It’s time to catch up with Alibi’s original crime drama, Annika, starring Nicola Walker.
Episode one was an easy-going affair (in crime drama terms) – not quite cosy crime, but it had the feel of something you could tune into for mild mystery-of-the-week thrills and a slice of Nicola Walker. And Walker really made it. Yes, there’s a nice ensemble cast, but Walker’s naturalistic abilities just really shone through.
and, of course, Annika was given an extra soupçon of interest because our main character actually spoke to us. yes, DI Annika Strandhed broke the fourth wall constantly.
It takes skill to do this and for the device not to become a cliche or over-egged, and the first episode struck that balance nicely.
And Annika’s pithy, humorous asides really went up another level in this episode.
We know that Annika is from Norway, and in this episode there were pleasing references to Nordic culture – namely the Sagas, and the legend of Valkyrie.
Valkyrie was indeed the name of the boat Ryan Kidd was found dead on, and the boat that exploded in front of Annika and her team back on land. Whoever killed Kidd wanted him well and truly gone, and the team was shaken by the explosion.
Mystery-of-the-week shows like this live and, ahem, die by the strength and intrigue of the actual cases, and this one was quite engrossing. Annika and some of her team followed Ryan’s trail to the. island of Bute, where they not only found that he was a teacher at the local school, but he had formed a relationship with one of his pupils – 15-year-old Siggi, and young Scottish-Norwegian girl.
Not good. Not good at all.
So although Annika is fairly easy going with some fantastic lines from Annika herself (and her boss Diane Oban, Kate Dickie on terrific form), there’s darkness at its core. This darkness was once again evident when Siggi tried to take her own life.
And it’s all about coping. We saw Annika’s teenage daughter, Morgan, smuggle vodka into her school. She’s trying to cope with the big move to Scotland and Annika too is trying to cope with leading a team in a new town and process her own role as mother.
So while Annika won’t reinvent the wheel, it is an entertaining, balanced watch packed with nuanced studies of human existence.
READ MORE: OUR EPISODE ONE REVIEW