Russia Criticizes War-Themed Norwegian TV Series 'Occupied'

Jo Nesbo - H 2015
Niklas R. Lello/Courtesy of Jo Nesbo

Jo Nesbo - H 2015

Norway's most expensive TV series ever is to premiere next month.

Russia’s embassy in Norway has issued a concerned statement about the new Norwegian television series Okkupert (Occupied), which tells a fictitious story about Norway being occupied by Russia.

"Although the creators of the TV series were at pains to stress that the plot is fictitious and allegedly has nothing to do with reality, the film shows quite specific countries, and Russia, unfortunately, was given the role of an aggressor," reads the statement, quoted by the Russian news agency TASS.

With a budget of 90 million kroner ($10.8 million), Occupied, created by renowned Norwegian crime author Jo Nesbø, is Norway's most expensive television series ever made.

Set in the near future, the series tells a story about Russia occupying Norway on behalf of the European Union, due to the fact that the newly elected environmental friendly Norwegian government has stopped the all important oil- and gas-production in the North Sea.

"It is certainly regretful that in the year when the 70th anniversary of the victory in the second world war is celebrated, the series' creators decided to scare Norwegian viewers with a non-existing threat from the East in the worst Cold War traditions, as if they had forgotten about the Soviet Army's heroic contribution to liberation of Northern Norway from Nazi occupants," continues the statement.

The first episode of Occupied, is scheduled to be aired on Norway's TV2 on Sept. 27. The TV series was picked up by French-German network ARTE, according to the Nordic Film and TV Fund.