Anything to do with Trapped – The Killing Times’ best crime drama series of 2016 – and we’re all over it. That show’s creator, Baltasar Kormakur, has recently opened his own studio, RVK, in Reykjavik and he revealed at the Berlin Film Festival that his next project would be a supernatural thriller based around the island’s Katla volcano – a volcano that could erupt at any given moment.
I don’t normally like to do write posts about award ceremonies (I like to focus on the programmes themselves and let other media outlets do that sort of stuff), but this seems to be worth shouting about. Trapped, The Killing Times’ Best Crime Drama 2016, has done ever so well – picking up, ahem, prestigious awards like ours and then going on to win plenty of others. It’s a staggering achievement from a show that really struck a chord with people. Now it has added another award to its trophy cabinet, this time it has been honoured for its writing.
Just reading through the first 10 picks in our annual Top 15 Crime Dramas of year, it really hits you just how high the standard has been this year. Already we’ve had some of the heavy hitters of British crime drama, which means – I hope – that our top five is something really special. What makes these final five so special? It’s a subjective business, of course, but for us the very best crime drama manages to infuse a compelling mystery and detection process with stories of the human condition, and we really think this final batch of brilliant series managed to strike that perfect balance between the two. Read on for the top five, but don’t worry – I’ll give you the chance to vote for your favourites tomorrow.
It’s worth reminding ourselves that earlier on this year – right at the start of 2016 – BBC4 broadcast a new Icelandic series that went on to become one of the most popular crime dramas of the year. Not necessarily in audience figures (although they were very good for BBC4), but because of the amount of cult buzz it produced within the crime community. It really was a stunning series in a year of stunning series, and now it has been awarded a prestigious award from The European Broadcasting Festival.
This year we saw a break-out hit from a Nordic country who had been fairly quiet in the firmament of television crime drama. Trapped changed all that, and provided the island with a true global hit – it attracted over one million viewers in the UK, and a whopping five-and-a-half million in France. It’s expected to do big numbers when it debuts in Germany this autumn season. Indeed, despite the high quality of the crime drama that’s been around this year, Trapped still remains one of the best of the year. There has always been talk of a second series – and state broadcaster RÚV would have been crazy not to make another one – but now RÚV has finally confirmed that there will be a second meeting with Andri and co.
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!
We’re starting the last round of group matches today (hurrah!) and to kick off there’s a huge game in Group A, which will decide who goes into the quarter-finals. Spiral has already booked its place, but who will come second? It’s down to Iceland’s Trapped and Northern Ireland’s The Fall. Two great shows and two great shows who have won one, and lost one. So who’s it going to be? Iceland or Northern Ireland? Trapped or The Fall? Andri or Stella?