Okkupert (English title: Occupied) is a Norwegian political thriller TV series with 10 episodes that premiered on TV2 on 5 October 2015. Based on an original idea by Jo Nesbø, the series is directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg. The series has been renewed with a second season to be premiered on 10 October 2017 directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg.
|Theme music composer||Sivert Høyem|
|Country of origin||Norway, France, Sweden|
|Original language(s)||Norwegian, English, Russian|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||18|
|Running time||45 min|
|Production company(s)||Yellow Bird|
|Budget||kr 90 million|
|Picture format||16:9 HD|
|First shown in||Norway|
|Original release||4 October 2015|
|Yellow Bird :: Okkupert|
With a budget of 90 million kr (USD 11 million), the series is the most expensive Norwegian production to date, and has been sold to the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Serbia, Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Spain. It is also streamed by Netflix in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, India, Canada, Belgium, Sweden, and the Netherlands.
Okkupert depicts a fictional near future in which Russia, with support from the European Union, occupies Norway to restore its oil and gas production. This is prompted by a Europe-wide energy crisis caused by Norway's Green Party coming to power and stopping the country's oil and gas production.
In the near future, Middle East turmoil compromises oil production. The United States achieve energy independence and withdraw from NATO. Europe is suffering an energy crisis. A catastrophic hurricane, Hurricane Maria, fuelled by climate change, devastates Norway, leading to the rise of the Norwegian Green Party. Prime Minister Jesper Berg, an idealistic politician with bold plans for thorium-based nuclear power, cuts off all fossil fuel production. The EU, in desperation, asks Russia to initiate a velvet glove invasion of Norway. Russian special forces kidnap Berg, insisting that he submit to EU demands or face a full-scale invasion. Berg at first refuses, but after his kidnappers execute a random civilian, Berg submits, reasoning that nobody deserves to die. Berg is released and is picked up by his PST bodyguard Hans Martin Djupvik. To conceal the nature of the occupation, Berg promises the Norwegian people that the occupation is a temporary measure until Norway's oil and gas production is restored by Russian working crews. This intention unravels as a series of events complicate Norwegian–Russian interactions over the ensuing months.
The series of escalating complications begins when a member of the Royal Guard unsuccessfully attempts to assassinate the Russian ambassador, Irina Sidorova, only to be thwarted by Norwegian Police Security Service. The Norwegian military unit seizes two Russian officials who had been urging the general to surrender himself to the Russian authorities on suspicion of hatching the plot to assassinate Sidorova, inciting a hostage situation with the demands being the release of the attempted assassin from the Russian Embassy.
Then a Russian agent is the victim of a hit-and-run and the Russian government demands that Norway extrajudicially extradite the driver, a suspected Chechen terrorist. The hit-and-run was an accident rather than a deliberate attack, but the driver commits suicide rather than being transferred to Russia. An insurgent group, Fritt Norge (Free Norway), emerges, and attacks police headquarters. The Russian government takes this as an excuse to prolong their occupation of Norway. A gas production facility is attacked, temporarily delaying the EU production target, and killing many Russian workers. Tensions further increase as suspicious events occur at the Norwegian–Russian border and a Russian naval fleet exercises off the coast of northern Norway. Berg asks the EU to protect Norway's sovereignty, but the EU fails to act decisively.
Fritt Norge receives assistance from inside the Norwegian police service and begins a recruitment drive of retired military personnel. Berg has in the meantime had known Russian sleeper agents sent to internment on Svalbard. In light of this internment campaign, Russian 'terrorists' seemingly armed with suicide vests storm Berg's office and hold him hostage. Berg is rescued and is evacuated to the American embassy. It emerges that the oil refinery attack was actually a false-flag attack by the Russians.
Berg, hiding in the American embassy, takes every opportunity to attempt engaging the United States in a series of Norwegian moves to try to dislodge the Russians, but the Americans refuse direct involvement in any conflict they have a risk of losing. Events spiral further when Fritt Norge kidnaps Sidorova; in response, Russian special forces seize Oslo Airport. Berg's pressure on the Americans prompts the ambassador to poison his food. Berg is admitted to hospital, and is captured yet again, this time by Fritt Norge, who also assassinate a high-ranking Russian general along with several Russian soldiers in front of the Russian embassy. Sidorova calls Djupvik and tells him that Russia is now at war with Norway. Berg is taken to a Fritt Norge resistance camp, and is asked if he is ready to fight for his country.
The season opens with the Norwegian Coast Guard and a Russian PMC guarding the oil installation of Melkøya (Northern Norway) engaging in highly aggressive manoeuvres and what starts as a small local argument explodes into a national then international crisis. The season sees individuals, corporations and governments pitted against each other showing little to no trust.
Following the exile of Jesper Berg to Sweden, Anita Rygh takes over as prime minister. She asks for the release of Norwegian soldiers after the skirmish on Melkøya but the Russians refuse. Meanwhile Jesper Berg tries to convince the European Union to intervene and have the Russian forces leave Norway.
