Kampen om Tungtvannet TV Series Overview (2015)


Introduction

Kampen om tungtvannet is a six-episode war drama TV miniseries written by Petter S. Rosenlund and produced by Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.

It is a Norwegian/Danish/British co-production, directed by Per-Olav Sørensen that tells about the German nuclear weapon project and the heavy water sabotage in Norway to disrupt it during World War II, with a particular emphasis on the role of Leif Tronstad.

Also known as The Heavy Water War (US, alternative title), The Heavy Water War: Stopping Hitler’s Atomic Bomb (Worldwide English title), The Saboteurs (UK), and Operación Telemark (Spain).

Outline

The story behind Hitler’s plan of Germany getting the atomic bomb during WW2, and the heavy water sabotages in Rjukan, Norway, seen from four angles, the German side, the allied, the saboteurs and the company side.

Cast

Although the series is based on real events and persons, apart from Aubert, all other Nazi collaborating Hydro directors were purposely not mentioned by name.

  • Espen Klouman Høiner as Major Leif Tronstad.
  • Christoph Bach as Werner Heisenberg.
  • Pip Torrens as Colonel John Skinner Wilson, SOE.
  • Anna Friel as Captain Julie Smith (fictitious).
  • Søren Pilmark as Niels Bohr.
  • Stein Winge as Axel Aubert, Director-General of Norsk Hydro.
  • Dennis Storhøi as Bjørn Henriksen, plant director (fictitious).
  • Maibritt Saerens as Ellen Henriksen, plant director’s wife (fictitious).
  • Espen Reboli Bjerke as Jomar Brun.
  • David Zimmerschied as Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker.
  • Andreas Döhler as Kurt Diebner, director of the German nuclear energy project.
  • Robert Hunger-Bühler as General der Infanterie Emil Leeb, Chief of the Waffenamt.
  • Corey Johnson as Major General Pat Pritchard, USAAF (fictitious).
  • Peri Baumeister as Elisabeth Heisenberg..

Operation “Grouse”

  • Torstein Bjørklund as Sergeant Arne Kjelstrup.
  • Benjamin Helstad as Second Lieutenant Jens-Anton Poulsson.
  • Rolf Kristian Larsen as Einar Skinnarland.
  • Christian Rubeck as Sergeant Claus Helberg.
  • Audun Sandem as Second Lieutenant Knut Haugland.

Operation “Gunnerside”

  • Endre Ellefsen as Sergeant Hans Storhaug.
  • Ole Christoffer Ertvaag as Sergeant Birger Strømsheim.
  • Eirik Evjen as Second Lieutenant Kasper Idland.
  • Frank Kjosås as Second Lieutenant Knut Haukelid.
  • Mads Sjøgård Pettersen as Sergeant Fredrik Kayser.
  • Tobias Santelmann as Second Lieutenant Joachim Rønneberg.

Production

The series was filmed in Norway and the Czech Republic. Production costs were around 75 million Norwegian kroner, or about €7.8 million. The dialogue is in Norwegian, German, English and Danish.

Release

The first two episodes were initially broadcast on NRK1, on 04 January 2015. The opening two episodes had 1,259,000 viewers, which was a record for the opening of a drama series in Norway. The third episode was seen by 1.239 million and the fourth by 1.288 million. The fifth episode was seen by 1.319 million while the last was seen 1.322 million. The last episode was watched by 64% of TV viewers that hour.

In Denmark, the initial broadcast was on 04 May 2015 on TV 2 titled Kampen om det tunge vand. In the UK, the miniseries, retitled The Saboteurs, was aired by More4 from 19 June 2015, received a good critical reception. The series was released in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray on 10 August 2015. In Poland the show premiered on 15 January 2016 on ipla VOD to very good reviews. Viewing rights for France were bought by Entertainment One, for Benelux by Lumière, for Spain by A Contracorriente, for Poland by Kino Swiat and for the Balkans by Stas Media. Viewing rights for the US were bought by MHz Networks, which announced a DVD release date of 08 March 2016.

Historical Accuracy

From the première there has been debate over its historical accuracy. Among concerns have been Heisenberg’s involvement in the development of nuclear weapons and allusions to his homosexuality.

