Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 6/8/21;
PBS Distribution;
Documentary;
$99.99 DVD, $129.99 Blu-ray, 11-disc set;
Not rated.
Narrated by John Chancellor, Keith David. Featuring Roger Angell, Mike Barnicle, Robert Creamer, Billy Crystal, Gerald Early, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stephen Jay Gould, Donald Hall, Daniel Okrent, George Plimpton, Studs Terkel, Tom Verducci, George Will, Bob Costas, Buck O’Neil, Vin Scully.

Documentarian Ken Burns’ Baseball is a must-see for any fan of America’s national pastime. Burns’ definitive recounting of the game, presented in nine parts (structured like the innings of a ballgame) running a total of about 19 hours, guides from baseball’s origins in the 19th century, to the formation of the Major Leagues, the important games, the rise of the great players, and even the history of the Negro Leagues.

Through archive footage and interviews with those who influenced the game and were influenced by it, Burns presents the national pastime as a metaphor for America, growing and changing with the times.

Baseball was originally released by PBS in 1994, serving to fill a gap in fans’ yearning for the game when the season was cut short by a players’ strike. As it was originally presented in the 4:3 ratio standard for TV at the time, subsequent home entertainment releases (VHS and a few editions on DVD) have made it available only in standard-definition, until now.

Burns’ 10th inning update in 2010, covering what had transpired in the big leagues since the end of the original documentary, was produced in high-definition, offering a clear contrast in image quality compared with its lower-resolution predecessor. In 2013, Burns remastered his classic The Civil War documentary, but it took another eight years for Baseball to get a similar upgrade.

The original nine episodes have been gloriously remastered in high-definition for the long-awaited Blu-ray release, presented as an 11-disc boxed set of both the original series and the 10th inning.

This is not just a wonderful sports program, rich in memory and detail, but also one of the all-time great documentaries, ranking up there with The Civil War, if not better, at least in terms of entertainment value if not pinpoint accuracy.

In drifting between its narrative setups and the reflections of its interview subjects, the original run of Baseball tends to indulge itself in the folklore of the game, printing the legend, so to speak, while only occasionally taking the time to set the record straight.

It also leaves out some key details, such as realignments and labor stoppages. Each decade gets two hours except for everything before 1900, and after 1970. The 1970s, 1980s and the 19th century get essentially an hour each.

Baseball is the story of the game through its biggest stars, most eccentric personalities, key moments and cultural impacts. In addition to the classic touchstones of the history of the Major Leagues, Baseball famously tracks the history of minorities in baseball, particularly the formation of the Negro Leagues to the integration of the Majors starting with the Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson in 1947. This actually serves to make it an interesting companion piece with The Civil War, if not something of a sequel.

For hardcore fans of the game, the documentary’s vivid retelling of baseball’s history and the nostalgia that embodies makes it something akin to comfort food.

There’s just a timeless quality to it that makes Baseball still vibrant despite its age. However, it’s amusing how the narration will make absolute statements about things that had yet to happen when it first aired that have since happened, such as new World Series wins for the Red Sox, Yankees, Giants and Cubs, and various records that have been broken, such as the single-season and all-time home run marks.

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Just from watching the episodes and comparing them with the old standard-def version it’s pretty clear they remastered all the individual elements from the series — interviews, archive footage and photos — and reconstituted the episodes in a widescreen aspect ratio. So, yes, that means recropping a lot of footage, so tops and bottoms of scenes originally presented as square are now gone so it fits the shape of the HD rectangle. This is a minor quibble since the cleaned-up footage looks so good.

The exception, however, comes when the old footage comes from television broadcasts or videotape, which starts to creep in at around the 1960s. Since this footage can’t really be remastered as much as upscaled, it shows off a lot of digital artifacts, and a lot of it looks better on the old standard-def DVDs.

Unlike the Civil War Blu-ray there’s no featurette about the remastering process, but one has to assume it was handled in a similar way to that groundbreaking documentary. PBS earlier presented the remastered version online. Interestingly, the typical PBS pre-show acknowledgements of sponsors still uses the voiceover as if this were being viewed on a PBS station and not on disc.

