In the past week we’ve entered a TV viewing zone called The Killing. This is a cult Danish thriller series which has finally reached Britain. It’s shown on BBC Four on Saturday nights in double episodes, and I think they’re still all on iPlayer. We began our viewing on Sunday night, thinking we’d watch just the one of the episodes we’d saved up, but after getting through four understood that this was compulsive watching.
The story of Förbrydelsen centres around a murder investigation, which slowly entangles the lives of a politician, a teacher, the female detective, Sarah Lund, played by Sofie Grabol (above) with her family and colleagues, and obviously the victim’s friends and family. The nineteen-year-old girl is murdered after suffering a weekend of abuse. At first everyone who has come in contact with her is under suspicion. The series is filmed in the classic Nordic style, with most scenes shot in either driving rain or in bleak twilight. There’s even an initial scene where the female detective gazes into a row trees framing a vast field – very Wallander indeed.
But true to stylish Danish flare, the viewer is soon very sure this is no Wallander. Especially the political scenes showing the cut and thrust of a modern society seem somehow more Danish; while the clothes and dialogue show a far more relaxed attitude to life – even when a murder investigation clashes with an election campaign.
But I’m no expert on Denmark. I’ve only been to the country a few times, mostly travelled through it, not even leaving the train while on my way from Sweden to the UK.
But watching The Killing I’ve found the language quite a revelation: I understand much more than I thought I would and after a two-hour session of the series, I’m sure I could quite easily tale Dansk if push came to shove and my life depended on it. Well, I’d have a go anyway. I’m sure my lovely blogging friend Mette Bassett would disagree and even laugh at my efforts…in her very Danish, jolly way.