BARBARIANS is one of those Netflix projects that are stunning for the epic size, production qualities, and excellent storytelling. Very few people outside of Germany probably care about the famous battle of the Teutoburg Forest, in which Germanic warriors united by a strong woman, halted the northward advance of the Roman Empire in AD 9. But creators Andreas Heckmann, Arne Nolting, Jan Martin Scharf smartly wrap the story about a trio of characters who love and would die for each other.
We meet these three – Laurencde Rupp as Arminius, Jeanne Goursaud as Thusnelda, and David Schütter as Folkwin Wolfspeer – as tribal children who have sworn an oath to each other. However, the Romans collect Arminius as a tribute, and he is raised in Roman becoming a military leader.
The episodes which bring them back together as adults are clearly told in a sharp script, and seemingly nothing is spared in this sword and sandal epic which wowed me in every way. Esther Walz’s costumes are enough to make you want to freeze frame each episode. Add excellent music (Ali N. Askin and Marcus Ronner), masks, makeup, weaponry, and armor into a kinetic achievement.
The three leads are handsome, athletic, and gutsy. They are surrounded by seemingly hundreds of extras who bring depth and dimension to every scene. The story is gripping and will easily pull you to its exciting conclusion. Love those father and daughter/father and son conflicts? BARBARIANS delivers.
I cannot wait for season two!