The only extras in the Blu-ray set are those that carried over from the original home video release of The 10th Inning, which had already been released as a standalone Blu-ray when it first came out. Those extras include interviews with Burns and his collaborator, Lynn Novick, about revisiting Baseball, as well as extra footage shot during production of The 10th Inning but not used in the show.

The original miniseries had some DVD making-of featurettes back when it was released by Warner in 2000, but those never made it to the PBS DVD re-releases in 2010 and they aren’t here either.

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It should be noted that the version of The 10th Inning in the new boxed set aren’t the same discs as the update’s original Blu-ray release. While all the content is the same, the discs have been re-engineered with a new menu, which matches the menu from the Blu-rays of the original series episodes, further giving the whole show more of a unified feel.

While it does a nice job of recapping baseball from the 1990s and early 2000s, The 10th Inning just feels a bit different in tone from the original miniseries because it’s so contemporary. And it’s not just the fact that John Chancellor, the original narrator, died in 1996. They could have replaced him with Civil War narrator David McCullough, who sounds close enough and shares a similar cadence. Instead they went with Keith David, whose own distinct voice makes him a great choice, but it lacks the certain folksiness that Chancellor had that brought so much charm to those first nine innings.

Instead, It feels more like an examination of the foibles of the modern game than exploring it as a reflection of America’s self-image. Most of its focus seems aimed at the resurgence of the Yankees and Red Sox, plus issues related to the strike of 1994, and a lot of time devoted to steroid scandals, framed by the career of Barry Bonds.

In many cases the recaps seem less about reflecting on the cultural significance of the moments and more about providing epilogues for the personal fandoms of many of the filmmakers and interview subjects (most of which, unsurprisingly, are big Yankees and Red Sox fans).

As such, The 10th inning, even 10 years on, doesn’t feel much different than any number of typical ESPN documentaries covering the same topics.

It’s long at four hours to cover the 1990s and 2000s, but leaves a lot of stuff out. And the choice to frame baseball’s recent history through certain narrative threads also causes some odd structural issues that didn’t affect the original series because it’s easier to gloss over certain things that happened when many of the viewers weren’t alive. But most viewers of The 10th Inning have their own memories and opinions about the events depicted, and will have widely varied expectations about what should be covered.

As an example, Angels fans curious about how the show covers the 2002 World Series, the first and only title in the franchise’s history, will likely be disappointed that the 2002 World Series is presented almost exclusively from the point of view of how Bonds was denied a championship; it can barely be bothered to mention any of the Angels players or coaches.

In another segment, despite extensive coverage of the 2001 World Series following 9/11, no mention is made of George W. Bush throwing a perfect strike for the ceremonial first pitch before game three, and how much that contributing to boning up the national psyche following the attacks. The omission, while conspicuous, is perhaps not much of a surprise given Burns’ political proclivities.

But these are ultimately minor quibbles, and obviously, with all that’s happened in the past decade in baseball, from sign-stealing scandals to the COVID season, an 11th inning update from Burns would definitely be welcome.

 

Julia Child Episodes, ‘Trading History’ Coming to PBS Living Channel in June

PBS Living subscribers will have access to three classic Julia Child series and “Trading History” on the PBS Living Prime Video and Apple TV channels in June.

The subscription rate for PBS Living is $2.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. PBS Living is also available on Apple TV Channels in the Apple TV app at a subscription rate of $2.99 per month with no additional annual fees.

Coming June 18 are three seasons of “Baking With Julia Child.” In the series, Julia Child and pastry chefs, bakers and cookbook authors share tips and recipes on home baking. Child bakes chocolate truffle cake, walnut bread, tiramisu, a tropical napoleon, sourdough bread, and a French apple tart with many respected pastry chefs, as well as a wedding cake with Martha Stewart and more.

