Occupied (Norwegian: Okkupert) is a Norwegian political thriller series from 2015 based on an idea by Jo Nesbø. It's a Norwegian production in cooperation with France and Sweden. The show has aired two seasons.
20 Minutes into the Future, a massive storm caused by Global Warming has struck Norway, causing thousands of deaths and massive destruction. As a result, the Norwegian Green Party led by Jesper Berg is catapulted into power on a promise of switching the country to clean thorium power and mothballing its oil and gas production. As the series opens, they are just about to deliver on their promise. Prime Minister Jesper Berg holds a press conference at the newly opened thorium plant, proudly declaring that as of this moment, Norway is officially CO2 neutral and all oil and gas production is now shut down. As he leaves the press conference, he is abducted at gunpoint and taken away in a helicopter.
His abductors? Russian Spetsnaz commandos... on a mission from The European Union, which is currently in the middle of an energy crisis. He receives an ultimatum: restart the oil and gas production, or have Russia do it for you.
This kicks off 10 episodes of action and political intrigue, following Authority in Name Only Jesper Berg, Intrepid Reporter Thomas Eriksen and his collaborator girlfriend Bente, Cowboy Cop Hans-Martin Djupvik, Da Chief Wenche Arnesen and La Résistance, as Russian occupation creeps deeper into Norwegian society, resistance starts growing, and political leaders on both sides try to keep the situation from escalating into an open war.
Season 2 starts with downtown Oslo heavily patrolled by Norwegian soldiers and police officers alike due to the aftermath of Season 1. A bomb attack, followed by clashes involving a Russian-led PMC, forces Norway and Russia closer to conflict. Anita Rygh, Berg's mistress and political advisor head a new government to work with the Russians in Storting.
The Russian government was not amused, taking the unusual - given the number of Russian villains in TV and film - step of releasing an official statement through TASS complaining about their treatment in the series.
The show is scheduled to air a third season.
This series contains examples of:
- Bitter Sweet Ending: Russia declares way on Norway after Russian troops stationed at their embassy were assassinated in a drive-by by Free Norway fighters at the end of the first season.
- The second season has Russian presence continuing after Rygh is assassinated. On the other hand, Berg returns to Norway with pro-Berg politicians to start off a coup against the pro-Russian government.
- Cop Killer: "Free Norway" fighters ambush a Politi squad car transporting one of their own for trying to assassinate Ambassador Sidorova. While breaking him out of custody, one of the armed officers is shot and killed.
- Crapsack World: The Middle East is in chaos, leading to oil production being compromised. Europe is in an energy crisis. And then Hurricane Maria shows up to wreck most of Norway with floods and strong winds.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Fritt Norge executing a hostage for the camera in front of a flag is easily reminiscent of the of the actions of ISIS, Al Qaeda or Hamas.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: The Spetsnaz of the Russian military invades Norwegian soil after they kidnap Berg from his press conference. They're also used to protect the Russian Embassy.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Jesper Berg's reaction when the Swedish prime minister wheels into view during the abduction ultimatum.
- False Flag Operation: A bombing of an oil refinery that kills a bus full of Russian workers is used to justify more Russian control and more Russian boots on the ground. It is later revealed that the workers were all convicted criminals - the Russian government were in fact the ones behind the bomb, and used it to get rid of undesirables and gain a pretense for further occupation at the same time.
- French Jerk: The French-speaking E.U. Commissioner is portrayed as an arrogant, condescending, and manipulative political animal who casually throws Norway to the mercy of Russia.
- Global Warming: The devastation caused by a massive storm, presumably triggered by global warming, is how Jesper Berg's party manages to rise to power.
- Gray and Gray Morality: There are no heroes in this series. The Russians are brazenly power-hungry and eager to trample Norwegian sovereignty. The Norwegian government is feckless, clueless and fighting each other as much as the Russians. The Norwegian resistance is militant, violent, reckless and constantly out to make a bad situation worse. The press is hopelessly sensationalistic and easily manipulated. The EU and its members are conniving, corrupt and solely to blame for the whole mess. The US initially presents itself as Norway's secret ally before horribly stabbing them in the back. Even Djupvik, while caught between the frontlines, can't even tell which side he is actually working for himself. It would be a Black and Gray Morality tale if the Russian envoy Sidorova didn't genuinely seem to want to avoid a war.
- I Owe You My Life: Sidorova saves Djupvik from a certain execution by SVR goons who find out he's spying on them on Norway's behalf because he saved her life a couple months back. However, she makes it clear that this is the only reason she saves him.
- Intrepid Reporter: Thomas Eriksen. The Russians secretly manipulate him to publicize the bombing of an oil well to bring the 'Free Norway' movement into public attention, in effect helping justify the continuation of their presence.
- Killed Offscreen: Thomas Eriksen. One moment he's heading off to investigate a lead, and the next time we see him is when his body is being fished out of a river.
- Make the Bear Angry Again: Something of a subversion, as the trigger for the Russian occupation is the EU hiring them to invade Norway.
- Police are Useless: The Politi have their hands full in trying to contain anti-occupation protests and resistance against Moscow and arresting "Free Norway" fighters since majority of the populace back FN and/or are against Berg's cooperation with Russia. It gets played with further when Arnesen reveals herself to be a major leader in FN in a video confession.
- Praetorian Guard: A rogue Hans Majestet Kongens Garde soldier is arrested by the Politi after he tries to take out Russian diplomats in response to their "presence" in Norwegian soil. Over time, the entire HMKG turns on the government and goes underground to help Free Norway fighters take on the Russians. In the 2nd season, one of them even goes in to threaten Djupvik for intervening in the investigation on Berg ordering an unsanctioned op against the presence of Russian missiles in Norwegian territory.
- La Résistance: Over the course of the series, "Free Norway" goes from a small disorganized amateur group to a real guerrilla group secretly supported by the Norwegian military, where most of its current manpower is derived from near the end of the season.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Prime Minister Berg loves to act like a charming, smooth-talking big shot who singlehandedly preserves peace between Norway, the E.U., and Russia. In reality, he is in way over his stupid head: He flip-flops his positions constantly, persistently ignores the counsel of his own advisers, and lets himself be bossed around by the Russian ambassador, the E.U. commissioner, and domestic politicians harder than him. It's only later on Season 1 that he starts to develop the semblance of a spine, but by then his credibility is already in well shambles.
- Thanatos Gambit: Arnesen commits suicide and has a friend secretly cremate her body after recording a video where she claims she is the leader of Free Norway - thus setting the Russians up to chase a figurehead who is impossible to catch or kill.
- Thematic Theme Tune: Sivert Høyem's "Black & Gold"."Welcome to the seasideIt's been occupiedBurrow to the bottom and beholdThe motherlode of black and gold"