it comes to fighting they cannot be matched. Ragnar Lothbrok practically robes the English king something that the king will not forget for a long . that its second season will be better than its first.

Video: How’s it look?

The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 AVD HD transfer and I found these to be clean and crisp. The image still looks sharp however, with solid detail and softness never proves to be a concern. The texture might seem a bit too crisp at times, but overall I have to say that for a series produced by the History Channel, I was pretty taken back.  Still, while contrast remains stark and accurate through the entire season. The show looks great.

Audio: How’s it sound?

A DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is provided and while the show isn’t a popcorn action experience, it has a better sound design than you might think. The surrounds get some good presence and when the need arises, even some punches of power. So this is by no means a dull, reserved presentation. The music also amps up the audio a little, while dialogue remains the focus and no lines are lost in the shuffle. So this is a potent, well designed soundtrack that handles the material quite well.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Fans will really want to dig into the robust supplements found on this three disc set.  Here’s what to expect:

  • Season Mode – A nice touch. This allows the episodes to play continuously and watch the season in its entirety.
  •  Audio Commentaries – There are two to be found: The first is on Episode 1 “Rites of Passage” and the next is on Episode 9 “All Change.”  Plenty of technical information to be found and both are very interesting listens.
  • Extended Episodes – Each episode creatures a bit more footage, mainly with a bit more skin and violence.  Nice.
  •  Deleted Scenes – We find four in all, three on the first disc (from Episode 1) and one from Episode 8.
  • A Warrior Society: Viking Culture and Law – We get a general overview of the society of the Vikings as well as some input from some academics.  Some interviews with the cast members as they shed a little light on their characters.
  • Birth of the Vikings – Simply put, we get some information as to how the show came to be.
  • Forging the Viking Army: Warfare and Tactics – A look at some of the training and choreography that goes into some of the intense battle scenes.
  • Blu-ray Exclusives – Another pretty cool feature here with some interactive charts that, when clicked upon, give some information about the show and vikings in general.

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