Review: Black Lake (S1 E5&6/8), Saturday 30th September, BBC Four

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

We’re into the back end of this Swedish/Danish-language horror/thriller, and one of the things it’s doing well is to present us with a possibility of paranormal activity on the one hand, but then also give a potentially rational explanation to all the goings-on. Is Hanne really sensitive to ghosts or is she just still traumatised by the death of her younger brother? Was Jessan really possessed by an evil spirit or was she experiencing a psychotic episode, one of many she has experienced in her short life? Are the inhabitants of the lodge being terrorised by ghosts or, in fact, by two brothers who want them out? It’s this balance that has made Black Lake fun to watch so far. Continue reading

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Review: Black Lake (S1 E1&2/8), Saturday 16th September, BBC Four

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NB: SPOILERS INSIDE

Ah, the comforting tones of the Swedish language on an autumn Saturday night. We’ve had umpteen Scandinavian crime dramas in the 9pm slot on BBC Four in the past, and, as the nights are drawing in, we’re once again transported to a snowy, barren, beautiful land, way up in the north of Sweden on the border with Norway. And this feels immensely comforting to me – the landscape, the language, the furniture (my god, the furniture) and that unique way so-called Nordic Noir has with characterisation and story. Blake Lake (Svartsjön), however, is no procedural – we’ve heard that BBC Four, in particular, was on the lookout for something a bit different from the usual Nordic Noir, and Black Lake certainly does provide that. Continue reading

BBC confirms transmission date for Black Lake

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Earlier on this year, we ran a story detailing how BBC Four had picked up Swedish thriller, Black Lake (Svartsjön in its native language). It signified a slight change in approach for the channel, who we heard was looking for something a little different from the usual ‘Nordic Noir’ (although we have series two of Witnesses and series six of Spiral coming up before Christmas, and then the last series of The Bridge early in 2018… so not too different, then). The snowy-looking Black Lake has more of a horror feel to it, and it’ll start and finish as the nights draw in and autumn really kicks in, which is perfect timing, really. Now we know when it will start. Continue reading

Jägarna to return as TV series on Swedish television

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Ninety-ninety-six’s Jägarna (The Hunters) was a medium-sized hit in its native Sweden. It told the story of a policeman from Stockholm who goes to Norrland to join his brother after their parents died. While there he started to work on a long-running case where deer have been poached and soon discovers that his brother is involved. Now it’s back, this time as a TV series. Continue reading

Review: Midnight Sun (S1 E1/8), Wednesday 15th March, Sky Atlantic

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If you’ve read Our Charlotte’s First Look piece on Midnight Sun (have a read here), you will know this French/Swedish series is one to watch. The fact that we haven’t really had a really good Nordic Noir on these shores in 2017 means that all eyes are on this cross-regional, good-looking eight-parter, which might – just might – provide us with the series we’ve been looking for.

NB: Spoilers inside Continue reading

Midnight Sun: The history behind the conflict with the Sami

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One of the more eagerly awaited crime dramas of the year starts up on Sky Atlantic tonight. Midnight Sun is a French/Swedish effort, written and created by Måns Mårlind and Bjorn Stein (who have previous on The Bridge) and made by French powerhouse Canal+. It stars Leïla Bekhti as Kahina Zadi, a French police officer, who travels to Kiruna, a small mining community in the remote far north of Sweden to investigate a brutal murder of a French citizen. With the help of Anders Harnesk (Gustaf Hammarsten), a Swedish DA and a member of the Sami, an ancient, indigenous tribe of Scandinavia, they are faced with new killings. The initial murder turns out to be the tip of the iceberg. So far, so intriguing. But what makes this extremely interesting is the inclusion of the Sami in the series – that Scandinavian tribe of people who live in the far, far north and little is known about, certainly in the UK. So who are they? And what relationship do they have with the rest of the Nordic people? We asked our Swedish correspondant, Charlotte, to give us the lowdown. Continue reading