NOVA: Secrets of the Viking Sword

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NOVA: Secrets of the Viking Sword

Postby Luke Kramer » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:19 am

I was scanning my monthly edition of Airwaves, and I couldn't help but notice this little program about the Viking Ulfbehrt on Wisconsin Public Television.

I was wondering if anyone here knew any particulars to this production, such as who was involved?

Also, for those interested it airs Wednesday, October 10th at 9 PM.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/se ... sword.html
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Re: NOVA: Secrets of the Viking Sword

Postby Sean Karp » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:03 am

IIRC either William Short or Mike Loades is involved but don't quote me.
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Re: NOVA: Secrets of the Viking Sword

Postby Roland Warzecha » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:53 am

I had been contacted by the production company in early 2011. I supplied them with a lot of info on Viking single combat and finally they wanted me to choreograph and stage a fighting sequence and eventually do some test cutting with a replica sword. I also provided them with a number of contacts to museums and the European re-enactment scene and suggested a number of appropriate shooting locations in Europe. However, as time went by, they kept delaying to commit and I resigned in the end when they suggested conditions that were nowhere near what I considered appropriate.
Finally, they shot the test cutting with John Clements, using ready-made shields that were not at all on par with what I consider true replicas.

The Ulfberth sword replica was custom made by Richard Furrer who was equally frustrated with the production company.

So I was quite happy, that I resigned, despite all the time and work I had invested. Apparently, this is a low-budget production that tried to take advantage of enthusiasts. We yet have to see a show on Viking combat that is up to latest research and meets scientific standards. This is not the one.
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Re: NOVA: Secrets of the Viking Sword

Postby Mike Ruhala » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:35 pm

That's a shame, I found your interpretations of Viking combat more compelling than most. I suppose this is another example of perception versus reality.
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Re: NOVA: Secrets of the Viking Sword

Postby Jeffrey Hull » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:38 pm

Roland Warzecha wrote:Finally, they shot the test cutting with John Clements, using ready-made shields that were not at all on par with what I consider true replicas.


I am sorry to learn of that. That does not surprise me in the least. It fits his pattern of self-promotional exploitation of either unfortunate or unacceptable conditions which prevent other more deserving scholars from proceeding with a given production. I say that as someone who has gotten directly cheated in such manner. :|

Roland Warzecha wrote:So I was quite happy, that I resigned, despite all the time and work I had invested. Apparently, this is a low-budget production that tried to take advantage of enthusiasts. We yet have to see a show on Viking combat that is up to latest research and meets scientific standards. This is not the one.


Roland, you have my utmost respect for your decision of integrity. Doing so is part of what it means to truly pursue Ritterlich Kunst.
I commend you sir. :)
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Re: NOVA: Secrets of the Viking Sword

Postby Tom Augenthaler » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:14 pm

Roland,

I recently watched your presentation on YouTube of your theories on Viking sword and shield fighting -- and I was really impressed. I am sorry you felt compelled to pull out of the PBS production as it is obviously their loss. I got more out of watching your presentation (mentioned above) than in watching the PBS Nova production.

Keep up the good work!! I'd love to freeplay you some time.

Cheers,

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Re: NOVA: Secrets of the Viking Sword

Postby Jon Wolfe » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:16 pm

I'm in full agreement with Tom. The fixation of the show upon just the metallurgy of the +ULFBERH+T swords, though interesting, sells short the "secrets" of the Viking sword. I mean, ok shown you this amazing sword, but we're only going to give you an incredibly basic overview of how to fight with it.
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Re: NOVA: Secrets of the Viking Sword

Postby William R. Short » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:46 pm

Sean Karp wrote:IIRC either William Short or Mike Loades is involved but don't quote me.

I was mostly uninvolved. I was contacted by the production company on several occasions. I was asked to review video footage of Viking fighting moves. I expressed my opinions and my reservations, but based on the footage I saw when the documentary was aired, my advice was ignored. I was extremely surprised to see my name in the credits.
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Re: NOVA: Secrets of the Viking Sword

Postby Jon Wolfe » Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:10 pm

Eh, they consulted you, even though they didn't doing follow your recommendations by your account. They probably included your name in the credits for C.Y.A. purposes.
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Re: NOVA: Secrets of the Viking Sword

Postby Jean Chandler » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:27 am

I think you can be glad you disassociated yourself from it Roland. For the most part it was really disappointing.

J
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