Enoksen continued: “Today most Norwegians have a good understanding of the Danish spoken language but the Danish struggle with understanding Norwegian. The series was heavily debated (criticized) नॉर्वे मध्ये for its mix of fact and fiction, but the general biographical knowledge of Princess Märtha is very low in Norway. Olav was perhaps the most beloved ‘people’s’ King but the story of Princess Märtha has been shrouded in mystery.”
The mystery that stumps me is “How did both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt have such a crush on Princess Märtha?” It’s pretty well known that Eleanor was a lesbian, Franklin was a philanderer and Märtha looked more like Margaret Hamilton than Grace Kelly. I am distantly related to Märtha, Franklin and Olav, and I know what they looked like – not overly pretty people. For the film, they are portrayed by seriously pretty actors. Martha is played by Swedish beauty Sofia Helin, Franklin is played by silver fox Kyle MacLachlan and Olav is played by stud muffin hunk Tobias Santelmann. Santelmann usually plays tough guy, Rambo characters. It was strange to see him portray a classy, well-groomed royal prince. Later in the series, we do see some of that nastiness come out in Olav.
In Atlantic Crossing, Chateau Slapy in the Czech Republic doubles for Springwood, the personal home of Franklin Roosevelt. An Art Deco building in Prague at the Mariánské náměstí (square) substitutes for New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The White House in Washington DC was actually filmed at Kačina castle in Svatý Mikuláš in the Czech Republic. Pooks Hill Estate in Bethesda, Maryland was substituted with Chateau Kotěra in the Czech Republic. Pooks Hill is where Märtha lived with the royal children while staying in the Washington DC area.
The Nazi occupation of Norway was a horrible experience for the Norwegians. Rigmor Syversen-Cuolahan, my long-time friend, now passed, was alive during the occupation. She told me she had to hide out in the fields and in barns to avoid kidnapping by the Nazi soldiers. Young blonde Norwegian girls were systematically taken to Germany to produce Arian babies under threat of death. She was able to evade being kidnapped, but not all her friends were so lucky.
I consider Atlantic Crossing to be just as good as The Crown, despite having a total budget equal to just one episode of The Crown. Its popularity in the United States has proved to be massive, and surely the demand for more seasons is substantiated. The entire season is available on PBS with an annual subscription to PBS passport. Other PBS favorites like Hemingway and Victoria are available to stream.
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