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Brødrene Dal (the Dal Brothers) is a trio of fictional explorers featured in a series of Norwegian television shows and a feature-length film. Written and portrayed by Lars Mjøen, Knut Lystad and Trond Kirkvaag (known collectively as KLM - the Norwegian equivalent to Monty Python), the three brothers are Gaus (Mjøen), the straight-faced, natural leader of the group; Roms (Lystad), the most easy-going brother, sometimes to the point of naivety; and Brumund (Kirkvaag), the most quirky member, identified by his distinctive propeller hat. Their escapades have them encounter several hurricanes of puns, sight gags and clever, if not exactly easily translatable, wordplay.


List of Brødrene Dal productions:

  • Professor Drøvels hemmelighet (The Secret of Professor Drøvel), their debut series, had them in search of missing explorer Professor Drøvel, traversing Overfloden, an uncharted river crowded with absurd characters and events.
  • Spektralsteinene (The Spectrum Stones): while searching for a special substance to cure the common cold, Roms receives a ring containing mysterious blueprints for what turns out to be a time machine from an alien. They travel through time, from the age of vikings to Nazi-occupied Norway.
  • Legenden om Atlant-is (The Legend of Atlant-Ice): Summoned by a mysterious shaman, the brothers are tasked with retrieving the mysterious twin urns Urk and Irka which have been stolen from the Sami people. It turns out the urns are the keys to the lost city of Atlant-is which hides the Fountain of Youth. However, a corrupt "snow research company" are after the same thing...
  • Mysteriet om Karl XII's gamasjer (The Mystery of the Spats of Karl XII): The brothers travel through time (again) to find the lost spats of Norwegian monarch Karl XII, a key instrument in the continuation of Norway's independence; if they are not retrieved by the 100th anniversary of Norway's Constitutional Day, Norway will be considered part of Sweden once again. A mysterious organization known as "Pavo" attempts to thwart their attempts to do this at any cost.
  • Vikingsverdets forbannelse (The Curse of the Viking Sword): Feature-length film based on recordings of an original theatrical production, cleverly edited into a feature. As Kirkvaag had died in the interim, he only interacts with the brothers via a video screen.

