'Downton Abbey' is just one cliche after another, and it is a really, really poor piece of drama. But that's only me talking. That's just my take on it.
Once I engage in something, I really engage in it, and I love the process of reading and researching because I come from an academic background.
If you're in America or Europe, walk for three blocks, and you'll pass about 14 Vikings. Their reach was immense.
I couldn't give 'Vikings' away - I mean, I love these people. And I'm not sure anyone else writing it would necessarily have the same feeling towards the characters that I do.
TV drama - not always, but on the whole - were pretty appalling and very secondary, too. No one expected it to be like watching a movie; that was the point. But I think when you start watching 'Vikings,' it is like watching a movie - you're taken somewhere else.
I wasn't setting out to write a documentary; if I had, I would have done it in a completely different way. I was asked to write a drama that would appeal to a big audience in America that had no knowledge or interest in The Tudors at all.
When I did 'The Tudors,' there was massive information available and a ready-made market.