A few months ago I wrote a post (here) that rounded-up all the interesting-sounding crime drama across Europe at the annual MIPCOM convention in France, where the movers and shakers in the TV industry get together and sell and buy TV programmes for their respective territories. One of the shows featured was from Iceland – The Valhalla Murders – but at the time I couldn’t find any information out about it. Now, there’s a bit more flesh on the bone.
Apologies for posting this last dispatch from Iceland Noir so late. Pretty much as soon as the festival had finished I found myself with zero time to write it up because I got out of Reykjavik and explored some of the incredible countryside and wilderness the island provides. But these two (final) panels of the festival are worth writing up because a) they covered important subjects and, b) they were hugely entertaining.
You have to keep your eye on Walter Presents – the online streaming service keeps picking up interesting-sounding little crime dramas seemingly out of the blue. We all know – thanks to the global success of Trapped and exposure via Netflix for The Lava Field – Iceland is the Nordic region’s latest hot property. And now we hear that Walter Presents has picked up one of its dramas.
Today sees the third and penultimate quarter-final and it looks like it’ll be a cracker – Iceland’s Trapped take on England’s Happy Valley. Happy Valley is one of the seeded teams, but Trapped burst onto the scene earlier this year and qualified handsomely. It beat out The Fall in the group stages, and now takes on a show that won easily in its group. All to play for!
Since the fantastic Trapped, Iceland has been well worth keeping an eye on when it comes to crime drama, especially crime drama that comes from the Nordic countries. It seems everyone wants to get into the act and now Iceland has joined Denmark, Sweden and Norway as producers of fine drama (Finland is also looking to join the party too, with the intriguing Bordertown). Sure enough, news reaches us that Icelandic production company Sagafilm is in the process of adapting the Stella Blómkvist novels for a new TV series, and have commandeered a writer who worked on Trapped. Read on for more.
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.
Since those very first scenes in Trapped, when a Danish ferry crawled into the remote coastal port of Seyðisfjörður, the town and its locals had been engulfed in a storm that had cut it off from the outside world. At the end of episode six that storm had finally abated, allowing a team of officers from Reykjavik – led by Trausti – to helicopter in and finish the investigation. We knew that as soon as Trausti had touched down the dynamic of the show would shift – Andri, the bear-like hero of the show would have to come to terms with someone with higher authority muscling in on his patch and his investigation. Not only that but it had been pretty obvious that Andri and Trausti had previous, and lots of it, which made this showdown potentially explosive. Tonight we were going to find out what that previous was, and much, much more.
NB: This is a review. And there are spoilers. Lots and lots and lots and lots of them.