Clay County will soon be the feature of a Norwegian television program documenting the travels of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s national affairs correspondent.
The television series explores Norway’s relationship with the world’s superpowers. The show’s host, Hege Moe Eriksen, has already traveled to Russia, China and all of the Europe Union.
“This is a factual series, running primetime on the biggest television channel in Norway. We have a host with us, a ‘presenter’ as you say, who is usually doing international newscasts. So we kind of bring her around the world for a different approach than she usually does,” said Producer Marten Offerdal. “This is about meeting people, an eye-level kind of thing, and just figuring out pretty much how is the world.”
On Thursday, Oct. 16, Eriksen and a two-person crew visited Sheppard Air Force Base, where six to eight Norwegian pilots are stationed for NATO training. After interviewing the pilots, Eriksen, Offerdal and cameraman Ghir Wikiz spent Friday morning and the early afternoon hours on a ride-along with Capt. James Tannahill of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office before a few hours of interview and horseback riding with ranch hand Darrell Bryant of Henrietta.
Offerdall said they were drawn the Henrietta because it is a small town and offers a perspective of American not often portrayed on Norwegian television.
“We see a lot of American television and films, so we wanted to go to a small city, in one way, in the middle of nowhere, but with real people in a real town. It’s not very big, but they are all proud of their little town,” said Offerdal, standing outside of Stewart’s Sweet Stop on the courthouse square. “It’s like being with (Capt. Tannahill), he is a local policeman, but he is relaxed about it. This is not New York, this is not San Francisco. It’s real the middle of America.
“All the weird stuff we see on television, people start shooting and all that, it doesn’t work that way in real life. Yes, there’s trouble all over the (world), but it’s not that everybody walks around with a cowboy hat and a gun.”
As citizens of Norway, a mountainous country, Offerdal said he, Eriksen and Wikiz were most impressed with the openness of the landscape and, of course, the cattle.
The show has yet to be named, but Offerdal said it will be given a title that loosely translates as “The Little Country,” in reference to Norway’s size in comparison to other nations.