These days in the popular lexicon, it is getting a little more common place for some good old fashion pillaging and sword swinging to be common place on our television sets. While not "Vikings" the fictional TV show or even the hammer swinging Norse god flying around the silver screen "Vikings: The Real Warriors" is a 3 part BBC documentary series that takes us on a fascinating journey into the past as we see the epically fast evolution of these people in the wake of the fall of the Roman empire as we see the facts behind their rise and fall.
The question has raged on for years if the Viking people were simply blood soaked pillagers or actually savvy adventures and skilled entrepreneurs. Host and historian Neil Oliver takes on a journey digging for clues and discovering exciting new insights as we travel to archeological dig sites in Norway, Sweden and Denmark where Norsemen had been known to launch expeditions and raids. We see the transformation as these warriors settle Britain, Iceland and Greenland as they transform themselves from illiterate pagans into farmers, statesmen and even kings.
I have to give credit where credit is due, as Neil Oliver takes what could have very easily been dry talking heads and transformers into a series that is actually engaging and entertaining.
Following in their footsteps tracking the evolution of these people actually makes for an interesting journey as Oliver takes us from place to place. He marvels over simple objects and relics that may look like nothing to us but open up so many doors and answer so many questions.
It's a long journey but it is kind of amazing to see how far these people actually got given the lack of technology and the harshness of the terrain that they all had to travel and the indelible impact that the Viking culture has had on modern and European society. Neil Oliver plays it all like a "Kitchen Confidential" for the history buffs as he makes it all, quite a bit of fun.
"Vikings: The Real Warriors" is the kind of documentary series that people looking to learn something new, with or without some young ones by their sides and it is an experience that is both illuminating and entertaining all at the same time, some good, light, educational fun.
3 out of 5 stars.