Season one of “In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs” starts streaming June 22. Child takes an in-depth look at contemporary American cooking along with 26 nationally recognized chefs. Inviting the master chefs into her kitchen, she cooks with the pros, detailing their techniques and dishes for the home cook. She makes lobster with Jasper White, shrimp in spicy coconut sauce with Madhur Jaffrey, a jicama salad with Rick Bayless, and many more recipes with many other chefs.

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Debuting June 29 are 16 season one episodes of “Julia Child: Cooking with Master Chefs.” Julia visits 16 nationally acclaimed master chefs in their own kitchens. Each chef demonstrates distinct techniques, regional recipes and culinary tips which guide home cooks through their favorite recipes. Child makes lobster soufflé with Jacques Pépin, tapenade with Alice Waters, and risotto with wild mushrooms with Lidia Bastianich, among other recipes­.

Due June 15 are six episodes of “Trading History.” The series uncovers intriguing family history through the prism of auction house artifacts and dedicated research teams that go behind the scenes to confirm the authenticity of the item, uncovering biographical information about the finder, the owner and the maker. Each story is told through rare archival materials and is packed with history and facts.

‘Baseball: A Ken Burns Film,’ New ‘Masterpiece: Us’ Among Titles Coming to Disc in June From PBS

Baseball: A Ken Burns Film, Masterpiece: Us and an Agatha Christie triple feature are among the titles coming to disc in June from PBS Distribution.

The acclaimed documentary Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns, fully restored in high-definition, is coming on DVD and Blu-ray on 11 discs June 8. It traces the history of the American pastime.

The new Masterpiece: Us, about a couple embarking on a long-planned grand tour of Europe, despite the wife proclaiming she wants to leave the marriage, comes out on DVD on two discs June 29.

The Agatha Christie mystery triple feature is coming June 1 on DVD on two discs, including Agatha and the Truth of Murder, Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar and Agatha and the Midnight Murders.

The Australian thriller TV miniseries Halifax: Retribution is due in a two-disc DVD set June 22.

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Two “American Experience” documentaries are coming in June. The Blinding of Isaac Woodard, due on DVD June 1, explores the effects of an incident in 1946 in which Isaac Woodard, a Black army sergeant on his way home to South Carolina after serving in WWII, was pulled from a bus for arguing with the driver, beaten, and left unconscious and permanently blind by a police chief who was later acquitted by an all-white jury. Also due is American Oz, coming June 8, exploring the life and times of author L. Frank Baum, the creator a classic American narrative.

Two nature films are available in June. Life at the Waterhole, exploring the drama as African wildlife flock to a manmade waterhole rigged with cameras, will be available on DVD June 8. Nature: The Leopard Legacy, following the story of a leopard mother as she raises her cubs, is coming on DVD June 22.

Finally, the science film Human: The World Within, exploring the incredible universe inside each and every one of us, is coming on DVD on two discs June 22.

New Series ‘Donkey Hodie’ Headed to PBS Kids Prime Video Channel May 3

PBS Distribution May 3 will add the new series “Donkey Hodie” to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Following the adventures of Donkey Hodie, granddaughter of the original Donkey Hodie character from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” (now known as “Grampy Hodie”), the new preschool puppet series arrives with three volumes. Children follow Donkey and her pals as they go on music-filled adventures while learning valuable lessons about resilience, persistence and problem solving.

The series is produced by Fred Rogers Productions (“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”) and Spiffy Pictures (“Nature Cat”) and features original music along with reimagined versions of Rogers’ songs.

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In volume one, Donkey Hodie must wait until all her pals are together to open a present. She uses her imagination to help pass the time. Then, Harriett Elizabeth Cow wants Donkey and her pals to try her new invention, the Bounce-a-Rino, and they must decide who bounces first. Also, a scary monster appears during Donkey and Panda’s sleepover.

In volume two, Donkey gives her new flower too much water, and it grows so big that it disrupts her garden and her pals’ fun. Then, when the wind ruins Donkey and Panda’s Camp Buddy Buddy plan, they must change the plan. Plus, Donkey and Panda host King Friday for the day, but they don’t know what kings like to do.

