Watch: History’s ‘Vikings’ Wage War on Paris (EXCLUSIVE)

The time has come for History Channel’s “Vikings” to launch their attack on Paris, and in the April 9 episode, we see Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and his horde of northmen assailing the supposedly impenetrable walls of the city.

Below, Variety has an exclusive sneak peek at the Vikings’ assault on Paris, and we talked to creator Michael Hirst about the process of recreating the city for season three of the ambitious series.

As with everything on “Vikings,” historical accuracy was key for Hirst: “The Vikings actually attacked with a hundred ships and 3,000 men, so it’s not only Ragnar who had to get ready and step up, so did the production,” he told Variety . “It was like the show mirroring actual Viking experience, because we know that the Vikings started off with one or two ships going west and attacking lonely monasteries with 30 warriors or something like that. And then, before very long, there were lots more raiding parties, much more ambitious raiding parties, and finally the attack on Paris with a huge number of Viking warriors.”

The change in scenery also allowed the show to create more lavish sets, with a European city providing a vastly different backdrop than the landscapes the series has explored thus far. “It was great for the production to go to a different world, so we built the inside of Notre Dame Cathedral on one of the stages,” Hirst said. “It’s one of the biggest stages in the world and it was the biggest build that we’ve done so far, and it’s amazing. Marble floors, stained glass windows, hundreds of statues… Then we built part of the walls of Paris on the backlot. We built the bridge leading into Paris on the backlot. We had to have more boats and more stunt people and more extras, so when you went around there it was like an army. Suddenly there were thousands of people around. There were hundreds before, now there are thousands.”

Hirst credits stuntmen Franklin Henson and Richard Ryan with perfecting the complex fight scenes for the attack on Paris. “We’re lucky. We have two of the greatest guys who do our choreography for the fight sequences, and they were in their element. They actually trained up a lot of Irish people, men and women, to be stunt people. We needed so many stunt people. I always like the fact we employee so many Irish people, and it knits everything together. But the choreography was extraordinary and very, very dangerous. One of the things I love about ‘Vikings’ — it’s real. Our guys really do fight and they climb and they ride and they row and they love it, but this was at a different level because we’re setting fire to the ladders. We have people falling 50 feet into water, and watching that is heart-stopping.”

“Vikings” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on History.

More TV

  • Punisher Jessica Jones

    Marvel's 'The Punisher,' 'Jessica Jones' Canceled at Netflix

    The last of Netflix’s Marvel shows are officially ending. “The Punisher” has been canceled after its second season, and the upcoming third season of “Jessica Jones” will be its last, Netflix confirmed on Monday. The news comes after Netflix gave the ax to its other Marvel series: “Daredevil,” “Iron First,” and “Luke Cage.” “Marvel’s ‘The Punisher’ will [...]

  • SND Boards Comedy Series 'Family Shake'

    SND Boards Comedy Series 'Family Shake' With 'Desperate Parents' Producer

    SND, the commercial arm of the French TV network M6, has acquired worldwide distribution rights to “Family Shake,” a comedy series written by Baya Kasmi and Michel Leclerc. SND is the latest vertically integrated French film group to start handling live-action series, following TF1 Studio, Studiocanal and Gaumont, among others. Produced by Gaëlle Cholet at [...]

  • 'Super Shiro' Anime Series Inspired by

    'Super Shiro' Anime Series Inspired by 'Crayon Shin-chan'

    The enduringly popular Japanese cartoon franchise “Crayon Shin-chan” has inspired a new animated TV series, “Super Shiro.” “Crayon Shin-chan” has been on air since 1992 and inspired 26 feature films. “Super Shiro” is a fast-paced chase series, for kids, based on original IP by Yoshito Usui and scripted by on Kimiko Ueno.  The series is [...]

  • Us Television Writers and Producers Maria

    Mad Men’s’ Andre, Maria Jacquemetton Set for Series Mania’s UGC Writers Campus

    MADRID — André and Maria Jacquemetton, the Emmy and WGA Award-winning writer-producers of AMC’s “Mad Men” and consulting producers on Amazon Studios’ “The Romanoffs,” will serve as Guests of Honor at Series Mania’s UGC Writers Campus, a workshop whose participants include Denmark’s Christina Miller-Harris and Israel’s Noy Carmel. The Jacquemettons will deliver a masterclass and [...]

  • China Plans Remake of BBC Time-Travel

    China Plans Remake of BBC Time-Travel Cop Show ‘Life on Mars’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    A Chinese “Life on Mars” is in the works after BBC Studios and Phoenix Entertainment inked a deal to create a Mandarin-language version of the time-travel cop series. BBC Studios will officially unveil the format deal at Showcase, its annual programming market for international buyers, which is now underway in Liverpool, England. “Life on Mars” [...]

  • DF-10193 – L-R: Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor),

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Leads MPSE Golden Reel Awards for Sound Editing

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” followed up love from Cinema Audio Society sound mixers with a pair of honors at the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ 66th annual Golden Reel Awards Sunday night. The musical biopic scored wins for dialogue and ADR as well as sound editing in a musical. The film is nominated for sound editing at the Oscars [...]

  • Melissa McCarthy as "Lee Israel" and

    WGA Awards 2019: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?,' 'Eighth Grade' Win Screenplay Awards

    In a pair of upsets, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” has won the Writers Guild of America’s adapted screenplay award for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty and Bo Burnham has won the original screenplay award for “Eighth Grade.” The major television trophies went to “The Americans,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Homeland” and “Barry” for the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content