Vikings: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray Review

Check out Lee Weber’s review of Vikings Season Three. The world of the Vikings is brought to life through the journey of Ragnar Lothbrok, the first Viking to emerge from Norse legend and onto the pages of history.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

93

Details:

Studio and Year: Fox/The History Channel- 2015
MPAA Rating: TV-14
Feature running time: 950 minutes
Genre: Action, History, Drama, War, TV

Disc Format: BD-50 (3 Disc Set)
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen, Jessalyn Gilsig, Gustaf Skarsgård, John Kavanagh
Created By By by: Michael Hirst
Written By by: Michael Hirst
Music by: Trevor Morris
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 6th, 2015

“The Storm Is Coming”

My Take:

Below is my review for the first season on Vikings.

“Michael Hirst. Heard of him? You might have without knowing it. He wrote Elizabeth, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, as well as TV shows The Tudors and Camelot. He does a commendable job transcribing sufficiently well documented histrionically characters and events into pretty captivating period dramas. With Vikings, he didn’t have nearly as much documented facts, as most of what is known about the Vikings was passed down through word of mouth more than writing. Besides the “historically accurate” debate here, the real question to me was how Hirst would do creating the drama and action with much more artistic liberties to take.

The History Channels first original dramatic series, Vikings tells the tales of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), who is documented in old Norse poetry and a few stories as a fierce leader who led his Viking brothers on many missions including becoming quite the nuisance to France and England. The season starts off a bit slow with a super heavy emphasis on character development, however, considering the lack of real documented knowledge, Hirst did a commendable job creating these characters and their world. Once the stage is set the action and drama take off and kept me engaged enough to finish the series in two sittings. The world here is painted as raw, savage and gritty, with violence that is palpable and fitting for the time. Beautiful cinematography and acting, including the always great Gabriel Byrne and Gustafr Skarsgård, helped sell the drama. I will say it left me wanting more as the 9 episode season was still building momentum and felt incomplete. I am very interested in seeing season 2…”

I saw Season 2, but was not given the Blu-ray to review. It improved upon season one’s pacing and my wife and I were hooked. I missed Season 3 when it aired, but my wife told me it just keeps getting better…A smart man would just agree, but I would tell you guys if I felt otherwise.

In Vikings: The Complete Third Season Ragnar is now king of his people, however, he and his group of Norse warriors keep on the move, still never settling. The normal antagonist of war with humans is in place but the real threat in season three is betrayal and belief. The belief in a one god verses the Norse gods is a major point of conflict between those Ragnar rules over and it finally reaches a boiling point here.

When Season 3 came in for review I didn’t think I could cram it in, however, I was indeed sucked into 5 day binge, up late nights and addicted. The last series to do this to me was “The Killing” (Ralph’s review here). Well my wife was right and Vikings does just keep getting better. I suggest anyone unfamiliar to go give season one a watch and for fans to not hesitate to pick up season three on Blu-ray.

Parental Guide:
Rated R for brutal violence, grisly images, strong sexual content, and language

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA

 

Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

 

Vikings: The Complete Third Season comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1.85:1 1080p AVC video with an average bitrate of 24.8 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.

Below is from my season one review as it rings perfectly true here as well. It really is a gorgeous looking show.

Vikings: The Complete Third Season Vikings looks and sounds amazing in HD. Filmed digitally, it has a film-like quality with some interesting digital enhancements playing with colors to make certain elements pop. Though a more subdued color palette, primaries seem to pop off the screen lending to a slightly artistic look that was quite nice to look at. Mixing this with delineation on most every object on every frame combined to make this a highly recommended reference presentation. The disc’s lossless audio was as grueling and relentless as the on screen debauchery. The track is completely immersive with a wide front sound-stage, booming bass, dramatic dynamic shifts and smartly utilized surround channels. Enjoy.”

Bonus Features:

  • Audio Commentary on “Born Again” and “Breaking Point” featuring Michael Hirst and Linus Roache
  • (HD) The Guide to the Gods – An interactive exploration of the various Gods in Nordic mythological lore, which include: Odin, Thor, Loki, Frigg, Baldr, Hel, Freyja, Freyr and Njordr.
  • (HD) Extended Versions of All Episodes
  • (HD) Athelstan’s Journal (Parts 1 and 2) – Provides insight into the character of “Athelstan,” as he seeks answers about his direction in life and seeking the honorable path.
  • (HD) Heavy is the Head: The Politics of King Ragnar’s Rule
  • (HD) A City Under Siege: Creating and Attacking Paris
  • (HD) Deleted Scenes

Final Thoughts:

Vikings: The Complete Third Season was awesome and improved upon already great prior seasons. I suggest anyone unfamiliar to go give season one a watch, and for fans to not hesitate to pick up season three on Blu-ray, especially considering the reference A/V and amount of special features.

 

Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS4910 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Falcon Screens Horizon 138″ 2.35:1 Acoustically Transparent Screen
Da-Lite Pro Imager Projector Screen Masking System
Yamaha CX-A5100 AV Processor
Parasound Halo A51 & A21 7×250
Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triad Gold Monitors
Triad Silver Surrounds x4
Triad Bronze Subwoofers x4
Panamorph DC1 Anamorphic Lens
AudioQuest Wires

Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 3D 1080p Plasma
Anthem MRX-310-AV Receiver
Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
MKSound MP-7 LCR’s
MKSound SUR-55T Surrounds
Triad Bronze Subwoofer