Since leaving Vikings' badass Ragnar Lothbrok behind in 2016, Travis Fimmel's TV work has been limited to a short-form performance for Quibi's 50 States of Fear with Sam Raimi. That all ends with the release of HBO Max's wild new sci-fi drama Raised by Wolves, which boasts Ridley Scott as executive producer and director for select episodes. While one might not think there would be a whole lot of comparison points to make between Vikings and Raised by Wolves, there's a very distinctive and important one, though it's not very cheery.
Raised by Wolves ostensibly focuses on a pair of androids who were sent off to try and populate a planet to extend humankind's lifeline, and the various unpredictable circumstances that arise. Ahead of Season 1's head-spinning debut, CinemaBlend spoke with Travis Fimmel and his Raised by Wolves co-star Niamh Algar about the futuristic series. When I asked Fimmel about jumping from a show in the distant past to one in the distant future, here's how he answered:
It's amazing. We've been talking about it a lot today, but it's like history is like the present day, with things that we haven't learned. And then it looks like the future's gonna be [the same]; we haven't learned anything either. You know, we still can't get along.
The settings may be lightyears apart, and the characters may be living many centuries apart, but there's still a very potent thematic thread running through both Vikings and Raised by Wolves, in that both are tethered to the idea that humanity can't escape warring against itself, regardless of the circumstances. Granted, a whole lot of entertainment would be made moot if everyone on Earth automatically got along with everyone else. As well, Raised by Wolves has a few characters that definitely would not have existed in the eighth and ninth centuries, but I digress.
Even beyond what Travis Fimmel mentioned, Raised by Wolves is a show that is wholly centered on the idea of "family" and how it can apply to many different situations that aren't just "biological parent and biological offspring." Vikings has obviously also held family up as a core concept, both during and after Fimmel's Ragnar was at the head of his clan of sons. In playing Marcus, Fimmel shows off some of the same protective instincts as Ragnar (as well as some similarly noteworthy facial hair), though in wildly different circumstances.
Considering Raised by Wolves' world was partly designed by Ridley Scott, though, I think it's safe to say that the new drama doesn't really look anything like Vikings, aesthetics-wise. That said, both shows have fairly primitive settings and domiciles, though Raised by Wolves definitely does feature space-faring vehicles and some very futuristic tech. Not a whole lot of showers on either show.
Travis Fimmel was over the moon to work with Ridley Scott, and here's what he told me:
It's just so great to work with Ridley Scott, man. I've always been such a fan. I know this is a genre everybody associates with him, but he's done just brilliant stuff with so many different genres. He's such a talented human being, and we're very lucky to be in a show with him. It's an easy choice to do, and I'm very lucky to have even got the job.