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Vikings star’s new Netflix drama is climbing the streaming charts, and it’s Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes

 Boy Swallows Universe.
Boy Swallows Universe.

Boy Swallows Universe, starring Vikings actor Travis Fimmel, is climbing up the Netflix charts.

The drama, based on the novel of the same name by Trent Dalton, follows Eli Bell (Felix Cameron, Zac Burgess, Auden Ryan), a young boy growing up in the suburbs of 1980s Brisbane who must face the harsh realities of life – and the looming dangers that threaten his family. Fimmel plays Lyle Orlik, Eli's heroin-dealing stepfather.

Bharat Nalluri and Kim Mordaunt directed two episodes, with Jocelyn Moorhouse directing three. John Gerald Collee served as head writer. The cast includes Simon Baker, Phoebe Tonkin, Anthony LaPaglia, Sophie Wilde, Christopher James Baker, Deborah Mailman, Adam Briggs, HaiHa Le, Zachary Wan, Ben O'Toole, Emily Eskell, Eloise Rothfield, Millie Donaldson, Matthew Knight, and Kate Box.

After debuting on January 11, the show currently sits at no. 5 on the Netflix Global Top 10, and has an 89% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes – with critics praising the show's joyful nature despite being based on such dark material.

The semi-autobiographical novel, first published in 2018, sold over a million copies, becoming the fastest-selling novel in Australian history.

Fimmel is best known for playing Ragnar Lothbrok in the History Channel's historical drama Vikings which ran for a total of six seasons from 2013 to 2017. A sequel series titled Vikings: Valhalla, which takes place a century after the ending of Vikings, debuted on Netflix in 2022.

All seven episodes of Boy Swallows Universe are streaming now. For more, check out our list of the best new TV shows coming your way in 2024 and beyond.