Tropes Associated with Brødrene Dal: Edit

  • A Day in the Limelight: Legenden om Atlant-is often focuses on the Narrator and his misadventures. Indeed, he is actually the last main character seen in the series. Of course, he remained an unseen character for the first two series, so I guess he'd earned it.
  • Acting for Two: The central trio in every single installment of the series.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: But they're shown participating in any actual archaeology only once or twice.
  • And Now for Something Completely Different: The final episode of Brødrene Dal og Spektralsteinene ends with an elaborate, ten-minute chase scenes between parties interested in obtaining the vial of Kurium 82.
  • Badass Family: The Dal family, ancestors and descendants included.
  • Bag of Holding: Let's just say the brothers' "traveling backpack" has an inordinate amount of space.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Frequent aside glances, and sometimes the characters are even shown consulting the script. Crowning honors go, of course, to the Narrator, to whom the fourth wall does not seem to exist.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: "The Eye of Wendor" by symphonic prog group Mandalaband, while referred to as the main theme by media, is actually the end credits theme; every series has its individual main theme.
  • Bound and Gagged: Imposter!Brumund in Atlant-is.
  • The Cameo: In total, a veritable cross-section of reputable Norwegian actors from all eras.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: Did you even read the list up there?
  • Cliff Hanger: Every episode ends with one; usually, these initially precarious situations are quickly defused as a joke when the next episode comes around.
  • Clown Car Base: The brothers' tent. Is roughly the size of a two-story house, contains creature comforts such as a stove, radio and television, and it all fits in the aforementioned Bag of Holding!
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Basically, anyone and everyone.
    • Not to mention the "Problematic Institute" from Legenden om Atlant-is, whose every tenured professor seems to engage in... let's call it less-than-useful research (such as the square wheel).
  • Cousin Oliver: Joste, Snerting and Mette Mari Dal (respectively the brothers' nephews and niece), introduced in Karl XII's gamasjer.
  • Darker and Edgier: Spektralsteinene is this to its immediate predecessor, containing genuinely scary instances of nightmare fuel, whereas the first (mostly) played instances of horror for comedy. See also Downer Ending below.
  • Downer Ending: Spektralsteinene ends with the Kurium 82 smashed against the ground, ending humanity's hope for a cure for the common cold, not to mention the other efficacious properties it is implied to have possessed...
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Narrator, or "Fortelleren" in KLM's native Norwegian.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Karl XII is killed.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In contrast to the Gosh Dang It to Heck example below, there is a character in Legenden om Atlant-is who speaks backwards. At one point, he utters a relatively offensive term, only it's backwards!
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: Professor Ernst Muffens, conniving scoundrel though he may be, still respects the confines of a kid-friendly show and acts accordingly.
  • Happily Married: Roms is this with a woman who lives in his room. For some reason, he keeps this hidden from his brothers...
  • Historical Domain Character: Mostly Norwegians such as Snorri and Roald Amundsen; where international characters are concerned, they are mostly fictional ones such as Robin Hood and The Three Musketeers. However, there is the notable exception of Adolf Hitler (though he does not appear in person).
  • Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act: Eh, kind of averted. In Spektralsteinene, they foil Hitler's plan to use some sort of infernal machine for his evil ends. This has no negative repercussions in the future and is implied to be a devastating blow dealt to the Axis powers during the war.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Covering the entire pun spectrum (no pun intended), from groan-inducing to disarmingly covert ones.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: There are some rare, out-of-print LP and CD releases featuring Brødrene Dal.
  • Large Ham: The Narrator is one of the most legendary Norwegian hams, ever. Professor Ernst Muffens deserves the label as well.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There really are a lot of them, though the degree of characterization or spotlight they are given varies intensely.
  • Long Runner: The first series aired in 1979. Of course, now, with Kirkvaag's death, it appears there will be no further productions.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The brothers are in search of Kurium 82 in this form, however, they ultimately obtain in its pure, distilled liquid form.
    • The eponymous Spectral Stones are this, as they power the time machine and almost each episode is about the brothers looking for the next stone to take them sometime new. Near the end it appears that the aliens had them gather the stones for their own ends.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In Karl XII's gamasjer there appears a pirate character known as Kabel-Satan.[1]
  • Nice Hat: As depicted in the trope picture, they each have their own, distinctive hat. Brumund's hat, namely a pith helmet, features a distinctive, motorized propeller strong enough to be used as a makeshift boat motor.
  • Only Sane Man: Of the three brothers, Gaus is the one least involved in their more frivolous activities.
  • Power Trio: Brødrene Dal, as well as their nephews and niece.
  • Pungeon Master: The Narrator concocts some truly unforgettable ones in Professor Drøvels hemmelighet. Although really, most characters are guilty of this at one point or another.
  • Punny Name: A staple not only of Brødrene Dal, but KLM as a whole. Notably, the brothers' names when combined with their last names are the names of Norwegian locations. This goes for their relatives, as well. In fact, the official KLM fanclub allows members to create their own fictional Dal relative.
  • Scare Chord: The melody snippet heard whenever the episode ends on a Cliff Hanger still strikes fear into the hearts of all who remember it: DUN-DUNDUN-DUN-DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN! (Or, alternately, DUNDUN-DUNDUN-DUN-DUNDUN.)
  • Scooby-Doo Hoax: In Spektralsteinene. While there was no musical maze-of-doors chase, there was, (un)fortunately, enough eerie Nightmare Fuel to go around.
  • Sketch Comedy: Both Professor Drøvel and Spektralsteinene frequently segue off into tangential, often absurdly unrelated sketches, while subsequent installments attempt to follow the story closer, relegating nearly completely unrelated sketches to episode beginnings (and endings).
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The Narrator.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Brumund disguises himself as a member of a harem in Spektralsteinene, inevitably causing the sultan to fall for "her".
  • Rule of Funny: And we wouldn't have it any other way.
  • Unobtainium: Kurium 82.
  • Visual Gag: A whole lot. Perhaps the most well-known is the sarcophagus shaped like a Moomin; in Norway, their name is very similar to the word for "mummy."
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: The Nazis guarding the location of Hitler's secret weapon. They are unable to see through Brumund's Paper-thin Hitler disguise, and after he leaves, rationalize that Hitler must have been wearing a fake mustache all along.
  • The Gump: All three brothers are this in both series that deal with time travel. Among other things, they inspired Egyptian slaves to dig the Suez Canal...
  • Those Two Guys: Muffens' henchmen Birger and Hroar from Legenden om Atlant-is, as well as the two hired thugs in Karl XII's gamasjer.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: The Nazis featured in Spektralsteinene flip-flop between this (see above) and a more realistic, possibly even chilling portrayal.
  • Twist Ending: The giant egg the brothers find in Professor Drøvel actually contains... Professor Drøvel himself, who is now acting like a chicken.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Legenden om Atlant-is features a relatively static depiction of early '90s Oslo.
  • We Sell Everything: A local gas station (and popular 50s greaser hangout for... some reason) has all the doodads, thingamajigs and whirligigs needed to build a sophisticated piece of alien time travel technology, apparently.

Notes

  1. any similarity to beloved children's figure Kaptein Sabeltann is purely coincidental.

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