Attach the words Scandinavia and Nordic to any crime drama and you know it’ll be snapped up by a British broadcaster sooner rather than later. When it comes to Scandinavian and Nordic crime dramas, all eyes are currently on the annual MIPTV in Cannes – the gathering that brings the world’s most successful distributors, buyers and producers to strike distribution and co-production deals, attend high-level conferences and network with the global entertainment industry – because production companies are hawking their wears. It’s not just Nordic Noir over there though – there’s other genres of drama, comedy, documentary… you name it, it’s there and it’s being viewed and talked about. But, y’know, this is a crime drama blog so, naturally, the focus is on crime drama and, specifically, Nordic Noir. Why? Because there’s a lot of it about at the moment and there are loads of really interesting new series that will potentially make their way to these shores.
Our friends at scanoir.co.uk (go here to follow them) alerted us to an article on the excellent Nordic Film & TV Fond website (here), which detailed a whole raft of Scandinavian and Nordic dramas that were doing the rounds at MIPTV.
So I thought I’d go through it all and sift out the crime dramas, and detail what’s in store. After all, the BBC, Sky, ITV and Channel 4/Walter Presents have all recently all shown crime dramas from the region and with this little lot this tide from the north-east and north-west will continue to rip-roll.
Aside from established non-crime series like Thicker Than Water (Channel 4/Walter Presents), The Legacy (Sky Arts), Occupied (Sky Arts), there are new and returning series, all worth logging and getting the lowdown on. In fact some of them sound really interesting and I can’t wait to see them.
So, deep breath…
Follow the Money 2
(10 episodes, Denmark)
Currently enjoying a good run on BBC4, the second series of this financial thriller looks likely to land in its native Denmark around the end of this year. If BBC4 pick it up again it’ll no doubt air around the same time as this first series – March 2017.
Mammon – Nothing Is Just Politics
(Eight episodes, Norway)
A well-known commentator and journalist in Norway’s biggest newspaper is brutally murdered – a clear-cut attack on the freedom of speech. The murder fuels the flames of an already volatile fight between the country’s prime minister and his finance minister – one year ahead of the elections where the Conservatives’ hope to be re-elected. Who would want to murder journalists for their words and actions? What should the authorities and the politicians do to protect the guardians of free speech? The murdered journalist has, through his unconventional methods and controversial opinions made enemies in many circles, both political and religious. Peter already knows his colleague’s partner Ellen, and his chief editor gives him the task of helping her through the difficult weeks ahead with both the media interest and the police investigation. There are a lot of speculations about her late husband’s professional life. Who would kill a journalist and for what? At the same time we follow the story of the charismatic and ambitious prime minister, who mobilises all his political capital to get an extensive and important educational reform through. However, he has strong resistance within his own ranks. His fiercest opponent is the Keeper of the Treasury, his own deputy leader and Finance Minister. The first series of Mammon was shown on Channel 4. (via Betafilm)
(Eight episodes, Sweden)
Swedish version of the Dutch series Penoza. The series, starring Alexandra Rapaport, became the most successful local drama in Discovery Networks Sweden/Kanal 5’s history and a second season is in production. Rapaport plays Sonja, who lives a rather carefree life with her beloved family. The economy is no problem as long as she does not ask where the money comes from. But suddenly Sonja end up in a situation where she is to be able to protect children must be confronted with organised crime. (via Dreamfilmhd)
(10 episodes, Sweden)
The first episode almost doubled SVT1’s prime time share. Based on a book by Cilla and Rolf Börjlindm, writers behind the Arne Dahl and Wallander series. It tells the story of a gruesome murder in which three men dig a hole, covertly watched by a young boy, to bury a pregnant woman alive as the high tide rapidly approaches. Some 24 years later, the crime remains unsolved until Police Academy cadet Olivia Rönning joins the force and is challenged by her professor to solve the cold case. Rönning must overcome several challenges to do so, including a major crime wave in the city, which includes a gang beating up and killing homeless people and posting videos of the murders on the internet. The series stars Death Of A Pilgrim’s Kjell Bergqvist and Julia Ragnarsson, who played Laura in the second series of The Bridge. (via Broadcast)