In volume three, Donkey and Panda lose Bob Dog’s favorite ball in Spooky Shadow Swamp, and they must find their inner bravery to get it back. Then, a noisy penguin interrupts Donkey and Panda’s band practice. Plus, Donkey creates a sculpture for the Someplace Else art show, makes mistakes and feels ready to give up.

Also coming to the channel in May are volume 10 of “Pinkalicious & Peterrific” and volume 17 of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.”

Culinary Series ‘How She Rolls’ to Debut on PBS Living Channel in May

In May, “How She Rolls,” a half-hour lifestyle documentary and culinary series, will debut on the PBS Living channel, available on Prime Video and Apple TV Channels.

The subscription rate for PBS Living is $2.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. PBS Living is also available on Apple TV Channels in the Apple TV app at a subscription rate of $2.99 per month with no additional annual fees.

The program follows the life of Carrie Morey, an award-winning baker, entrepreneur, and mother, wife and daughter who transformed a made-by-hand mail order biscuit company, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, into one of the South’s best small business success stories.

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Each episode follows Morey as she balances being a mom to three daughters with the pressures of being a business owner in what has been an unpredictable year. Whether she’s traveling the country to attend food expos, dealing with the obstacles of opening a new breakfast and lunch biscuit eatery three hours from home, or putting work aside to prepare a dinner for her family, viewers follow Morey’s challenges and triumphs.

In the 10-episode inaugural season, viewers are introduced to Morey as she runs a growing business from her kitchen, her car, food festivals, her daughter’s volleyball games and anywhere else she finds herself. The series takes us from the early beginnings of starting her business — juggling her family life while opening a new store in Charlotte, N.C. — and soon after the opening, when the pandemic hits and the coronavirus overtakes America. Over the next few months, Morey sheds staff and runs out of flour, but also discovers a new path to success. With faith and determination, Morey is able to take her employees to a dairy farm to learn how buttermilk is made, cook with her parents (her culinary inspiration) and begin to create recipes for a new cookbook.

Three Murder Mystery Films With Agatha Christie Character Coming to PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in May

Three murder mystery films, Agatha and the Truth of Murder, Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar and Agatha and the Midnight Murders will be streaming on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in May.

In the films, viewers follow what might have happened to the author Agatha Christie, a writer who also happens to investigate real life crimes.

The subscription rate for the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel is $5.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Due May 11 is Agatha and the Truth of Murder. In the film, in 1926, with her writing in crisis and her personal life in tatters, a young Agatha Christie decides to solve a real-life murder. With Dean Andrews (“Ashes to Ashes,” “Life on Mars”), Bebe Cave (“Victoria,” “Great Expectations”), Amelia Dell and Ruth Bradley (“In Her Skin,” “Grabbers”) as Agatha Christie.

Coming May 18 is Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar. In the film, set in 1928, bruised from divorce and struggling with fame, Agatha travels to Iraq and finds a web of murder, intrigue and love. With Jonah Hauer-King (A Dog’s Way Home, World on Fire, Little Women) and Lyndsey Marshal (The Hours, Rome, Hereafter) as Agatha Christie.

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Available starting May 25 is Agatha and the Midnight Murders. In the film set in London in 1940, as the Blitz rages and her future is threatened by fallout from the war, Agatha makes the decision to kill off her most famous creation. With Blake Harrison (A Very English Scandal, World on Fire, “The Great”), Jacqueline Boatswain (Bloodborne, London Voodoo), Gina Bramhill (Us, “Sherlock,” “Endeavour”) and Helen Baxendale (Anonymous, “Cold Feet”) as Agatha Christie.

In addition, “Masterpiece: Indian Summers” seasons one and two will be added to the channel in May, as well as a number of international programs from Walter Presents including “Le Monstre,” “1864,” “Crimes of Passion” and “The Nordic Murders.”

‘Face to Face,’ ‘Box 21’ Among Walter Presents Programs on PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in April

Five new international programs from Walter Presents are streaming on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel beginning in April: “Face to Face,” “Box 21,” “Devil’s Throat,” “Seizure” and “Silent Hunt.”

