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Steven Berkoff television 2010s


Horizon: To Infinity and Beyond

Horizon : To Infinity and Beyond

Berkoff presents this documentary on numbers, including a googol which is a 1 followed by 100 zeroes.  I liked the children being asked what is the biggest number- answer: 120.  Berkoff appears in arty black and white with shadows, and sometime his voice is echoed.

Berkoff in Horizon : To Infinity and Beyond

Words of the Blitz

A documentary, Words of the Blitz.  Actors Dominic West, Romola Garai, Sheila Hancock, Russell Tovey, Alex Jennings, Joseph Beattie and Steven Berkoff read from diaries and letters who were in the blitz in the second world war.

Corrie: The Road to Coronation Street

Coronation Street is the world's longest-running TV soap opera currently in production, having started in 1960 and still going bold.  This drama look at the struggle to get the show started.  It is directed by Charles Sturridge in 2010.  Berkoff plays Sidney Bernstein, the head of Granada Television who has to be convinced the series is worth doing.  Berkoff is good in the role.

Steven Berkoff as Sidney Bernstein

The Borgias

Steven Berkoff in The Borgias

Neil Jordan's series on The Borgias with a prime British cast- Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi, 2011.  Steven Berkoff plays the priest Savonarola, the same role he played in A Season of Giants from 1991.

Berkoff appears in the episodes Lucrezia's Wedding, The Borgias in Love and Death, on a Pale Horse.  Again Berkoff is in good form.

Doctor Who: The Power of Three


Doctor Who and his two companions investigate after mysterious small cubes land all over the Earth and no-one knows what they are.

Doctor Who cubes in Power of Three

The cubes initially seem innocuous, and the people collect them as ornaments or paperweights.  Everybody seems to have one.

Black cubes 

Suddenly a number appears on each and slowly counts down.  What will happen when they reach zero?  And a small girl reacts to the doctor.

Black cube 6   Black cuibe 5

Girl blue face 

Berkoff plays Shakri, the controller of the attack on Earth- well actually he is a hologram.  He wears heavy make-up, but does have a very small number of lines- his role was cut a  lot.

The title refers to a cube (the power of three) but also something Shakri will never  understand, the power of three friends namely the Doctor and his two assistants. 

Directed by Douglas Mackinnon and written by Chris Chibnall in 2012.  The doctor is Matt Smith and his companions are Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill.  Berkoff's previous television role was in The Borgias and Selva Rasalingam was also in both.  Behind the screens Julia Ankerson (foley artist)  and Martin Marty McLaughlin (special effects) worked on Rancid Aluminium and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo respectively.

Dave Allen: God's own Comedian

Dave Allen - God's Own Comedian

A documentary about Irish comedian Dave Allen.  The director is Verity Maitlow. 

Steven Berkoff appears a few times, and is credited as a friend of Allen.  The documentary covers Allen's stand-up comedy, and also his documentaries and acting roles.  What do people remember of Allen as a comedian- Berkoff answers "Sitting on a stool, telling stories".  And later Berkoff says "He just sat there, attractive, beautifully Irish, and told the most outrageous jokes" and "There's something about him which was eternally young.  Even when he got into his 50s, 55, 60s, he was a vital comedian".  


Vikings title 

Steven Berkoff The Vikings 

Steven Berkoff plays King Olaf the Stout in 11 episodes of Vikings.   A massive force of Vikings threaten Wessex and the interlocked stories cover the stuggles within both sides.  The vikings have three brothers Ubbe, Hvitserk and Ivar each plotting.  Ivar has imposed himself King of Kattegat in Wessex.

Vikings: Baldur

The episode Baldur, series 5 episode 18 in 2019, by director (and formee actress) Helen Shaver introduces Kimg Okaf (Berkoff).  Hvitserk visits Olaf to persuade him to help fight against Ivar.  To meet Olaf he has to strip naked and cross the snow.

Vikings with Hvitserk naked

Olaf initilly supports Ivar and has Hvitserk tortured, but when Hvitserk does not falter under torture Ivar agrees to join forces against Ivar.  Meanwhile in Kattegar Ivor shows his reign of tyranny with people burned at the stake.  The flames are reflected in an eye.

Steven Berkoff Vikings

Best credit is Ancient Norse instruments and vocals performed by Einar Selvik, Wardruna.  From an interview "Einar Selvik was involved in several well-known metal bands before starting Wardruna, going on to contribute music to the hit TV series Vikings, which has occupied him for the last five years." (interview Kjersti Jåstad, translation: Francine Gorman and Daniel Nordgård from nordvegenculture.no (here).

Vikings: What Happens in the Cave

The episode What Happens in the Cave, series 5 episode 19 in 2019, by director David Wellington.

Hvitserk and Olaf (Steven Berkoff) have joined forces and are marching to Kattegat to fight Ivar.  Elsewhere one of the three brothers, Ubbe, is wounded in a duel and lies dying.  And in Kattegat Ivar is preparing his defences.

Vikings Steven Berkoff and Marco Ilsø

Olaf starts to doubt he has made the right decision, but decides to continue to Kattegat anyway.

Steven Berkoff Vikings


Vikings: Ragnarok

The episode Ragnarok, series 5 episode 20 in 2019, by director David Wellington who also directed the previous episode.

Ivar (Alex Høgh) hears that Hvitserk has teamed up with King Olaf (Steven Berkoff) and their armies are approaching Kattegat.  "Now all my brothers are against me".

Vikings Alex Høgh as Ivar

The armies approach "Soon we will reach Kattegat where brother will fight with brother".


Berkoff gives a Shakespearean speech "That will be the death of Odin... It's only a story, stories that's all we have".

Vikings Steven Kerkoff King Olaf the Stout

The warriors prepare and the assault of Kattegat begins.

Vikings -preparing for battle

Vikings battle

Ivar has prepared well and various traps are in place and the assault has failed.  The attackers decide Kattegat cannot be entered, but inside Kattegat someone open the gates and the warriors enter and capture the fortress.  Berkff shares in the victory celebrations.

Vikings Steven Berkoff King Olaf the Stout

Ivar escapes to exile and Kattegat has new leaders as series 5 ends.

Vikings warrior

Best name from the credits Dialogue Coach Poll Moussoulides.  He says on speaking the ancient languages Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon "We use linguistic historians around the world to make sure we're authentic. There is enormous documentation about Anglo-Saxon; it's the root of many of the words that we use in English today. We know that Old Norse is very close to Old Icelandic. The Parisian [characters'] language, Old Low Franconian, is based on words collected from old psalms and poems. It's the first time the language has been heard in 1,000 years." (from interview by Ileane Rudolph, TV Insider, 16 Apr 2015, here).

Vikings Steven Berkoff credit


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