Starting today, National Geographic takes its viewers back to the 17th century. The historical drama series “Barkskins – Made of Hard Wood” tells of the arduous efforts of French settlers in the 17th century to establish a civilization in the endless North American forests on the Canadian border.
The story is based on the novel of the same name by Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx and takes us to conflict-torn New France in the 1690s: In the French colonial territories that spanned much of what is now the United States and Canada, the authority of king and law appears as far away as the moon and stars. Instead, the law of the fittest applies – as in Wobik, a small settlement in the province of Quebec. After a mysterious massacre of settlers, the smoldering conflicts between the natives, French and English threaten to lead to open war. A top-class cast could be won for the series. The main roles are Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden (“Pollock”, “Mystic River”) and the Golden Globe nominated David Thewlis (“Wonder Woman”, “Fargo”).
Brutal attack on lumberjacks
“Barkskins – Made of Hard Wood” leads to the godforsaken settlement of Wobik in the 1690s – a cleared area, formally subject to the French king. A piece of land that hard-boiled lumberjacks have laboriously wrested from the seemingly endless forests in what is now the province of Quebec in order to build their houses. One day, apparently out of the blue, some of the settlers are brutally murdered by unknown attackers. The upheaval in Wobik is great, especially since the list of suspects is as long as that of the groups fighting for supremacy in the colonies: The Hudson’s Bay Company, privileged by the English king, is challenging its French rivals for the monopoly on the fur trade – and is terrifying Do not back down from unfair means. At the same time, a group of local Kanien’kehake, referred to by the French as Iroquois, is trying to regain their ancestral territories. Who is really behind the barbaric massacre remains in the dark for a long time.
The eight-part drama series by Elwood Reid (“Hawaii Five-0”, “The Bridge – America”) creates a detailed picture of the early European settlement history of North America far from Western clichés and deals extensively with the problems of that time. The focus is on Jesuit preachers who try to “convert” the natives, poor young women – so-called “Filles de Roi”, who are shipped to North America as an incentive for male settlers – and finally the eponymous “Barkskins” who, as lumberjacks, have a rudimentary infrastructure created for traders, craftsmen and soldiers of fortune.
For the premiere also on Fox
Anyone who has become curious from the first glimpses of the series will get their money’s worth at National Geographic from today. Every Monday from 9 p.m., the station shows a double episode of the eight-part series for the first time. The viewer can choose whether he would like to use the German synchronization or would rather prefer the English original sound. At the premiere, the series will also be shown in simulcast on the sister channel FOX, making it accessible to an even wider audience.
Those who prefer to enjoy television on demand can then access all eight episodes via Sky Go, Sky On Demand, Sky Ticket, in the Megathek on MagentaTV, UPC Switzerland as well as Vodafone Select and GigaTV on Demand.
- DF_ng_barksins: obs / National Geographic