Series 1 - Episode 2

Radio Times
Review by:
Emma Sturgess

When Viking oarsmen found their river routes blocked by ice, they would roll and heave their boats inch by inch over land using logs. As Neil Oliver joins in this hard labour with a group of enthusiasts, it seems like a big lie that the Vikings got anywhere at all, but this second episode takes us to the far reaches of the world they knew.

Oliver travels to Istanbul to see Viking graffiti in the Hagia Sophia, and Dublin, founded by Norwegian Vikings in AD 841, and one of their principal slave markets. But a story that feels incredibly exotic isn’t complete without the bit where they came to our island. And, of course, the thing that fires the imaginations of so many schoolchildren who’d otherwise struggle to imagine life in the Dark Ages: Viking poo.

About this programme

2/3. Neil Oliver continues his attempt to shed new light on the Norse warriors by examining their sophisticated trading skills, and visits locations in Russia, Turkey and Ireland to explain how they established a business empire. He also explores the vast array of goods that were bought and sold by Viking merchants and settlers, including Chinese silks and Pictish slaves.

Cast and crew


Neil Oliver


Rosie Schellenberg
Executive Producer
Eamon Hardy
Rosie Schellenberg
Series Producer
Cameron Balbirnie