Bente Norum has opened a hotel with a Russian business partner. Similar to her previous restaurant, this venue proves to be a real hit among Russians and it is a profitable venture.
|Veslemøy Mørkrid||Ingrid Bø, a member of the Norwegian police|
|Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė||Irina Sidorova, the Russian ambassador to Norway|
|Ragnhild Gudbrandsen||Wenche Arnesen, the chief of Norwegian Police Security Service|||
|Vegar Hoel||Thomas Eriksen, an investigative journalist|
|Janne Heltberg||Anita Rygh, Political Advisor to Jesper Berg|
|Henrik Mestad||Jesper Berg, the environmentalist Prime Minister of Norway|
|Eldar Skar||Hans Martin Djupvik, a member of the Norwegian Police Security Service|||
|Ane Dahl Torp||Bente Norum, a restaurant owner, married to Thomas Eriksen|
|Selome Emnetu||Hilde Djupvik, a Norwegian judge, married to Hans Martin Djupvik|
|Lisa Loven Kongsli||Astrid Berg, Jesper Berg's wife|
|Sondre Larsen||Stefan Christensen, a member of the King's Guard|
|Øystein Røger||Dag Ottesen, Editor-in-chief of "Ny Tid"|
|Hippolyte Girardot||Pierre Anselme, French European Commissioner|
|Krzysztof Pieczyński||Vladimir Gosev, Sidorova's Intelligence Officer|
|Alexej Manvelov||Nikolai, Russian security guard and Bente's lover|
|Ville Virtanen||Antti Korhonen, President of the Republic of Finland|
Jo Nesbø wrote the first episodes in 2008, and the series, planned to be produced for Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, received a NOK 9.7 million production grant from the Norwegian Film Institute in April 2013. After four years of planning, disagreements over the progress led NRK to withdraw from the project; TV2 took over in October 2013.
The series premiered in Norway on TV2 on 5 October 2015. The series premiered in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 13 January 2016 on Sky Arts in HD. The series has been added to the Netflix streaming service in multiple countries as of 20 January 2016. The series premiered on Pivot TV in the United States on 5 May 2016. The series premiered on public television station TVOntario in Canada on 11 September 2016.
|1-9||December (part 1)||2015-11-22|
|1-10||December (part 2)||2015-11-29|
|2-7||February (part 1)||2017-11-03|
|2-8||February (part 2)||2017-11-10|
The Daily Telegraph's cultural reviewer Gerard O'Donovan wrote of Occupied that the series' innovation more than made up for any lack of plausibility, citing the interesting historical, geopolitical interplay between Norway and Russia as fascinating. O'Donovan went on to praise the first episode, saying, "the tense plotting and a pace sufficiently frenetic to carry all but the most curmudgeonly along."
Vyacheslav Pavlovsky, the Russian ambassador to Norway, told Russian News Agency TASS that "It is certainly a shame that, in the year of the 70th anniversary of the victory in World War II, the authors have seemingly forgotten the Soviet Army's heroic contribution to the liberation of northern Norway from Nazi occupiers, decided, in the worst traditions of the Cold War, to scare Norwegian spectators with the nonexistent threat from the east." However, the Russian embassy had been informed in an early stage of the work on the series.
- Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), the foreign military intelligence agency of the Russian Federation
- Northern Fleet, the unit of the Russian Navy responsible for the defence of northwestern Russia
- Norwegian Armed Forces
- A Very British Coup, a 1982 novel where a left-wing British government is overthrown by the security services
- "Trier, Ohlin, Ambo Films, Flagship TV Dramas Receive Funding". Nordisk Film & TV Fond. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- Elsa Keslassy (7 April 2015). "Mip TV: Zodiak Greenlights Scandi Political Thriller Occupied". Variety.
- Scott Roxborough (8 April 2014). "MIPTV: Yellow Bird Begins Shoot on Jo Nesbo Series Occupied". The Hollywood Reporter.
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- @whatsonetflixau (21 January 2016). "New to Netflix Australia is "Occupied" a Norwegian thriller where Norway is occupied by Russia" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Jacob Brown (29 January 2016). "On Netflix: Occupied is the New Homeland". Vogue.
- "Norway Occupation TV show irks Moscow". The Local. 12 February 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- Olav Gorseth (10 April 2014). "DNS-skuespiller sentral i Okkupert". Bergens Tidende (in Norwegian). Retrieved 6 September 2015.
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- Arve Henriksen (31 January 2014). "NRK trekker frem gamle skjeletter". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Retrieved 6 September 2015.
- Whitlock, Jessie (28 September 2015). "Sky Gets Occupied With Scandi Drama". Television Business International. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
- "Occupied: Season 1 Episode List". TheTVDB.com. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
- "Occupied - Season 1 Episodes List - Next Episode". Next Episode. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
- "Occupied: Season 2 Episode List". TheTVDB.com. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
- "Occupied - Season 2 Episodes List - Next Episode". Next Episode. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
- O'Donovan, Gerard (13 January 2016). "Occupied, episode one, review: bang on trend". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
- Bershidsky, Leonid (2015-08-28). "Norwegian TV taps into fear of Russia". Bloomberg View. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
- The Australian Financial Review. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015..
- "Fictional Russian invasion sparks row with Moscow". The Guardian. 30 August 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2018.