Masterpiece on PBS has its newest series – The Atlantic Crossing – streaming on Sunday evenings. If you are a PBS supporter and have Passport, you can binge the series. I watched the eight-episode series this weekend, thoroughly enjoying the story of the Norwegian royal family during WW2.
Naturally, any period drama these days must have the caveat it’s “based on true events,” so you don’t think everything spoke or acted is necessarily 100% true. Take the Crown for example. This series is no different, as it does take its liberties. You can, however, check out the PBS after the episode “Fact or Fiction” recaps, which guides viewers. Nevertheless, it is worth your time, despite a few repetitive themes and slow spots filled with more character-driven moments than action-packed ones.
It starts pre-WW2 with the happy family in Norway, the King, Crown Prince, Princess, and their children living a peaceful existence. As Hitler begins his aggression, Norway is intent on remaining neutral. Frankly, the Germans don’t care and invade Norway, causing the royal family to flee. As circumstances would happen, the Crown Princess leaves her husband and the King behind, to seek safety for their children in Sweden, where her uncle is King. As the occupation of Norway succeeds, eventually the King and Crown Prince find themselves in London, while the children and the Crown Princess flee to America for refuge.
The series focuses upon the unique relationship forged between President Roosevelt and Martha (the Crown Princess). In the meantime, her husband Olav and the King are in England, attempting to keep the monarchy in one piece, staying at Buckingham Palace. Throughout the series, their story unfolds as well, between cabinet meetings and what little they can accomplish abroad to fight the Germans on Norwegian soil.
FDR is larger than life, and kudos to Kyle Maclachlan who portrayed him in the series. Town & Country Magazine has published a great article about the cast and the real individuals they portrayed. READ HERE. The rumors of the day were that FDR and the Crown Princess were romantically involved. However, as the series portrays their relationship soured her own marriage with Olav, but eventually, reconciliation came about after the end of the war and their return to Norway.
The series is sprinkled with real footage. Be aware that the series is sub-titled when the Norwegian characters speak together. Yes, it’s sometimes a pain to keep up, but it helps to keep the series real rather than having actors with English accents portray Norwegian individuals.
In any event, it’s a good series and worth the watch. It was impossible not to get a bit teary eyed at the end when the royal family returns to Norway after the war.