Katla (stylized as KATLA) is an Icelandic mystery-drama television series created by Baltasar Kormákur and Sigurjón Kjartansson. The show premiered on 17 June 2021 on Netflix.[1]

Katla
Genre
Created by
Written by
Directed by
  • Baltasar Kormákur
  • Börkur Sigþórsson
  • Þóra Hilmarsdóttir
Starring
ComposerHögni Egilsson
Country of originIceland
Original languages
  • Icelandic
  • Swedish
  • English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
Production
Producers
  • Agnes Johansen
  • Baltasar Kormákur
  • Magnús Viðar Sigurðsson
CinematographyBergsteinn Björgúlfsson
Editors
  • Sigurður Eyþórsson
  • Sigvaldi J. Kárason
Production companyRVK Studios
Original release
NetworkNetflix
Release17 June 2021 (2021-06-17)

Synopsis

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A year after an eruption of the Katla volcano began, only a few people remain in the nearby town of Vík, persisting despite choking ash. An ash-caked woman who apparently disappeared twenty years earlier appears in the village, looking as she did back then. More ash-caked people who died in the past arrive in Vík, creating a paradox for those who knew them and reviving legends of "changelings". Meanwhile, a volcanologist from Reykjavík discovers the remains of a meteorite buried in the glacier, while having to deal emotionally with the reappearance of his dead son. Through their interactions with the "changelings", the inhabitants of Vík are forced to find their own ways of dealing with their unresolved issues from the past.

Cast and characters

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  • Guðrún Eyfjörð as Gríma Þórsdóttir, younger sister of Ása
  • Íris Tanja Flygenring as Ása Þórsdóttir, Gríma's older sister, who died a year ago.
  • Ingvar Sigurðsson as Þór (Thor) Jonsson, father of Gríma, Ása, and Björn
  • Aliette Opheim as Gunhild Halberg, in the present and as a young woman; mother of Björn
  • Valter Skarsgård as Björn, son of Gunhild and Þór through an affair twenty years earlier[1]
  • Aldís Amah Hamilton as Eyja[1]
  • Þorsteinn Bachmann as Gísli Einar, head of the local police, husband of Magnea
  • Sólveig Arnarsdóttir as Magnea in the present and as a young woman; wife of Gísli
  • Haraldur Ari Stefánsson as Einar,[1] son of Gísli and Magnea
  • Björn Thors as Darri Hansson, volcanologist; husband of Rakel and father of Mikael
  • Birgitta Birgisdóttir as Rakel, wife of Darri and mother of Mikael[1]
  • Hlynur Atli Harðarson as Mikael, son of Darri and Rakel who died in an accident years ago.[1]
  • Helga Braga Jónsdóttir as Vigdís[1]
  • Björn Ingi Hilmarsson as Leifur[1]

Episodes

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No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [2]
1"From Under the Glacier"
(Icelandic: Undan Jöklinum)
Baltasar Kormákur[2]Sigurjón Kjartansson17 June 2021 (2021-06-17)
A year after Katla's eruption, the shattered survivors are still grappling with the aftermath. Suddenly, an ash-caked woman appears on the glacier. She is taken to the hospital and reveals herself to be a Swedish woman named Gunhild.
2"Ása"Baltasar KormákurLilja Sigurðardóttir17 June 2021 (2021-06-17)
Another ash-caked woman appears; she is Ása, Gríma's sister, thought to have been dead. An older Gunhild flies in from Sweden.
3"The Mother"
(Icelandic: Móðirin)
Baltasar KormákurDavíð Már Stefánsson17 June 2021 (2021-06-17)
Darri finds his dead son at his workplace. The boy is also ash-caked, like Gunhild and Ása. Darri tries to hide his son from his colleagues. Ása and Gríma go for a swim in a hot spring.
4"This Is Not Him"
(Icelandic: Þetta er ekki hann)
Þóra HilmarsdóttirSigurjón Kjartansson17 June 2021 (2021-06-17)
After receiving a call from her supposedly dead son, Rakel goes to Katla and meets Darri and the boy. The sisters investigate the shed on the glacier where Asa was first spotted.
5"Northerly Winds"
(Icelandic: Norðanátt)
Börkur SigþórssonDavíð Már Stefánsson17 June 2021 (2021-06-17)
A shocking revelation that would ordinarily offer closure instead opens up a chasm of questions. History repeats itself, as a deadly ash storm gathers.
6"Gríma"Börkur SigþórssonDavíð Már Stefánsson17 June 2021 (2021-06-17)
Face to face with an utter mystery, Gríma tries to understand her shadowy find. Rakel has a change of heart as Gísli deals with an unexpected arrival.
7"The Rock"
(Icelandic: Steinninn)
Börkur SigþórssonDavíð Már Stefánsson17 June 2021 (2021-06-17)
At the scene of the accident, Rakel pours her heart out to Gríma. Darri explores the crevasse for answers.
8"I Am You"
(Icelandic: Ég er þú)
Baltasar KormákurSigurjón Kjartansson17 June 2021 (2021-06-17)

Production

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In February 2017, Variety magazine reported that Baltasar Kormákur would be working on Katla, a supernatural drama series centered on the volcano of the same name, with filming to take place outside Reykjavík.[3] In October 2019, it was reported that RVK Studios was developing the series for Netflix, to be directed by Kormákur and Sigurjón Kjartansson.[4] The series started production prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent forced shutdown put a halt to the work, which had covered a few weeks by that point. Kormákur resumed production in April 2020.[5]

Critical reception

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On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 100% of 11 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.8/10.[6]

John Doyle of The Globe and Mail wrote: "In what is a slow-moving, Stygian and enigmatic eight-part series ... there's a beguiling mystery about heartbreak."[7] Robyn Chowdhury of New Scientist praised the series in her review, concluding: "Katla is a thriller with such depth that some episodes, particularly the fast-paced season finale, can leave you feeling genuinely emotionally raw. It is a story about grief with unpredictably dark twists and turns, worthy of multiple watches."[8]

See also

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References

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  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Khan, Iram Sharifah (27 May 2021). "Katla: Release date and cast for Icelandic series on Netflix revealed". HITC. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Katla – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  3. ^ Keslassy, Elsa; Hopewell, John (12 February 2017). "Berlinale: Baltasar Kormakur Sets Volcanic Drama 'Katla' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  4. ^ White, Peter (9 October 2019). "Netflix Scales Supernatural Volcano in 'Katla' With 'Everest' Director Baltasar Kormákur". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  5. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (1 May 2020). "Reopening Hollywood: How Baltasar Kormakur Re-Started Production on Netflix's 'Katla' Amid COVID-19 Lockdown in Iceland". Deadline Hollywood.
  6. ^ "Katla". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 16 May 2023.
  7. ^ Doyle, John (5 July 2021). "Three strong stories about love, loss and survival on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video". The Globe and Mail.
  8. ^ Chowdhury, Robyn (1 July 2021). "Katla review: A dark, mysterious thriller with a supernatural volcano". New Scientist.
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