Barbarians begins in the Teutoburg Forest, in the year 9AD in what could be a warring battle between three Roman legions and the Germanic tribes whom they refer to as Barbarians, even though it’s set out clearly that ‘Germania = good. Romans = bad’.
The Romans want the good guys to kiss their eagle… and that’s not a euphemism, but a staff. It would be like pledging allegiance to your enemy.
That said, it’s a time when women can be sold for a few horses, as Thusnelda (Jeanne Goursaud) learns early on when Hadgan (Sergej Onopko) eyes her up for her looks, and whether she have good teeth and strong muscles. Meanwhile, the Romans demand cows and grain, and even one of them giving their son to the Romans wasn’t enough, so now it’s time for a fight…
…or maybe just some shouting, since in Germania, Hadgan shouts at Cherusci, Cherusci shouts at Segestes, Segestes shouts at Hadgan… and so on.
Meanwhile, Folkwin (David Schütter – 8 Days) and Thusnelda want to be together, but she’s already promised to Hadgan like the archiac and ridiculously stupid process of modern arranged marriages. Talking of complete nonsense, the deluded characters in this show also believe in Gods.
The dialogue is like a terrible soap opera, and as tedious as the foreign dramas we’d get on UK kids TV during the ’80s. For example, when the Romans turn up at the Germanic camp, one the Romans says, “Not even enough to wipe my ass with”. I doubt very much they spoke like that back then. However, before long, they cause death to one of the camp’s number and people stare wistfully into the distance.
Based on the first episode, Barbarians is lazy, derivative and monumentally tedious. There’s some fist fights, some threatening with swords, and one scene where a person’s head comes clean off with a single swipe of a sword, but there’s nothing here which hasn’t been done before, AND far better. I have no wish to watch any more.
Barbarians is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Netflix from Friday October 23rd.
Episode 1 Score: 0/10
Directors: Barbara Eder, Steve Saint Leger
Writers/Creators: Andreas Heckmann, Arne Nolting, Jan Martin Scharf
Music: Ali N Askin, Maurus Ronner
Thusnelda: Jeanne Goursaud
Folkwin Wolfspeer: David Schütter
Segestes: Bernhard Schütz
Arminius: Laurence Rupp
Hadgan: Sergej Onopko
Varus: Gaetano Aronica
Ansgar: Jeremy Miliker
Berulf Buddy Y: Bence Ferenczi
Berulf Buddy: Tibor Milos Krisko
Irmina: Eva Verena Müller
Pelagios: Nikolai Kinski
Golmad: Matthias Weidenhöfer
Segimer: Nicki von Tempelhoff
Talio: Florian Schmidtke
Rurik: Denis Schmidt
Eigel: Mathis Landwehr
Luco: Marlon Boess
Claudius: László Demény
Berulf: Ronald Zehrfeld
Hanno: Sebastian Griegel
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.