Last year we were treated to some new Sherlock on TV, but this year, as Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman struggled to find time to fit any more new episodes of the updated and snappy series into their busy schedules, this year’s festive period is a little bit barren when it comes to crime drama. But thank the crime gods for radio, because that’s where you’ll find a little morsel of Victorian/Edwardian crime to sate your need.
Once upon a time there was a dour, tormented man in a snow-bound wasteland, trudging through the whiteness and bleak and beautiful landscape, staring into the abyss and seeing first-hand what the dark side of the human race is capable of. His name was Kurt Wallander, and his story ended back in the summer. But even though we thought we had seen the last of him, the pained Swedish detective is back on our screen this Christmas. But how?
One of the highlights of the past crime drama year was Hinterland – the Welsh series set in Aberystwyth against the backdrop of bleak, beautiful terrain, isolated farms and close-knit villages. It starred Richard Harrington as pained DCI Tom Mathias and had a distinctly Scandinavian feel to it. The good news is that a second series is on the way, but before then some of the UK will be getting a one-off New Year’s Day special.
One of the most eagerly anticipated crime dramas of the New Year is Sky’s Fortitude. I mean, just look (and salivate) at the cast: Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston, Sofie Gråbøl, Richard Dormer, Jessica Raine, Luke Treadaway, Nicholas Pinnockup. It’s fair to say Fortitude ticks a lot of boxes, and now we know when it’s going to start. Details after the jump.
We were certainly kept waiting for the big face-to face encounter for Det Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) and Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), an encounter that has bubbled menacingly – almost taunting us – for two series now. Will they? Won’t they? There have been numerous occasions when the two could have met, but I was almost wishing for some sort of meeting in this finale. It had to happen, right?
As we all know, BBC4 has become the de facto place to get all your foreign-language crime drama nourishment. Over the years the channel has broadcast such dark delights as The Killing, The Bridge, Wallander, Inspector Montalbano, Salamander et al. Another channel hit is gritty French crime drama, Spiral (or Engrenages in its native tongue). The good news is that the series is back fro a new season and it’s just around the corner. Details after the jump. Or Le Saut, if you will.
I remember the Christmas of 2010. I was gripped by news reports of a 25-year-old woman living in Bristol had gone missing. It was a cold, white snowy festive period, and like many around the country, I feared for Joanne Yeates, all alone in the cold. Her body was discovered on 25th December. Christmas Day. Christmas Day. While families up and down the country were opening presents and enjoying the warmth of family and friends, the Yeates family were living a nightmare. It was a sickening conclusion to an awful story. At the centre of the case was newly retired schoolteacher and landlord Christopher Jeffries, who quickly became the main suspect. ITV’s two-part drama – The Lost Honour Of Christopher Jeffries – sought to show the personal battle he had to endure to clear his name. It was exceptional stuff.