Sky Arts is ‘Occupied’ with their next Nordic series


The Norwegian drama is getting ready to entice UK audiences in 2016

Sky Arts celebrates their recent agreement with Zodiak Rights, confirming that they will be the channel to air the forthcoming environmental thriller series Occupied. With BBC Four, Channel4 and More4 airing popular Scandinavian series, Sky Arts has proved they have an eye for broadcasting award-winning Nordic programmes for their dedicated viewers. Recent shows, such as the award-winning family drama The Legacy (2014- ) and the dark comedy of Dag (2010- ) are prime examples of their inspiring choices.

Occupied is a political drama, filmed in Norwegian, Russian and English with a budget of over £7million. The show foregrounds social and environmental issues that cause a dramatic spiral of events when oil production in the North Sea comes to a halt. In the absorbing narrative filled with suspense, we follow corporate espionage and the Russian infiltration of Norway, in a desperate act to maintain the menacing oil and gas industry.

The series has received criticisms for its demonic depiction of the Russian Superpower, as mentioned in The Guardian: “Russia, regrettably, has the role of the aggressor. In the worst traditions of the cold war, [this show] decided to scare Norwegian viewers with a non-existent threat from the east,” as spoken by Russian ambassador Vyacheslav Pavlovsky, in Norway’s capital Oslo. However, as the idea is borne from the mind of renowned crime writer Jo Nesbø (the Harry Hole novels and Headhunters, 2011), this had been disregarded by its riveting fictional source.

Nevertheless, Phil Edgar-Jones – director of Sky Arts – shared his excitement for the acquisition and how this will help the channel to continue delivering a high-brow remit of shows: “Sky Arts audiences have come to expect the very best of foreign language drama on the channel and we’re thrilled that Jo Nesbø’s Occupied is going to get January off to a thrilling start.”

Occupied is a ten episode series which boasts a budget of over £7million and is already scheduled to air in Norway and France in October.

A UK air date is scheduled for early 2016 on Sky Arts