Ah, autumn. Although knowing this country mid-September will be in the grip in the kind of heatwave we were supposed to experience in July and August. Still, the seasons are definitely a-changing and one consequence of these temporal shifts is that new television will shuffle onto our goggleboxes. We already know that the BBC will launch its Scandi slate on BBC4 sometime this month, but now it has confirmed the transmission date of its kick-off series, as well as a new one-off classic, which will have fans of the Edwardian, one-room mysteries salivating.
First things first. It’s Scandi time on BBC4 again and, as per the news we broke last week, it’s set to be a huge autumn for fans of Scandinavian drama on the channel. With the third, highly anticipated series of The Bridge in the pipeline and then the second series of Arne Dahl, we’re kicking things off with Beck. I’ll quote the BBC press website on this one:
Based on the characters of the hugely popular Martin Beck detective series of novels by Swedish husband-and-wife writers Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, Beck sees the much-loved detective brought to life on the small screen. Following the fortunes of enigmatic and extremely methodical detective Martin Beck and his partner, the irascible, impulsive Gunvald Larsson, Beck is arguably the originator of what has become known as Scandinavian crime: the good-cop, bad-cop partnership which went on to form the modern crime-fighting blueprint.
The brand-new feature-length films see detective Martin Beck investigating the shocking death of a young woman found strangled in a hotel room, a gangster kingpin executed by a sniper in front of his family, a terrorist attack and a suspicious hospital death which sourly turns out to be premeditated murder. It’s an intricate web of characters and lies. Think again. The killer is never who you expect it to be.
Starring Peter Haber (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) as Beck and Mikael Persbrandt (The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug) as Larsson, the drama’s combination of complex woven details of police detection and beautifully realised characters combined with twisting, masterful storylines has ensured that the award-winning series won fans and acclaim from around the world.
The fact that Martin Beck (he’s already received the BBC Radio 4 adaptation treatment) is such a revered and influential figure in the Pantheon of crime fiction means that this will be one to watch.
It starts on Saturday 12th September at 9pm, and will begin its five-episode run with the story Buried Alive (Levande Begravd), which received a theatrical release, and then continue with the four episodes in series five.
On the next day, BBC1 screens a classic. JB Priestley’s celebrated play (first performed onstage in 1945) is the latest one-off period dramas the BBC is adapting (this coming Sunday 6th September we have Lady Chatterley’s Lover).
It’s set in the Edwardian era, so no change from the original there. Following the suicide of a young woman from the local town, an inspector (David Thewlis), ahem, calls unexpectedly to interrogate the wealthy Birling family. As their world unravels, each member of the family is revealed to have unwittingly played a part in her demise. Arthur Birling is played by Ken Stott, while Sybil Birling is played by Miranda Richardson. Young Eva is played by Sophie Rundle.
Look out for it on Sunday 13th September at 8.30pm.
For all our Scandinavian crime drama news and reviews, go here