IT’S lockdown, and we’re binge-watching TV dramas like the rest of you. Yet none of them has made me feel as queasy as the Norwegian political thriller Occupied (all three series are available on Netflix).

The drama rests on an admittedly lurid premise. Having elected a Green government that intends to shut down its hydrocarbons sector, Norway is being gradually taken over by a Russian presence (with the complicity of the European Commission). The aim is to secure access for Europe, Russia and the world of Norwegian oil and gas.

Reality partly confirms the luridness. Norway’s Supreme Court is actually about to adjudicate on whether to stop further drilling in their territorial waters, as an eco-burden on future generations.

Reality also disconfirms it. The EU is currently conjuring up a renewable energy infrastructure and a Green New Deal, turning its face away from dependency on the black gold. So they’re hardly about to enlist Putin and pals in a hydrocarbon grab.

These discrepancies are fine: TV drama should be an entertainment, not a policy PDF. So why does watching Occupied trigger a far-off but insistent pulse of anger and anxiety in me?

I don’t require much depth psychology here. I’m watching a proud, climate-conscious, democratic, independent small nation being gradually suborned and subverted by an autocratic, rule-breaking, controlling superpower. How else am I supposed to feel?

In terms of the question “in this scenario, would you resist? And how?”, Occupied suspends you uncomfortably on all possible hooks. Jesper Berg, the show’s Green prime minister, moves from practising realpolitik in his hotseat to secretly organising acts of eco-terrorism in exile.

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Law enforcement officers flitter between co-operating with Russian officials to maintain public order and secretly enabling “Free Norway” counter movements.

It’s also obvious that some quite deep Norwegian collective traumas are being worked through here. Free Norway’s most coldly terroristic leader in the show, Stefan Christensen, looks like the lost brother of Anders Breivik, the Nazi sympathiser who conducted the 2011 bombing and murders in Oslo and Utøya.

In Occupied, the speedy shift of Free Norway into violent and destructive acts resonates with history. In particular, it chimes with the determination of Norwegian resistance movements against Nazi occupation between 1940 and 1945. But there’s also the parallel memory of the wartime Norwegian government of Vidkun Quisling, whose surname became a general term for collaboration with an oppressor. Quisling’s regime even participated in parts of the genocide of the Final Solution.

Norway’s history, wartime and recent, is turbulent, conflicted, even compromised. If you remember that, it makes sense of what often seem like alarming leaps to extremes in this series. And thank god it strikes no parallel to what’s happening here, as Scots pursue sovereignty by means of democracy and constitutionalism.

But what Occupied does do, in its overly-dramatic way, is to prime your antennae for the geostrategic dimensions of a coming Scots independence.

The first act of Russian dominance in the TV show probably chills the most – their military commandeering of key North Sea oil platforms. It’s not very hard to find reports of Russian ships and planes incursing on what would be potentially Scots waters. For example, two Russian spy ships were stationed 25 miles from the coast in the Moray Firth only a few weeks ago (probably observing fighter plane activity at HMS Lossiemouth).

As the naval media says, this “intelligence game” has been played out in the Moray Firth since the Cold War. Then, Russian “fishing trawlers” would often monitor British submarine activity.

Who wants to have to deal with the probing and testing of your territorial waters by unpredictable, expansionist superpowers, as you go about building your lovely, wee, futuristic, eco-techno nation? Not I. But doesn’t someone have to? And if so, what is the non-post-imperial, quietly effective ways it can be done?

SO I am interested in the breadcrumbs that are trickling out from the SNP’s submission, fully released this coming Tuesday, to the UK Government’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy. Written by SNP representatives Alyn Smith and Stuart McDonald, it’s striking to compare what’s being leaked to the narrative twists and turns of Occupied.

For one thing, both are concerned with what is known as “hybrid war” – the non-military strategies that foreign powers use to influence, to their own strategic ends, the direction of other societies. The particular focus seems to be Russia as a hybrid warrior – and especially the way they invest in political parties (like the Conservatives)

and media outlets (like RT or Sputnik), or conduct cyber-attacks on national governments.

A bit spookily, the SNP report mentioned a cyber attack on the email system of the Norwegian parliament in September this year. Their foreign minister Ine Eriksen Soreide identified it as Russian-derived (though without presenting evidence).

The BBC reports that Norway’s intelligence agencies also released a study earlier this year on Russian “so-called ‘influence operations’, aimed at weakening public trust in the government, election processes and the media”.

So not only is a Scottish navy and air force with a role in the “high north” or “Arctic theatre” being suggested, there’s also a recognition that any future Scottish Government will be as “highly vulnerable to hybrid threats” as the Westminster Government.

Do we want this kind of stuff to be clouding, like a fog of war, the minds of indy campaigners? One of the scariest messages of Occupied is the way it charts the steady decline of Norwegian values and behaviour.

As Norway’s citizens and politicians constantly grapple with these anxieties – about fake news, false advocates, unpredictable events – the show’s characters make increasingly terrible decisions, destructive of both body and soul.

My acute anxiety about Smith and McDonald’s report is that it plays into a general appetite to make Russia our new “folk devil”. Lost in a blizzard of information, it’s all too easy to posit a satisfyingly and simplistically coherent enemy.

I assume the minimum needed utility of force to police Scottish land, waters and airspace. But beyond that, I would suggest that we have two other ways of ensuring Scottish security, in the face of Russia’s restless pushing at the world.

One is about what the diplomats call “soft power”. The obvious route is through Robert Burns. Burns was regarded by Russians as the “people’s poet”, both before and after the Russian revolution, and his works still appear on school curricula there today.

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There would be no loss, and much to gain, from promoting the way that Burns connects with the everyday lives of Russians. A humane, street-level engagement with the ordinary consciousness of Russian citizens, via the yearly cult of Burns, would be a very worthwhile exercise.

And the second is educational. Finland has been conducting a massive adult education programme for the last few years, intended to install critical media skills in the population. Their hope is that all Finns can identify when they are being manipulated or framed by any operator – whether it’s their own states, media and corporates, or others.

In Scotland, wouldn’t it be better to place any Russian spectre of influence within this wider context? That is, we live in societies where there are many hidden persuaders, battling for our attention and commitment all the time. We should make ourselves ready and resilient to cope with the full spectrum of mind-manipulators around us.

This might be your friendly social media platform from San Francisco, as much as it is any shadowy operative from “Putin’s Russia” (a term which in no way defines that nation).

A final cheer for the well-made TV drama. If it makes you feel queasy and weird, but more aware, it’s certainly doing its job. Occupied helps you be aware of what (and who) occupies you. I recommend it highly.

Occupied is available on Netflix