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Vikings: Foe or Friend?

Episode 2 of 4

Alice Roberts shows how the Vikings' story has changed on TV since the 1960s, from being seen as brutal barbarians, to pioneering traders able to integrate into multiple cultures.

On 8 June 793 Europe changed forever. The famous monastery at Lindisfarne on the Northumbrian coast was suddenly attacked and looted by seafaring Scandinavians. The Viking Age had begun.

Professor Alice Roberts examines how dramatically the story of the Vikings has changed on TV since the 1960s. She investigates how our focus has shifted from viewing them as brutal, pagan barbarians to pioneering traders, able to integrate into multiple cultures. We also discover that without their naval technology we would never have heard of the Vikings, how their huge trading empire spread, and their surprising legacy in the modern world.

59 minutes

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:12

    Afro Celt Sound System



Role Contributor
Presenter Alice Roberts
Participant Thomas Williams
Participant Jane Kershaw
Participant David Griffiths
Executive Producer Emma Parkins
Producer Denis Minihan
Director Denis Minihan
Writer Denis Minihan
Production Company 360 Production