A new year, a new crime season. Scandi television you won’t want to miss!
BBC Four has just announced their upcoming programmes to tantalise our televisual taste-buds in 2016, including the Icelandic thriller Trapped and the Danish crime series with an environmental twist, Follow the Money. Further afield the Welsh detective DCI Tom Mathias leads a new investigation in the second season of Hinterland. As well as these critically acclaimed shows airing in the UK, fans of Nordic Noir and drama can expect an even fuller TV planner, with a packed watch list that we have put together to help prepare you for only the best yet to come.
Viewers will recognise star Louise Peterhoff having recently played Annika Melander; the obsessive follower of motivational speaker Claes in The Bridge III and Cloette in Real Humans. However, in Blue Eyes, Peterhoff’s character Elin Hammar from the Ministry of Justice uncovers a bizarre extremist plot targeting right-wing politics at the height of the country’s elections. The ten-part series merges the political landscape of Borgen with the mystery of The Killing.
The Swedish supernatural show has been announced for a second season. Having established a new Nordic heroine with Eva Thörnblad (Moa Gammel – Tommy, 2014), Jordskott offered a refreshing mystical element to Nordic crime dramas, drawing on from Norse mythology. Eva’s traumatic discovery that the secrets of her father’s empire upset the natural order of the forest dwellers in her home-town of Silverhöjd, reunited her with her missing daughter, Josefine, who disappeared seven years earlier. The bizarre goings on will be unearthed once again. Will Eva continue on a darker path that blurs morality, maternal instincts and the fantastical? Find out soon…
The investigative journalist will return in January 2016 to Norwegian screens and should soon travel across the North Sea to reach us in the UK. In the first season we were intrigued by the financial fraud exposed by Peter Verås, played by Jon Øigarden. With its political narrative and heightened depiction of media practices, the intricate web of conspiracy ensnared Verås and viewers alike. The second season also spotlights the contentious freedom of expression when a famous journalist is murdered, with further warnings to come…
In addition to Jordskott, there is another supernatural thriller coming our way – the new Danish series which has been described as a marriage of vampire fantasy and Nordic Noir. Centring round a pair of ‘undead’ siblings, Sofie and Sebastian take residence at the Ottmannsgaard boarding school. During their stay they attempt to assimilate into normality, forcing themselves to keep their lineage secret until it becomes clear there is something more sinister walking the halls.
The distinguished detectives are set to return on New Year’s Day to Swedish audiences with four new films between January and April 2016. Going strong since 1997, the famed duo Martin Beck (Peter Haber) and Gunvald Larsson (Mikael Persbrandt) will be stepping out as partners for the last time. Beck’s new compatriot will be introduced in the recognisable form of international Norwegian actor Kristofer Hivju, whose credits include The Thing (2011), In Order of Disappearance (2014), Force Majeure (2014) and Game of Thrones (2013-2016). Persbrandt’s departure has been publicised for some time due to interest in pursuing more international roles. Needless to say his goodbye may be a moving moment as it has been speculated his character will receive a dramatic final farewell.
Thicker Than Water
A rustic boarding house situated on the Swedish island of Sunnanö is the setting for a new Scandinavian family drama. Matriarch and owner Anna-Lisa Waldemar dies, leaving the running of the recently opened venue to her surviving heirs. The inheritance stipulates that before the property is rightfully bequeathed to Anna-Lisa’s family, they must keep the boarding house open all season, which will allow plenty of squabbles and manipulation to reign supreme. Thicker Than Water may resemble the Grønnegaard clan drawn to the sweeping estate in DR’s The Legacy which can only offer a promising prelude for the next Nordic drama to attract our less crime-fuelled attention.
This successful Danish crime drama has already mesmerised Scandinavian viewers for two seasons, with the third season already in the production stages, having begun shooting in October this year. Dicte stars Iben Hjejle (Klown, 2010, Stockholm East, 2011 and Dag, 2011-2015) as crime reporter Dicte Svendsen, based on the best-selling series of novels from Elsebeth Egholm. Nordic favourite Søren Malling (The Killing I, 2007, Borgen, 2010-2013 and 1864, 2014) joins the cast from the second season. UK audiences will be given the opportunity to get to know this crime show from the very beginning in order to catch up to the third instalment when it airs.
Another Norwegian series looms on the Nordic horizon which already boasts a record breaking 660,000 viewers who tuned in to watch Acquitted premiere on TV2. The writing credits may have something to do with its flourishing popularity, from scribes Siv Rajendram Eliassen (Those Who Kill, 2011- ) and Anna Bache-Wiig, co-star of Mammon (2014- ). Deemed a guilty outcast, despite being acquitted of murder, Aksel Borgen (Cleve Broch) returns to his home town after twenty years to salvage a business on the brink of bankruptcy. Even after two decades the echoes of a provocative past does not go unnoticed in a place that does not forgive or forget.
We also have some scintillating European exploits to enjoy. The Neapolitan Noir throws us back into the underworld of the Mafia in season two, based on Roberto Savino’s incredible real life experiences with a local crime gang. Set in Naples, Gomorrah, we originally followed Ciro (Marco D’Amore) as he ambitiously climbed the ladder deeper in the underworld from right-hand man to Mafia head after his boss was sent to prison. What spoils will the impressive yet archaic journey have in store for Ciro or will he face abdication from his powerful throne in the circle of crime life?
Keep checking back for updates, including channels and air dates. In the meantime, get ready to set reminders and programme your recording schedule with a cornucopia of Nordic New Year treats!