Vikings: Valhalla boss reveals advice he got from original show creator
Jeb Stuart said he got one major pointer from Michael Hirst ahead of writing the new series.
Just over a year after epic drama Vikings came to a close, a new spin-off series titled Vikings: Valhalla is preparing to launch on Netflix – set around a century after events of the previous show.
This time around, Die Hard and The Fugitive screenwriter Jeb Stuart takes over as showrunner from Vikings creator Michael Hirst, and he explained how the former boss had just one piece of advice for him when it came to writing the show.
"I developed the show with Michael earlier, so I knew Michael pretty well," he explained in an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com.
"And actually his only piece of advice for the whole situation was that he wanted to feel a sense of nostalgia at the end of the show. And I think that at first I was a little like, 'Nostalgia?' I don't think of that and Vikings in the same sentence very often!
"But I think whereas his show really was the start of the Viking era, as we move toward the end of the Viking era, and as William the Conqueror and things suddenly stopped a lot of that egalitarian society that we really love in a Vikings show, that went away.
"And so I understand what Michael is trying to say, in terms of, you know, when this whole Viking story is over, we should really look back on this very brutal period and say, 'Gosh, things were pretty good back then.'"
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Stuart was asked to take the reins on the new show by Morgan O'Sullivan, who was a producer on the original series, but he said there was no particular time period in mind when he was first approached.
"So pretty rapidly I was looking for a time period where I felt like the audience could sort of immediately get into a story," he explained.
"And I was also fascinated by the turn of the 11th century, because of the battles that were going on in Scandinavia between Pagan Vikings and Christian Vikings, and it became clear very quickly that Christian Vikings were just as scary as Pagan Vikings.
"So that seemed like a pretty good place to go mining. Once we locked in on the St Brice's Day Massacre, that gave a framework for the story, and so that was it.
"It was easy to do the research because you know where you're going to be playing and who are these characters – who is Emma of Normandy, who was Aethelred, who's Edmund, how could I move and bend some of those stories into a storyline that would work for Valhalla?"
Read more Vikings: Valhalla content:
- Meet the cast of Vikings: Valhalla
- How accurate is Vikings: Valhalla? True story behind Netflix series
Vikings: Valhalla is coming to Netflix on 25th February 2022. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide
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