Review : Before We Die (S1 E5/10), Tuesday 13th February, Channel 4



NB Spoilers Inside
We reach the halfway point in the first season of Before We Die this week, and with Christian’s actions in the previous episode threatening to destabilize the investigation into Operation Krajina, the race is on to uncover the true scale of the Mimicas plan to take over Sweden’s criminal underworld.

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Review: Modus (S1 E5&6/8), Saturday 10th December, BBC4

Programme Name: Modus - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 6) - Picture Shows: (L-R) Inger Johanne Vik (MELINDA KINNAMAN), Hedvig Nyström (ANNIKA HALLIN) - (C) © Miso Film 2015 - Photographer: Johan Paulin

 © Miso Film 2015 – Photographer: Johan Paulin

So far, Modus has been a slow, pot-boiler of a thriller. We’ve followed various narrative strands (very Scandi Noir) drift hither and thither and followed a chisel-jawed, ex-US Marine, Richard Forrester, as he’s been bumping off homosexuals in Stockholm.  Continue reading

Review: Modus (S1 E1&2/8), Saturday 26th November, BBC4

Programme Name: Modus - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 2) - Picture Shows: Richard Forrester (MAREK ORAVEC) - (C) © Miso Film 2015 - Photographer: Johan Paulin

© Miso Film 2015 – Photographer: Johan Paulin

BBC4 – that great beacon of Saturday-night, foreign-language drama – has been in a bit of limbo for the past month or so. As the seasons have turned and we’re now ensconced into something darker and colder, the channel has recently broadcast Australian dramas The Code and Dark Water. Fair enough, but they just didn’t feel like a good fit in terms of tone and palette – watching characters call each other ‘mate’, running along beaches and wearing flip-flops at every opportunity just didn’t feel right in the middle of autumn and winter. But now we have something that fits in beautifully with the winter aesthetic and feel – a new eight-part, Swedish crime drama set during Christmas. Surely a sweet spot for Scandi noir fans and something to get the internal glögg bubbling.

NB: Spoilers coiled inside Continue reading

ITV Encore picks up Swedish drama Ängleby; confirms transmission date


angelbyWe all know that we can’t get enough Scandi stuff, and it has been a while since we saw something from the Nordic region (not counting Netflix’s Iceland-set drama The Lava Field (review here), so it’s very welcome news that ITV Encore (who broadcast Jordskott last year) has picked up Swedish crime drama, Ängleby. And now we also know when it’s going to be broadcast. Continue reading

Review: Dicte (S1 E1/5), Friday 3rd June, More4


1381306810487_0570x0320_1381306872423So 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 Continue reading

New Scandinavian crime dramas picked up for US remakes



We all know that anything that comes out of Scandinavia, especially crime drama, will not only be snapped up by British channels almost instantly but watched with extreme glee by plenty of Scandi fans. We’re always interested in new dramas from those northern European countries, so this story ticks some boxes. But it also showcases the global reputation of Scandinavian drama, because these two Danish dramas have been snapped up by US channels and productions companies for remakes… even though one of them hasn’t even aired yet. Continue reading

Review: Jordskott (S1 E6/10), Wednesday 15th July, ITV Encore


From Palladium Fiction Jordskott on ITV Encore Pictured: Esme [Happy Jankell] This photograph is (C) Palladium Fiction and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website For further information please contact: / 0207 157 3052

We’re into the home straight now with this bonkers, sometimes brilliant, sometimes unintentionally hilarious Swedish thriller and I’m certainly none the wiser as to what’s going on. Which, in all seriousness, is a testament to how good the plotting is. It’s kept me interested without revealing too much – you never quite know how this is going to go. To pull this off, you have to have absolute conviction with your story, even though it’s the daftest yarn seen on television this year. Then you have to follow this conviction through with utter, determined commitment. If you believe in what you’re doing, so will the audience. And that’s what Henrik Björn and his team have displayed through these five, and now six episodes. Once you’ve bought into this, it’s hard not to be at least intrigued by Jordskott and, on some levels, completely gripped by it.  Continue reading