Fighting FOR FREEDOM
the norwegian resistance battles back against russian invasion in Occupied
ONE OF THE best Scandi dramas of recent years resumes this week when the second season of gripping Norwegian thriller Occupied comes to Sky Box Sets.
For those who missed the first season (also available for catch-up on Sky Box Sets), the drama follows events in the near-future when Europe is rocked by an energy crisis that turns the political order on its head.
‘The first season saw Norway elect the Green Party to government after a devastating hurricane caused by global warming,’ explains producer Gudny Hummelvoll.
‘New prime minister Jesper Berg [Henrik Mestad] then shut down Norway’s extensive oil production in order to utilise renewable resources, leaving the rest of Europe facing a massive energy crisis.’
With European countries threatened by recession because of Berg’s actions, the EU called on Russia to take control of Norway by military force and restore the production of oil.
The controversial storyline was condemned by the Russian government for being ‘in the worst traditions of the Cold War’ – even though Moscow had just sent forces into Crimea.
WHO TO TRUST?
‘We got a bit of heat when we did the first season, but not now,’ says Hummelvoll. ‘Besides, the Russians are not really depicted as the bad guys. It is the EU which is using Russia to do the dirty business for them.’
Now, with the Russian flag flying over the capital, politicians, soldiers and citizens – including Berg’s ex-bodyguard Hans Martin Djupvik (Eldar Skar) and his political aide Anita Rygh (Janne Heltberg) – face stark choices.
With a senior Russian general assassinated in the season-one finale, and the US trying to keep out of the conflict, the stakes are even higher for all concerned.
‘In season two, Norway is still occupied and it is obvious the Russians are not leaving,’ says Hummelvoll. ‘this time we see if the uprising is growing bigger or not. We look at what is happening to the political parties. People start out very idealistic, but become cynical and want more power. Who is gaining from the occupation? Who can you trust?’
JANNE HELTBERG AS ANITA RYGH WITH HENRIK MESTAD AS JESPER BERG