The Norwegian cult classic Blindpassasjer can now be streamed for free from national broadcaster NRK’s website. It’s the first time a drama series from the vaults are broadcast like this.
Blindpassasjer (meaning “stowaway”) is a 3-part sci-fi miniseries broadcast on NRK in Norway in 1978, and made a huge impact of viewers, who had never seen anything like it before. NRK was back then the sole broadcaster in Norway, which meant most Norwegians only had their one channel. A shorter rerun was shown in 1985, and in 2007 the DVD was released. Now a free webstream can be enjoyed, thanks to a very special team effort. This is the first time in NRK’s history that a drama series from the archives has been made available this way.
Releasing drama productions involves complex rights issues, but for this project special allowances were given by the various rights holders. Anders Hofseth, project manager in NRK’s development division, contacted the involved parties and were kindly given the green light to stream the miniseries on the web. It started when Hofseth wanted to write the background story of Blindpassasjer so that it would not get lost in time. He then realized that it would be easier to tell the background story if the series was available to watch online. While NRK cannot normally publish older drama productions at will, Hofseth said to himself, “it does not hurt to at least try” and he then started to phone all rights holders to see how far he would get. There were no planned strategy behind this project, but rather a series of coincidences. On the day before the 32nd anniversary of the series, on October 26th, all permissions were secured, and Blindpassasjer could be seen online for free the day after. While most of NRK’s newer productions are available from their website, Blindpassasjer was made in an age where internet broadcasting wasn’t even science fiction, and home video had just arrived. Therefore 13 different rights holders were asked to help keep this cultural icon alive, among them the actors, the writer duo Bing and Bringsværd, the music composer and the director.
Blindpassasjer has been in constant demand from viewers for decades, and during the first two weeks of the webstream, the three episodes were viewed 35.000 times, which is a good number for an online rerun of an old drama series, Hofseth says. Norwegian TV viewers have also asked for other productions to be offered the same way, for example another series from the writers of Blindpassasjer, Ta Den Ring, and the crime classic Helmer & Sigurdson. In a comment, Anders Hofseth says: -I really hope it will happen, and it is bound to happen one day. But we have not digested everything yet to answer when and how it can happen.
The webstream is available for everyone to see, wherever you are located in the world, but unfortunately the spoken language is in Norwegian and there are no subtitles.
Read NordicFantasy.info’s review of the miniseries.