The Nobel TV series is a political thriller from Norway infused with a heavy dose of the war in Afghanistan. Jumping back and forth in place and time, Nobel keeps viewers slightly off balance. In one setting, there is the constant threat of attack from the Taliban. Home in Norway, there is international deal making, governmental department rivalry, and, perhaps, a conspiracy. In short, Nobel is tense, riveting, and one of the best foreign TV series we’ve seen this year on Netflix.
After a particularly artistic opening credit sequence, Nobel opens with a special forces unit from Norway on the ground in Afghanistan. (As part of the International Security Assistance Force, Norwegian troops have been in Afghanistan since 2001.) Sent on a security mission, they take out a suicide bomber. The event has unexpected consequences, setting off a chain of events that echo all the way back to Norway.
The first episode soon shifts to Oslo, where Erling Riiser (Askel Hennie), a member of that special forces unit is home for several weeks of leave. His wife Johanne (Tuva Novotny) works in Norway’s State Department, which is competing with China to make a deal for oil in Afghanistan. We are unsure about connections and alliances between agencies and individuals, and, before the first episode ends, it becomes clear there is much more we do not know.
As Nobel progresses, critical information is gradually revealed, particularly what happens between the first event in Afghanistan and Erling’s return home. We move forward in time from the starting point in each country as the scenes go back and forth in location. It’s an effective approach, though not completely original, for a thriller.
The Nobel TV series is artfully filmed. Though the story stands on its own, the directing and cinematography enhance the effect. In Afghanistan, the landscape is vast and monochromatic, though colors are not washed out like in Fauda. In Norway, the scenery is rich green and blue, but the institutions – the government buildings – are dark grey, as ominous as the desert.
It’s interesting that the above mentioned Fauda and Nobel showed up on Netflix within a few days of each other. Both are intense and riveting TV shows that show the casualties and horrors of wartime with realistic, unvarnished scenes. They are equally effective, but very different in other ways. You can’t go wrong with either one.
Nobel’s eight episodes, each about 45 minutes, are available on Netflix. It was directed by Per-Olav Sørensen (The Heavy Water War) and written by Mette Marit Bølstad and Stephen Uhlander. Nobel premiered on TV in Norway in 2016.
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Excellent in all facets. Cast is superb and easily believable. I stumbled upon it and could not change to another series. It MUST have a second season!!!!
Thanks for your comments. I’m hoping for another season, too!
Likewise, I stumbled upon this series and didn’t watch anything else until binge watching all episodes. Looking forward to new season.
Yep, fingers crossed for ‘Nobel’ season 2.
Incredible Show !!! hoping for other seasons also 🙂
Again, the Norwegians prove that they are superior story tellers. SO much better than Hollywood, formulaic crap. I REALLY like this show. I’m binge-watching it now and sad to see that I’m coming to the final episode. *****
Agreed! Nobel is getting lots of positive comments. Might have to watch it again!
Haven’t enjoyed a series as much for yonks; desperately need advice to other productions from this mob, thanks
The same guy directed ‘The Heavy Water Wars’ (review), but ‘Nobel’ is far better. The writers have not done much else….yet!
I loved it! Binged it in two days. I was confused as to who caused all the chaos and why in the last episode. I couldn’t find any recaps of the episode online. Is there some place people are talking about the episodes?
Other readers, please feel free to discuss the show and answer questions!
I usually only watch comedy. I put this on really randomly and it’s awesome. Complete Stranger Things-level crack.
Fantastic series!!! Superb acting!!! Please continue this series!!!
Great show but I have to say I was confused at the end. SPOILER QUESTION… Why would the Taliban bomb their own leader?
It was a great show. Anyone else want to give their view on the question?
I am thinking that Hektor orchestrated it in order to force his oil deal with the Chinese through.
Side note, it is almost impossible to view and participate in these comments because of the colour scheme especially on mobile. This is very bad usability!
The Taliban didn’t bomb their own leader. There are many factions within the Taliban struggling for power. One faction took out the leader of another faction along with other political figures.
Add me to all those who found this series riveting and incredible. I liked that the ending was not a hollywood-style cliff hanger, but resolved the plot for the entire season. Let’s have another year!
Absolutely loved this Original Presentation from Netflix. I too binge watched them all and am hoping for a second season. .
The characters were very believable and the acting superb. The story lines just seem so real.
It’s not a Netflix Original, if that’s what you mean. The series is produced by a Norwegain television broadcaster.
Netflix is a bit loose (and misleading?) with their definition of “Netflix Original.” In some cases, it seems to refer more to distribution rights than an actual original production from Netflix.
Awesome acting with a story well told about the bond between those who have seen combat. Chilling contrast regarding no feeling on killing the enemy and intense pain for members of his team kiiled and hurt.
Good comments – thank you!
Exceptional. I’ll be honest, I had trouble following the “plot” (oil deals… China… apples… what???). Other than that yes, one of the best series I’ve seen in months.
It’s might be somewhat lost in translation, but all in all it’s about a conflict of interests. Most may seem like they are in it for the humanitarian reasons (to begin with), but have some other hidden agendas.
By far the best series I have seen from Netflix, which has produced some killer stuff in the past couple of years. I hope this is renewed. I also thought Marco Polo was great, but it and “Bloodline” were cancelled (Boo)!
We read there will be a Bloodline season 3 (10 episodes), but that will be the end.
OUtstanding!! Can’t wait for season 2!! One of the best I’ve seen on Netflix!!
I stumbled on this after watching Fauda. This show is great, and if you liked it, you’ll like Fauda also.
Agreed. Fauda and Nobel pair well together. Nobel has gotten more attention, but Fauda is also very good!
how did the jon petter character look so convincing as a,paraplegic?
My husband and I loved everything about this show. We would also love a 2nd season!
Netflix we need season 2 please