Valkyrien is the latest Norwegian television show to be picked up by the UK. Episode 1 aired on Channel 4, whilst the series is streaming on All4 and can be pre-ordered on DVD.
Appearing in the series is Pal Sverre Hagen, who describes the show as unique. “You have seen nothing like Valkyrien, that is how I felt when reading the script for the first time. I wanted to be a part of it and I hope the viewers will feel the same way.”
“It follows a doctor and a doomsday prepper as they open an underground medical facility. They take in the shadiest patients around. It’s about fighting for love and against the end of the world as we know it.”
Pal takes the role of Leif Lien, who is the Chief Technical Officer with Norway’s Civil Defence Agency (Sivilforsvaret). The actor’s previous experience includes films such as Department Q and Kon-Tiki.
He describes his character in Valkyrien as crucial to the beginning. “Leif is the man with the keys to the underworld. He builds a strange underground enterprise, teaming up with his former doctor Ravn (acted by Sven Nordin, who spoke with Telly Binge recently). Ravn is the man with expertise and integrity.”
“My character has the facilities, the contacts and the rule bending nature. Leif also sees himself as a visionary, a man with a mission. The world is coming to an end and other people do not seem to care.”
Valkyrien was mostly shot entirely underground. “You don’t know your city until you have seen what is underneath the surface. Filming the series took us to places I could never have imagined. It’s not a beautiful world, not clean and not comfortable. Staying underground for a long time probably isn’t very healthy, but it is a great place for a story.”
Norwegian shows have had a huge success on Channel 4 recently. Acquitted and Eyewitness, along with Young and Promising have all appeared on our screens. Skam (aka Shame) is already rumoured to be on the way.
So why have TV series from Norway been well received in the UK? “It has taken Norway time to see that there is no reason why we shouldn’t be able match our neighbours Denmark and Sweeden, as a nation that can export culture. This realisation has created the will and ambition to reach for greater heights.”
Also aiming for greater heights is Pal himself. “I am shooting a movie in Spain about the life of an ice skating star called Sonja Henie. Another very unique project I will appear in is called Halo of Stars and it could be ready for release within six months.” The movie stars Lily Collins, Holiday Grainger and Harry Treadaway.