Friday, February 27, 2015

Vikings 3.2: Leonard Nimoy

News of Leonard Nimoy's passing came just as I was starting to write a review of the excellent episode 3.2 of Vikings, on the History Channel last night.   In many ways, the spirit of going beyond the well-trodden universe depicted so well in Star Trek, with Leonard Nimoy's Spock at the intellectual helm, is derived from the real Vikings in our history, whose story is now being told so compellingly in the TV series.

Of course, the Starship Enterprise never approach a planet or a shore with heads of their vanquished enemies hanging from their ship.  This was one of the most powerful scenes, not just in last night's episodes but in the entire series, because it showed, without words, just how brutal and frightening our Vikings could be.

Who would be the Spock in our Vikings crew?  He would have to be Floki, who has a lot of Spock's smarts, but is far crazier than Spock, except during the Vulcan Pon Farr mating frenzy.   But Ragnar is closer to Kirk, more violent than the Enterprise captain, but equally strategic and brilliant, and probably better adjusted, emotionally, in terms of wives and families.   Back to Floki, he also bears a resemblance to Scotty, since Floki's knowledge of boat craft helped launch our Vikings across the waters in the first season.

Other than the heads on the ships, the most memorable scenes in last night's episode were of women, in various stages of dawning love and other emotions.  My favorite, for some reason, was of Althelstan, practically being propositioned by conventions of that time.  I'm wishing nothing but the best for him. Meanwhile, Lagertha and Ecbert are clearly moving closer together, and there's some sort of early chemistry between Princess Kwenthrith and Ragnar.

One of the big difference between Star Trek and Vikings is that women have much more major and active roles in Vikings.   This reflects the difference, not in the past and the future, but in the 1960s and the 2010s - or the time the two series were and are being created.   Were Viking women really that prominent in our history?   Probably not, but they're great to see in this series, as exhilarating and cosmic in its own way as  Star Trek.  I hope both live long and prosper.

See also Vikings 3.1. Fighting and Farming

And see also Vikings 2.1-2: Upping the Ante of Conquest ... Vikings 2.4: Wise King ... Vikings 2.5: Caught in the Middle ... Vikings 2.6: The Guardians ...Vikings 2.7: Volatile Mix ... Vikings 2.8: Great Post-Apocalyptic Narrative ... Vikings Season 2 Finale: Satisfying, Surprising, Superb

And see also Vikings ... Vikings 1.2: Lindisfarne ... Vikings 1.3: The Priest ... Vikings 1.4:  Twist and Testudo ... Vikings 1.5: Freud and Family ... Vikings 1.7: Religion and Battle ... Vikings 1.8: Sacrifice
... Vikings Season 1 Finale: Below the Ash

historical science fiction - a little further back in time


more about Star Trek in this anthology:  Boarding the Enterpise
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