The Third Eye
(20 episodes, Norway)
The Third Eye is a crime drama from the producers of the record-breaking Lilyhammer. Haunted by the disappearance of his own daughter four years ago, Norwegian policeman Viggo (Kyrre Haugen Sydness, Lilyhammer) is about to lose everything. His job is in danger but without it, he has nothing. Viggo is totally dependent on his job to keep his sanity and has been paired with a young, talented policewoman named Mari. The message is clear: solve your cases or leave. Viggo begins to have nightmares; current investigations start to fill his dreams. Hours and hours spent obsessing over his daughter’s disappearance seem to have woken his Third Eye giving him tip-offs on who is behind the crimes he is investigating during the day. Although the intuitions he gets in his dreams are correct, cases need hard, cold evidence to be solved. What Viggo now possesses is a super ability for a cop but a big problem when your mantra is evidence and you don’t believe in the supernatural elements… but what if this ability could help him find his daughter Christina? The series is driven by cases that resolve within each episode and larger plots and themes that run throughout the series. Prepare to be stunned as the season finale reveals a shocking truth as Viggo gets to the bottom of what really happened to Christina on that horrifying day four years ago. (via Endemol)
(12 episodes, Finland)
Mikko Oikkonen is writing/directing for Fisher King. Bordertown is an original prime time series set in a bordertown between Finland and Russia. This Nordic crime fiction combines family drama with police procedural in a uniquely exotic setting. Detective Inspector Kari Sorjonen is one of the most respected officers at the National Bureau of Investigation in Finland. When his wife barely survives brain cancer, Sorjonen decides to take his family to an idyllic small town near the border of Russia, to live a quiet peaceful life. But how peaceful is life on the border between two worlds? (via official website)
Prisoners’ (or ‘Fangar’ in Icelandic) – revolves around the lives and stories of inmates in a women’s prison in Iceland and is directed by Ragnar Bragason. Final funding for the new series is currently being gathered and recording is due to begin in May. Icelanders will be able to see the series on national broadcaster RÚV this winter. (via Iceland Monitor)
(Nine episodes, Iceland)
Reykjavík, and the body of a promising young ballerina is found hanged on the main stage of the National Theatre. But what at first appears to be a simple case of suicide soon spirals into a twisted web of manipulation, betrayal, and murder. For Logi, a washed-up lawyer, uncovering the truth behind the girl’s death is his last chance at redemption. For Brynhildur, Logi’s one remaining friend and fellow lawyer, the death falls even closer to home, as an event from her own past ties her inextricably to the victim’s troubled family. And for the dedicated but destructive detective Gabriella, it becomes an obsessive hunt for a killer that puts her at odds not only with her superiors but her partner as well. One by one the paths of these three troubled souls will converge deep in the cold heart of Iceland’s capital city, where unknown but powerful forces will stop at nothing to ensure a horrific truth stays buried; that there are some crimes far darker than murder. (via Red Arrow)
Before We Die
Marie Richardson stars as Hanna, a fading star of a cop in the organised crime unit of the Stockholm Police. On the home front, her son has severed all ties with her, as she’s the one who caused his arrest and subsequent two-year imprisonment for drug possession. When her lover and colleague is abducted, Hanna must take over his undercover investigation of a criminal biker gang as well as protect an infiltrator. To prevent a brutal takeover in the criminal underworld, she must fight for her son’s life and break another family to save her own. (via The Euro TV Place)
(Four episodes, Sweden)
July sees the beginning of filming of Åsa Larsson’s crime novels about the lawyer Rebecka Martinsson, police inspector Anna-Maria Mella and colleague Sven-Erik Stålnacke. The main role of Rebecka Martinsson will be played by Ida Engvoll. The following books have been adapted: Her blood (2004); The Black Path (2006); Until Thy Wrath Be Past (2008); To Molech (2012). (via Yellow Bird)