Well, I’m back from my little break and slowly but surely I’m catching up with the things that I’ve missed this week. Last night I went along to the BFI Southbank to watch the first episode of the first of the eagerly-awaited BBC adaptations of JK Rowling’s (or Robert Galbraith’s) Cormoran Strike novels. The first, three-part series is based on The Cuckoo’s Calling book, and stars Tom Burke as Strike and Holliday Grainger as Robin Ellacott. The good news is that it’s good. And the extra good news is that we now know when it’s going to appear on our screens.
Innan vi dör (Before We Die) is the new big crime series on Swedish public service channel SVT. Of course, it’s not a given that every Scandinavian crime series will be exported to the UK, but as this one is showing a good amount of potential after two episodes, let’s have a look at what’s on offer.
I’m aware this site wouldn’t normally do something like this (extensively preview a show that hasn’t been signed by a UK broadcaster) but Midnight Sun sounds so intriguing and could be the next big Nordic thing. With all that in mind and being a resident in Sweden, I wanted to at least see what it was like and give you an idea of it. Midnight Sun (Midnattssol) started in Sweden at the weekend and it got off to a promising start. I do think this will be picked up by some channel in the UK, so here are my first impressions…
During its two previous series, The Fall has proved itself to be quite unlike any other crime drama on television. Yes, it has all our favourite procedural elements, characters that kind of fit into familiar archetypes, but what sets it apart is the two main characters – DCI Stella Gibson (played by Gillian Anderson) and the serial murderer Paul Spector (played by Jamie Dornan) who have been locked in a cat-and-mouse game, both addicted to the chase and seemingly fascinated by each other. And this is what sets The Fall apart – great acting, and the kind of will-they-won’t-they that isn’t your usual will-they-won’t-they. It’s back for a third series in the coming weeks, and last night there was a screening and a Q&A with the stars.
Luther is one of the UK’s premium-brand crime dramas and one of the country’s most successful global exports. It has helped to solidify Idris Elba’s status as a household name and as a CILF (work it out yourself), but more importantly it has introduced us to another angry detective, Neil Cross’s creation involving himself in some thrilling, terrifying cases and some intriguing character dynamics that placed this iconic character in the grey area between good and bad. There were rumours it was the end for Luther and he was only going to appear in big screen outings from now on, but he’s back next month for another (very short) run on BBC1.
I mentioned in a previous story that Bridge showrunner, Hans Rosenfeldt, has been a busy fellow recently, launching the third series of The Bridge in his native Sweden and across Europe, starting the process of his new British-based crime drama, Marcella, for ITV, and now launching The Bridge III in the UK. Rosenfeldt was present – alongside stars Sofia Helin and Dag Malmberg, as well as producer Anders Landström – for a screening and a Q&A in London yesterday afternoon. So were we.
Last week I went to ITV to watch a screening of Arthur & George – the network’s three-part adaptation of Julian Barnes’s best-selling novel. I haven’t read the book, but I was aware of the premise – in the wake of his wife’s death, Sherlock creator Arthur Conan Doyle takes on a case of his own, that of a young Indian/British man who’s out to clear his name after he was, he contends, wrongfully imprisoned for a spate of horse slayings in an Edwardian-era Black Country village. With obvious Sherlock connections, it’s sure to be a primetime hit. But what was it like?