The subscription rate for the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel is $5.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Available now is the eight-episode Danish series “Face to Face.” In the series, when investigator Bjørn is called in to identify a young woman, he is horrified to find his own daughter lying on the autopsy table. Her death is ruled a suicide, but Bjørn refuses to believe his daughter has taken her own life. As the evidence begins to point towards murder, Bjørn begins to track the last day of his daughter’s life. This sends him on a whirlwind journey where he encounters people important to his daughter, revealing a network of truths, lies and criminal acts woven into her and Bjørn’s own life. In order to understand his daughter’s death, Bjørn must confront himself — until he finally faces the unavoidable truth of why she died.

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Also available now is the six-episode Romanian crime thriller “Box 21.” The series follows Lidia, a young Romanian woman who is lured to Sweden with promises of a better life. Through a wicked turn of events, Lidia is forced into prostitution. Looking for revenge, her fate is interwoven with police officer Ewert Grens, who chases a dangerous criminal.

Due April 16 is the 12-episode Bulgarian crime thriller “Devil’s Throat.” The series follows a DANS employee and an ambitious local investigator at the height of the Bulgarian refugee crisis. They are looking into the murder of a retired police officer in the border town of Smolyan. The clues are gradually turning toward a terrible secret about a crime that will overturn their investigation and their personal fates.

The Norwegian series “Seizure,” which starts streaming April 23, follows two Oslo detectives, played by popular Norwegian actors Anders Danielsen Lie (“Oslo, August 31st,” “22 July”) and Anders Baasmo Christiansen (“Kon-Tiki”), as they investigate the deaths of four immigrant boys. Set against an intense backdrop of personal trauma, violent weather and otherworldly apparitions, the show mixes elements of traditional Scandi Noir with a more supernatural twist.

Due April 30 is the German eight-episode series “Silent Hunt.” It follows an aristocrat by birth and gentleman by nature, Detective Hanns von Meuffeels, who brings a unique but effective approach to police work. He draws a suspect in with the power of good investigative skills and a well-practiced silence. Von Meuffels applies his own particular investigative style to reveal the truth, often confronting his own past and mistakes in the process, on cases involving satellite control systems for the arms industry, Turkish extremists, international money laundering, among others.

‘Hemingway’ Coming to PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel April 5

Hemingway, a documentary from filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick chronicling the life of literary icon Ernest Hemingway, will be available to stream on the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel on April 5.

The channel will also be streaming a 4K Ultra High-Definition version of the program beginning April 11. The subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

The title will come out on Blu-ray and DVD May 4.

The three-part, six-hour film examines the life and work of Hemingway, one of the most influential writers America has ever produced. Narrated by long-time collaborator Peter Coyote, the series features an all-star cast of actors bringing Hemingway (voiced by Jeff Daniels), his friends and family to life. Through letters to and from his four wives — voiced by Meryl Streep, Keri Russell, Mary-Louise Parker and Patricia Clarkson — the film reveals Hemingway at his most romantic and his most vulnerable, grappling at times with insecurity, anxiety and existential loneliness.

Burns and Novick paint a picture of Hemingway, who captured on paper the complexities of the human condition in profound prose, and whose work remains deeply influential around the world. Informed by interviews with celebrated writers, scholars and Hemingway’s son Patrick, the filmmakers explore the painstaking process through which Hemingway created some of the most notable works of fiction, in novels such as The Sun Also RisesA Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea; short stories “Hills Like White Elephants,” “The Short and Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” “Up in Michigan,” “Indian Camp” and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro;” as well as the nonfiction works Death in the Afternoon and A Moveable Feast.

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His relationships with women — his mother, sisters, wives and the World War I nurse who broke his heart — profoundly affected his work. Yet for all his bravado and hyper-masculine posturing, Hemingway wrote about relationships between men and women with sensitivity, nuance and clarity.

The filmmakers were granted unusually open access to the treasure trove of Hemingway’s manuscripts, correspondence, scrapbooks and photographs housed at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. The film also explores Hemingway’s limitations and biases as an artist and a man of his time.

