I wish I could add some geek cred points and say I played Blizzard’s World of Warcraft in the 2000’s. At the height of its popularity, Blizzard claimed a subscriber base of 12 million people in 2010.
I was not among this giant horde, which may have put me at a disadvantage when I went to watch the Warcraft movie. But then again I kept thinking, it’s still a fantasy film with the usual story—hero and team must fight looming force of evil in an exotic land with exotic creatures with exotic names. There are swords and magic and wizards and thrones and castles and prophecies and codes and mystical messages.
The least they could have done was give the non gamers coming in cold some opening crawl, some lines of text to help us understand and appreciate the world of Azeroth.
No matter—I’ll come clean and say I went for Travis Fimmelaka Ragnar Lothbrok. He plays Anduin Lothar—a superlative knight and warrior. He is joined by Mission Impossible’s Paula Patton who has to act through some rather unwieldly make up, Gamora-green skin and fangs on her lower jaw, Clancy Brown (Daredevil, The Flash, Sponge Bob Square Pants and too many more geeky properties to mention), Dominic Cooper (a.k.a Howard Stark, Preacher), Rob Kazinsky (Pacific Rim). The movie has a tendency to just be all over the place, and despite their earnestness, the cast can only do so much.
Speaking of Travis Fimmel and History Channel’s successful Vikings (which is on it’s way to a fifth season) the network will premiere a new show, Barbarians Rising.
Barbarians Rising is an eight part docu-drama featuring the stories of history’s great warriors: Hannibal (Nicholas Pinnock—Captain America: The First Avenger) who vowed a blood oath at the age of nine to destroy Rome; Spartacus (Ben Batt), the slave-turned-rebel who led a barbarian revolt; Boudica (Kirsty Mitchell), the avenging Celtic warrior Queen; Arminius (Tom Hopper—Black Sails, Merlin) as, the son of Germany surrendered to Rome; Attila (Emil Hostina—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows I and II) scourge of the east; Alaric (Gavin Drea) the king of the Goths; Fritigern (Steven Waddington—The Imitation Game) the warrior who took down an Emperor; Geiseric (Richard Brake—Game of Thrones’ Night’s King) as the last barbarian standing; and Viriathus (Jefferson Hall—Vikings, Game of Thrones) as, the shepherd-turned-rebel leader.
Barbarians Rising tells the story of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire from the perspective of the barbarian rebel leaders. The Roman Empire called them “barbarians”—tribes the Romans viewed beyond the fringe of civilization that lived a brutish and violent existence. However, these were also men and women who launched epic struggles that shaped the world to come.
Expect lots of action and brutal fighting as we go back to the days when people had no choice but to duke it out for real vs. from behind computer console.
History premieres Barbarians Rising on June 7, Tuesdays 9 p.m. History is available on SKYCableCh 67; Cable Link Ch. 43; Dream Satellite Ch 30; Destiny Cable Ch 57; and CignalCh 125.