As fans await the end of Vikings, they have something else to look forward to. The series’ creator has found his next TV show, and like his previous, it is an epic tale. This one, however, is set many years after the story of Ragnar and his sons.
Michael Hirst will be behind a new adaptation of Doctor Zhivago. Yes! Vikings’ creator will set sail on a whole new world. Hirst will adapt Boris Pasternak’s novel for television, per Deadline. While it is a tale that has made it to the screen many times before, there is a crucial difference. The man behind an epic saga like Vikings has not gotten his hands on it.
The new miniseries will span eight parts. That is a healthy number that falls shy of the recently popularized 10-episode cycle. That episode count should be more than enough to render the dramatic story. It is an epic one that has traditionally taken a lot of time to tell.
The 1965 film clocked in at 3 hours and 17 minutes. A 2002 television adaptation starring Keira Knightley ran for two parts that cumulated to 3 hours and 46 minutes. Michael Hirst’s eight-part adaptation should make both of those run times feel brief.
No cast or network has been settled on yet for the miniseries. Time will tell if any Vikings actors make it onto the cast list. Since the History series is ending, they should have time in their schedule.
For those who may need a refresher, Doctor Zhivago chronicles its titular character as he tries to survive amidst the Russian Revolution. A gifted physician and poet, Zhivago is involved in a tangled love affair. He loves the “magical” Lara, and so does Strelnikov, a revolutionary. As their world gets torn apart, Zhivago attempts to hang onto his private life.
Michael Hirst taking on Doctor Zhivago is made all the more compelling when you apply Vikings-related context. In the series’ upcoming sixth and final season, the story will take viewers to the land of Rus (later Russia).
Ivar began making the journey in the Season 5 finale. Hence, you can expect that to be a significant storyline in Season 6. If fans of Vikings tune in to both of Michael Hirst’s projects, they will see his take on Russia during two very different periods in history.
In a statement, Vikings’ creator said that the latest Doctor Zhivago adaptation would “deliberately” connect to the events of today. He also vowed that the upcoming project would push the movie’s boundaries to embrace a larger story. Beryl Vertue, Sue Vertue, and Fox Allan will executive produce the adaptation. Hartswood Films and Wild Bunch TV are also behind the remake.