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BARBARIANS ARE COMING (article first published : 2004-04-27)

Vikings, Goths, Mongols and Huns are the savage tribes from the dark beyond that will come alive on the History Channel on DStv (Channel 68).

The History Channel will showcase the long-awaited Barbarians dealing with the notoriously savage tribes who hurled themselves repeatedly against the bastions of civilization. In a two-part, four-hour Premiere Special, The History Channel vividly tells their story, aided by cinematic on-location re-creations and experts who place the Barbariansí astonishing sagas into historical perspective.

Barbarians makes its debut on The History Channel on May 23, with the two hours on Vikings and Goths. Another two hours on Mongols and Huns will be broadcast on May 30.

Barbarians covers nearly 1,000 years of history and conquest, focusing on four main Barbarian groups: the Vikings, the Goths, the Mongols, and the Huns. To help bring this history to life, the production had a crew of 80 and set a new standard for historical re-enactments whose scale evokes the scope and feel of world-changing events in ancient history.

A full stunt crew was used for the battles, high-falls and fire and two-dozen horses and riders were engaged for many of the scenes. Three Viking ships were built on location in Lithuania-one for shots in the sea, one for construction by the Vikings and one for use as a 1,000-year old archeological site. Sets and locations for Roman towns, medieval castles, walled fortresses, Viking farms and towns and the primitive encampments of the Huns, Goths and Mongols-all were created for this sweeping series. A range of historical experts in each of the subject areas places the historic events in lively and accurate context.

To the embattled and civilized Romans, Persians, and Chinese, the cruelty of the Barbarians rivaled that of wild animals. It was said they ate human flesh, worshiped pagan deities, and fought like the very demons of hell. How could these nomadic clans successfully devastate the most advanced cultures of the ancient world? History now reveals how these Barbarian peoples had strengths that often gave them the upper hand against far superior and more technologically advanced forces. In fact, the Barbarians were innovative in their development of weapons and strategies, clever in their use of diplomacy and deceit, and completely ruthless in their use of terror as a weapon.

Barbarians is produced and directed for The History Channel by three-time Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Robert Gardner with executive producer Carl H Lindahl and Clancy Brown as the narrator.




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