Trivia

  • The same story was covered in the 1948 Franco-Norwegian film Kampen om tungtvannet (also known as La bataille de l’eau lourde or Operation Swallow: The Battle for Heavy Water).
    • Quite faithful to real events, it even had many of the original Norwegian commandos starring as themselves.
  • The 1965 British film The Heroes of Telemark, starring Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris, was another version of the story.
  • Ray Mears presented a documentary called The Real Heroes of Telemark in 2003.
    • Despite mainly sticking to the factual evidence, some scenes in the documentary were partly dramatised, focusing on the survival skills involved in the operation.
  • The character of Knut Haugland is also portrayed in Kon-Tiki (2012), set in 1947, where he is described as a war hero and legend for the Telemark raid.
    • He is portrayed by actor Tobias Santelmann, who in this series portrays the character Joachim Rønneberg, a fellow saboteur of Knut Haugland.
  • The four engine RAF plane used to drop the four commandos is a Short Stirling.

Kampen om Tungtvannet Series

  • The same story was covered in the 1948 Franco-Norwegian film Kampen om tungtvannet (also known as La bataille de l’eau lourde or Operation Swallow: The Battle for Heavy Water).
    • Quite faithful to real events, it even had many of the original Norwegian commandos starring as themselves.
  • The 1965 British film The Heroes of Telemark, starring Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris, was another version of the story.
  • Ray Mears presented a documentary called The Real Heroes of Telemark in 2003.
    • Despite mainly sticking to the factual evidence, some scenes in the documentary were partly dramatised, focusing on the survival skills involved in the operation.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Per-Olav Sorensen.
  • Producer(s):
    • Roy Anderson … line producer (6 episodes, 2015).
    • Marcus B. Brodersen … executive producer (6 episodes, 2015).
    • Morten Fisker … executive producer (6 episodes, 2015).
    • Sveinung Golimo … executive producer (6 episodes, 2015).
    • John M. Jacobsen … executive producer (6 episodes, 2015).
    • Kari Moen Kristiansen … producer (6 episodes, 2015).
    • Stewart Mackinnon … executive producer (6 episodes, 2015).
    • Pavel Muller … line producer (6 episodes, 2015).
    • Tone Rønning … executive producer (6 episodes, 2015).
    • Eva Anker-Rasch Storm … junior producer (6 episodes, 2015).
  • Writer(s):
    • Petter S. Rosenlund (Creator) and Oyvind Rune Stalen.
  • Music:
    • Kristian Eidnes Andersen.
  • Cinematography:
    • John Christian Rosenlund.
  • Editor(s):
    • Perry Eriksen, Silje Nordseth, and Martin Stoltz.
  • Production:
    • Filmkameratene A/S.
    • Sebasto Film & TV.
    • Headline Pictures.
    • Sirena Film.
    • Sveriges Television (SVT).
    • Norsk Rikskringkasting (NRK).
    • Norsk Filminstitutt (support).
    • Nordisk Film & TV Fond (support).
    • Telemark Fylkeskommune (support).
    • Tinn Kommune (support).
    • MEDIA Programme of the European Union (support).
    • State Cinematography Fund Czech Republic (support).
  • Distributor(s):
    • AB Svensk Filmindustri (2015) (World-wide) (all media).
    • Arrow Films (2015) (UK) (DVD).
    • Channel 5 Television (2015) (UK) (TV).
    • FOX (2016) (Netherlands) (TV).
    • Film1 (2015) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited).
    • Lumière Home Entertainment (2015) (Netherlands) (Blu-ray).
    • Lumière Home Entertainment (2015) (Netherlands) (DVD).
    • MHz Networks (2015) (USA) (DVD).
    • MHz Networks (2015) (USA) (TV).
    • MHz Networks (2015) (USA) (video) (VOD).
    • Madman Entertainment (2015) (Australia) (DVD).
    • New Select (I) (2016) (Japan) (DVD).
    • Norsk Rikskringkasting (NRK) (2015) (Norway) (TV) (NRK1).
    • Pandastorm Pictures (2017) (Germany) (DVD).
    • SF Film (2015) (Denmark) (DVD).
    • SF Norge A/S (2015) (Norway) (DVD).
    • TV2 Danmark (2015) (Denmark) (TV).
    • Yleisradio (YLE) (2015) (Finland) (TV).
  • Release Date: 04 January 2015 to 01 February 2015.
  • Running Time: 45 minutes (per episode).
  • Rating: 12.
  • Country: Norway, Denmark, and UK.
  • Language: Norwegian, German, English, and Danish.

Video Link

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.