With the footballing equivalent of Euro 16 set to kick off on Friday 10th June, we thought we’d have a bit of fun here at The Killing Times and stage our own tournament, featuring the best crime series from across the continent as selected by us (well, me really). We’re expecting the ‘matches’ to be fiercely contested and to feature some of the heavy-hitters from across the continent. Here’s what’s going to happen…
- Only shows that have aired in the UK in the past five years are eligible.
- The tournament will comprise four groups of four TV shows. The winner and runner-up will qualify for the quarter-finals.
- ‘Matches’ will be decided by public vote. Each winning show receives three points, and if it’s a draw each team will receive one point.
- Each match will be a public vote. The voting window will be 24 hours.
- The winner of group A will play the runner-up in group C.
- The runner-up in group A will play the winner of group C.
- The winner of group B will play the runner-up in group D.
- The runner-up in group B will play the winner in group D.
- There will be four seeded shows that will be randomly selected into each group. There can only be one seeded show in each group.
- Seeds are (decided by us) are: Happy Valley (England); The Bridge (Sweden); The Killing (Denmark); Trapped (Iceland).
Here are the teams:
Representing England: Happy Valley (SEEDED SHOW)
Form guide: A tricky selection this, with plenty of others showing strong form and pushing their case for representation. In the end, Sally Wainwright’s tale of northern noir won out. It features a strong central striker in Cawood – an old-fashioned number-nine targetwoman, if you like – and an impressive supporting cast, especially Cawood’s sister Clare Cartwright. Happy Valley will be relying on this familial relationship to score points on the field.
Representing Scotland: Shetland
Form guide: Ann Cleeves’ Shetland stories received a strong adaptation (if not scheduling from the BBC) and its star striker is Jimmy Perez, who leads a tight-knit team around him. Some members of the press have questioned whether Perez is too nice to do it on the big stage, but we’re backing Perez to be one of the stars of the tournament if he can find his killer instinct.
Representing Wales: Hinterland
Form guide: Unseeded but a big threat, Hinterland relies on the brooding force that is Tom Mathias. Mathias has high fitness levels thanks to an unforgiving regime that includes running for miles along cliff tops on his own. Currently homeless, Mathias – who’s back by a strong team – will be playing with a chip on his shoulder. We’re expecting Hinterland to challenge the seeded teams, but reports of unrest inside the camp – especially between Mathias and burly centreback Brian Prosser – may affect their chances.
Representing Northern Ireland: The Fall
Form guide: Another strong unseeded contender, The Fall’s central duo of Stella Gibson and Paul Spector are often on opposite sides of the coin, but if they can gel when the tournament comes around they will pose a real threat. Both are ruthless, almost to the point of emotionless, but their weakness is that they’re not team players – they both seem more interested in each other rather than contributing to a collective.
Representing Ireland: Love/Hate
Form guide: This tale of Dublin’s criminal underworld has a trong team ethic – the gang at the centre of it has spark, wit and flair and while not a big name it could cause a shock or two. With Love/Hate it’s a case of whether John Boy and co can stick together long enough before it all falls apart.
Representing Sweden: The Bridge (SEEDED TEAM)
Form guide: One of the favourites, The Bridge caused controversy because of its heavy Danish connections. But it’s Sweden that this show will be representing, and it features one of Europe’s most dangerous strikers. Saga Norén has an intensity and instinct that makes her hard to stop. She forms an irresistible partnership with Martin Rohde (who caused yet more controversy when he decided to represent Sweden for this tournament), while newcomer Henrik Sabroe provides a fresh take on things. John Lundqvist in the middle of the park is dangerous, too. The big question mark is whether Rohde, who has been out of action for a year, will make the team in time.
Representing Denmark: The Killing (SEEDED TEAM)
Form guide: The veteran in the tournament, The Killing nonetheless is still a dangerous team. Sarah Lund spearheads the show’s formidable challenge, and her obsessive attention to detail and relentless drive still marks her out as one of the best players in the world, let alone Europe. A strong contender.
Representing Iceland: Trapped
Form guide: This newcomer has really burst onto the scene this year with some eye-catching and breathtaking performances in qualifying. A strong central partnership between the hulking Andri Olafsson (surely a physical match for anyone) and Hinrika Kristjánsdóttir (driven and skilful) make this show one to watch.
Representing Italy: Inspector Montalbano
Form guide: Having one of the most popular players in the tournament, Salvo Montalbano, might not be enough for this show to proceed further than the group stages. A solid team enough, with an excellent diet envied across the continent, look for the show to win a few games.
Representing France: Spiral (SEEDED TEAM)
Form guide: Out of all the teams in the tournament, Gallic series Spiral boasts arguably the best team. It’s led by the indestructible Laure Berthaud, and backed up by the faithful Gilou Escoffier, the wily Francois Roban and the dazzling Joséphine Karlsson. Sadly, Pierre Clémont is unavailable for selection for this tournament (and all future tournaments).
Representing Norway: Mammon
Form guide: An interesting selection, Mammon’s star striker – journalist Peter Verås – should cause problems with his tenacity, but don’t expect Mammon to get past the group stages.
Representing Belgium: Salamander
Form guide: Paul Gerardi is a real throwback to the 1980s golden age of sporting tournaments – all tight perms and beards – and his unconventional (and some might argue reckless) approaches to investigation mark him out as one to watch.
Representing Czech Republic: The Lens
Form guide: An unheralded drama from the Czech Republic, traffic photographer-turned-cop Roman Kadlec is a prodigious talent although some would argue shy and sensitive on the field. His partnership with sparky Nikola Bárdyová is, however, one to watch, and potentially one of the most complimentary in the tournament.
Representing Switzerland: 10
Form guide: A strong team – although mostly skilled at poker – and possessing a good leader in Hans Koller, 10 just about scraped through qualifying and should go out early in the group stages.
Representing Germany: Cenk Batu
Cenk Batu might just surprise a few people in this tournament. With Turkish blood, Batu is a tough centre forward, used to going it alone. But the lack of depth in the squad will probably do for this show in the early rounds, despite its huge popularity at home.
Representing Spain: Falcón
Form guide: Javier Falcón is the brooding, Latin detective here and he alone is worthy of note, but, again, a lack of depth in the team and the bench might make this another show to leave the tournament.
THE DRAW FOR THE KILLING TIMES’ EURO 2016 OF CRIME DRAMA WILL TAKE PLACE THE WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 30TH MAY.