On the eve of the DVD release of series one of Dicte, via the Acorn Label, I managed to snaffle a chat with Dicte Svensson herself, Iben Hjejle. If anyone’s been reading the site during the show’s run on More4 you’ll know that I’ve enjoyed the show immensely and Hjejle’s performance as the central character, so I was delighted when she agreed to speak with me and The Killing Times. Her words are after the jump… (and don’t worry, there’s a review of the series one finale coming in the next day or two… it has been a busy weekend!)
Apologies for the delay in writing this review, but the little (and odd combination) of an EU referendum and its inevitable fall-out and lots and lots of football (the European Championship, no less) meant that my mind wasn’t really on crime drama or casting a critical eye over it. But now, looking for a distraction or two from the world, I took the opportunity to dig back into Danish crime series Dicte. And, wouldn’t you know it, this fourth episode of the five-episode series, was the best yet.
Up until now we’ve seen Dicte Svendsen, crime reporter for the local Aarhus newspaper, get herself involved with cases that have touched a nerve – cases that have involved motherhood, and the concept of motherhood, that remind her of her own past. And, wouldn’t you just know it, in tonight’s feature-length episode she at the forefront of a case that has elements of motherhood yet again.
Last week’s opening, feature-length episode of Dicte introduced us to a new, modern crime drama heroine from Denmark. She had all the baggage a character in a bleak Scandi Noir should carry around with them, but what made Dicte a little different was that she was a social, agreeable – if headstrong – person who was immediately likeable and functioned well within her circle of friends and family. It only remained to be seen whether she could continue in this vein or if the case of her missing son would consume her.
So here we are back in Scandinavia. It feels like a while since we’ve been in Denmark (well, not that long actually… we were there for February’s Follow The Money on BBC4), but this new five-part drama (for UK broadcast it has been re-packaged into five feature-length episodes instead of the 10 stand-alones that appeared in its native Denmark) is back on more familiar ground. The series has been adapted from Elsebeth Egholm’s novels (Egholm was also the creator of Scandi noir hit from 2011, Those Who Kill) and stars Iben Hjejle as crime journalist Dicte Svendsen who returns to her home town of Aarhus to not only confront ghosts from her past but also to help the police solve a gruesome murder investigation. So far, so crime-drama-by-the-numbers, but what sets Dicte apart from the rest is a good pace, and, unusually for a Scandinavian crime drama, a character that feels more three-dimensional than usual.
NB: Spoilers ahoy
As if we didn’t have enough crime drama to watch, the start of Channel 4’s on-demand service, Walter Presents, was a welcome addition to the canon, presenting us with golden nuggets of TV from around the world. I’ve already reviewed a couple of them (links at the bottom of the piece), but WP is bubbling away nicely in the background and is well worth a visit if you have time on your hands and want to watch something from abroad. Now the channel has three new crime drama in the pipeline that look very good indeed.