‘Dinosaur Train’ Movie, New Volumes of ‘Hero Elementary’ and ‘Xavier Riddle’ Streaming on PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in April

PBS Distribution is adding another “Dinosaur Train” movie, along with new volumes of “Hero Elementary” and “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum” to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in April.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

The Pteranodon family takes the Dinosaur Train to Adventure Island, a new theme park on a volcanic island, in Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island, streaming beginning April 13. The Conductor’s archrival Thurston is in charge and he proudly shows off the park’s amazing steam-powered robot dinosaurs. When an earthquake causes the pressure to get too high, the malfunctioning robots go rogue. It’s then up to Buddy and his siblings (Tiny, Shiny and Don) to navigate safely across the island in order to reunite with their parents.

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Volume seven of “Hero Elementary” streams beginning April 2. In this volume, when the team heads to Citytown Hero Con, they need to find the real Jetman Jones in the crowd. AJ’s autism is key to saving the day in “AJ’s Extra Superpower (parts one and two). Then, when a hailstorm causes damage around Citytown, Sparks’ Crew calls upon a famous hero to understand more about hail in “Hail Caesar/Picture Perfect.” Plus, Sparks’ crew searches for a self-flying cape after it escapes from a store in “Looking Super/Schmubble Trouble.” They discover a mysterious creature in Super Superior Lake in “Sara Loses Her Snap/A Soupie Mystery.”

Volume eight of “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum” starts streaming April 9. Viewers join Xavier, Brad and Yadina as they travel back in time again to learn more valuable lessons from historical heroes. In “I Am Albert Einstein/I Am Carol Burnett,” Albert Einstein helps Xavier figure out what to do when he’s really curious ─ starting with asking questions. Then in “I Am Abraham Lincoln/I Am Jane Jacobs,” Abraham Lincoln helps Yadina realize what she needs to do when she accidently loses her friend’s toy. Plus, Celia Cruz helps Yadina prepare for a special birthday performance in “I Am Edmund Hillary/I Am Celia Cruz.”

‘Atlantic Crossing’ Coming to PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel April 4

The eight-episode series historical drama series “Atlantic Crossing” is coming to the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel starting April 4.

The subscription rate for the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel is $5.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Based on a true story of passion and politics, “Atlantic Crossing” follows a friendship forged in war portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan (“Twin Peaks”) as U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, and Swedish star Sofia Helin (“The Bridge”) as Norwegian Crown Princess Martha. Ranging back and forth across the North Atlantic throughout World War II, the series depicts momentous events in the changing fortunes of Norway, Great Britain and the United States, probing deeply into the rarely told story of Norway’s struggle against Nazi invasion and occupation.

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The series opens in 1939 with a goodwill visit to the United States by Norway’s Crown Prince Olav (Tobias Santelmann, Kon Tiki) and Crown Princess Martha where they befriend the president and first lady (Harriet Sansom Harris, “Desperate Housewives”). Months later, Norway is fighting for survival as Nazi Germany invades the neutral country with the goal of seizing its strategic ports and securing access to iron ore mines for steel production. During the assault, German troops try to capture the Norwegian royal family to use as bargaining chips, but the King (Søren Pilmark, Downsizing) and Olav manage to escape to England where they set up a government-in-exile. Meanwhile, Martha and the three children make their hazardous way to America where they are taken in at the White House by President Roosevelt.

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This sets the stage for an epic drama that mixes war and diplomacy, desire and jealousy. At the outset, America is officially neutral. It would be political suicide if Roosevelt defies the strong isolationist sentiment in the United States, yet Martha urges him to find a way to help Norway in the fight against Germany. Meanwhile across the ocean, Olav grows increasingly suspicious of Martha’s close ties to the president. The relationship also tries the patience of the first lady and Roosevelt’s closest advisors: Harry Hopkins (Daniel Betts, “The Crown”) and the president’s rumored paramour, Missy LeHand (Lucy Russell, “Wolf Hall”).